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Funding Early-Career Grant Opportunities

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Sure, it’s tough to break your way into the world of R01s. Fortunately, the US NIH and several other grant providers have funding programs targeted at young investigators. Here, Genome Technology rounds up several — now it’s up to you to hone those grantsmanship skills.


Organization: National Institutes of Health

Details: NIH offers a slew of opportunities for young investigators, the newest of which is the Pathway to Independence Award Program, a grant of up to five years. NIH expects to award 150 to 200 of these grants in the first year; almost all institutes and centers are participating.

Check out: nih.gov — see the New Investigators Program in the Grants and Funding category.

Also of interest: Other NIH grants for this demographic include the Mentored Career Development Awards; Mentored Research/Clinical Scientist Devel-opment Awards; Career Transition Award; and the Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award.


Organization: National Science Foundation

Award: NSF will split $85 million across some 300 to 400 awards.

Details: The agency’s Faculty Early Career Development Program is a foundation-wide funding theme for junior faculty members.

Check out: nsf.gov

Also of interest: NSF also supports early-career scientists through its Research Initiation Grants and Career Advance-ment Awards.


Organization: PhRMA Foundation

Award: Up to $30,000 per year for one or two years

Details: The PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grants are intended to support scientists beginning their faculty careers in computational or experimental research in genetics, genomics, and proteomics.

Check out: phrmafoundation.org/awards


Organization: Human Frontier Science Program

Award: Up to $450,000 per team

Details: HFSP’s Young Investigators’ Grants are designed for teams of two to four scientists, all of whom are no more than 10 years past their PhD and have had independent labs for no more than five years. Research grants last for three years and go to “novel, daring ideas” in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Check out: hfsp.org


Organization: Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Award: Typically about $264,000

Details: The Beckman Young Inves-tigators Program supports promising life science faculty members at research institutions (no more than three years into tenure-track or comparable post).

Check out: beckman-foundation.com


Organization: The McKnight Foundation

Award: $75,000 per year

Details: McKnight Scholar Awards are for neuroscientists early in their careers who are focusing on learning or memory disorders. Applicants must have an MD or PhD and have completed a postdoc.

Check out: mcknight.org


Organization: American Association for Cancer Research

Award: Two-year grants of $50,000 per year

Details: The AACR Career Develop-ment Award is open for junior faculty at an academic or medical institution who are no more than three years into their first appointment after a postdoc.

Check out: aacr.org


Organization: American Diabetes Association

Award: $150,000 per year, up to five years

Details: ADA’s Career Development Awards help investigators seeking to establish their independence in diabetes research. Applicants must be an assistant professor at the time of the award.

Check out: diabetes.org


Organization: Alzheimer’s Assocation

Award: Up to $100,000 for one or two years

Details: The group’s New Investigator Research Grants help fund inves-tigators who are no more than 10 years past their doctoral degree.

Check out: alz.org


Organization: Cure Autism Now

Award: Maximum of $40,000 per year for up to two years

Details: The group’s Young Investigator Awards are for scientists no more than four years past an MD or PhD. Research must have relevance to autism, but applicants do not have to be in an autism-focused lab to win the award.

Check out: cureautismnow.org


Organization: Office of Naval Research

Award: Up to $100,000 per year for three years

Details: The ONR Young Investigator Program (ONR BAA 07-002) supports life sciences basic and applied research for a number of interests: marine life sciences, neuroscience, biorobotics, and biosensors, among others.

Check out: onr.navy.mil

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