Burroughs Wellcome Fund-Career Awards for Medical Students

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The Career Awards for Medical Scientists grant program helps physician scientists bridge advanced postdoctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service.

Proposals must be in the area of basic biomedical disease-oriented, translational, molecular, or genetic research. Support is provided during the final two years of postdoctoral/fellowship work and the first three years as a faculty member.

Awards are in the amount of $700,000 over five years ($140,000 per year).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must have an M.D., D.D.S., or D.V.M. Combination M.D./Ph.D. candidates are also eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.
  • Candidates must be committed to full-time research as an independent investigator at a North American degree-granting institution.
  • Candidates must be a clinical fellow, resident, or a postdoctoral researcher and have at least two years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of application.
  • Candidates who hold a junior faculty appointment (lecturer, instructor, assistant professor non-tenure track) may be eligible if they have been in a faculty position for two years or less at the time of application. Their appointment must have begun no earlier than July 1, 2011.
  • Candidates must not be more than ten years past their most recent doctorate degree. No exceptions will be made.
  • Successful applicants typically have two to three first author publications in major journals.
  • Candidates with a clinical degree not awarded in the U.S. or Canada must be fully licensed to practice in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada. Persons who have applied for permanent residence but have not received their government documentation by the time of application are ineligible.
  • Permanent residents of the U.S. must provide a copy of their green card.

Research Interests

  • Two-thirds of the research proposals funded are for basic research, rather than translational research.
  • Proposals must be in an area of basic biomedical, disease-oriented, translational, molecular, or genetic research. Proposals in health services research or involving large-scale clinical trials are ineligible.

Protected Time Requirement

  • Award recipients must devote 75 percent of their time to research-related activities.

Mentoring Requirement

  • Yes. A faculty sponsor letter is a required component of the application.

Limitations on Other Awards

  • Award recipients may obtain funds from other sources for research in the same or similar areas as that conducted under these grants, so long as there is no conflict with meeting the terms of the BWF award.
  • Award recipients may not also hold concurrent BWF awards or NIH K99/R00 awards.

Other Requirements/Limitations

  • BWF acknowledges that many postdoctoral/clinical fellows will move to new institutions to begin their independent research careers; therefore, this award is portable. However, awards may be transferred only with written approval from BWF.
  • BWF prefers that awardees not move from one institution to another during their three years of faculty service. Special training opportunities that require faculty-level awardees to spend up to a year away from their base institution may be considered. Awardees must submit to BWF a written request that explains why the training is needed. 

Internal/External Deadlines

This is a limited submission opportunity; the School of Medicine and Dentistry may only nominate five proposals.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund encourages the nomination of women and underrepresented minorities. If a woman or underrepresented minority is nominated within the five initial candidates, a sixth candidate may be nominated, provided that candidate is also a woman or an underrepresented minority.

Faculty who wish to be considered must e-mail their expressions of interest to Catherine Muzytchuk (Catherine_muzytchuk@URMC.rochester.edu) by May 1, 2013. Please use the words BWF CAREER AWARD FOR MEDICAL SCIENTISTS in the subject line, and include:

(1) A cover page;

(2) A chair’s letter recommendation;

(2) A biosketch or CV; and

(3) A brief research abstract.

Faculty members with questions about this funding opportunity and the application process should contact Paul A. Spengler, Ph.D., Director of Foundation Relations, at 276-3955 or at pspengler@admin.rochester.edu. Dr. Spengler will help nominated faculty members submit applications.

The foundation’s application deadline is October 1, 2013. Per University policy, applicants must submit their applications five business days early (September 27, 2013). Applicants must also send a final copy of their application for final review to the Office of Foundation Relations by September 23, 2013.

Selection Process

  • Candidates who apply on October 1, 2013 will be notified by early February 2014 about interviews. Interviews will be conducted in March 2014.
  • Awards will be announced in May and commence in September 2014.
  • BWF anticipates funding 13.9 percent of applications submitted.
  • BWF does not provide critiques of unfunded proposals.

More information about the awards can be found here.


NIH Funding Acknowledgement ** Important ** All publications resulting from the utilization of CTSI resources are required to credit the CTSI grant by including the NIH FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.