Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards for Medical Scientists support physician-scientists bridging advanced post-doctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service. The awards total $700,000 over five years ($140,000 per year). Support is provided during the final two years of post-doctoral/fellowship work and the first three years of faculty service. This award is by invitation only; there is a limit of five (5) nominations from the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Research Interests

Proposals must be in the area of basic biomedical, disease-oriented, translational, molecular, or genetic research. Proposals in health services research or involving large-scale clinical trials are ineligible.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must hold an M.D., D.D.S., or D.V.M.
  • Candidates must be a clinical fellow, resident, or post-doctoral researcher and have at least two (2) years of post-doctoral research experience at the time of application.
  • Candidates must not be more than ten (10) years past their most recent doctorate degree. No exceptions will be made.
  • 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 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 (2) years or less at the time of application. Their appointment must have begun no earlier than July 1, 2010.
  • Candidates must be committed to full-time research as an independent investigator at a North American degree-granting institution.
  • 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.

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 post-doctoral/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 a written request to BWF that explains why the training is needed. 

BWF 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.

The complete program solicitation can be found here.

Internal/External Deadlines

Faculty who wish to be considered should e-mail their expressions of interest by June 1, 2012 to Catherine Muzytchuk, Catherine_muzytchuk@URMC.rochester.edu, with the words BWF CAREER AWARD FOR MEDICAL SCIENTISTS in the subject line. Using the forms provided, they must also include:

(1) Cover page

(2) Chair’s letter recommendation

(3) a biosketch or CV

(4) Brief research abstract

Per University policy, faculty whose proposals are selected to move forward to the foundation must submit a final copy of their applications to Foundation Relations for review by September 17, 2012. Also per University policy, faculty must submit their final applications to the foundation by September 24, 2012. The foundation’s official application deadline is October 1, 2012. Faculty with questions should contact Dr. Paul A. Spengler, Director of UR Foundation Relations, at 276-3955 or pspengler@admin.rochester.edu, to review program guidelines and for assistance with the final application.

Selection Process

Candidates will be notified by early February 2013 about interviews, which will be conducted in March 2013. Awards will be announced in May and will commence in September 2013.

BWF anticipates funding 13.9 percent of applications submitted. BWF does not provide critiques of unfunded proposals.


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.