Limited Submission: Burroughs Wellcome Fund

08/21/2014, 5:00 PM

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Program Description:

Five-year, $500,000 awards support accomplished investigators at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis, with a focus on the interplay between human and microbial biology, shedding light on how human and microbial systems are affected by their encounters. The awards give recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue new avenues of inquiry and higher-risk research projects that hold potential for significantly advancing the biochemical, pharmacological, immunological, and molecular biological understanding of how microbes and the human body interact. This award can be used to stimulate multidisciplinary work tying together related fields that often have been isolated from one another in practice. 

Candidate Eligibility:

  • Generally have an M.D., D.V.M., or Ph.D. degree. (References to degrees include all types of medical and scientific doctoral level degrees.) BWF particularly encourages human health-relevant applications from veterinary scientists.
  • Must have an established record of independent research and hold a tenure-track position as an assistant professor or equivalent at the time the application is submitted. Researchers recently appointed to a faculty position may not have a demonstrated track record sufficient to compete successfully for this award.  Exceedingly few newly appointed assistant professors have sufficient independence.Most successful applicants are at or past their third complete year as an Assistant Professor.
  • Are nominated by accredited, degree-granting institutions in the United States or Canada and be citizens or permanent residents of the US or Canada at the time of application. Permanent resident status documentation required with the application: US residents must provide a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (green card) or a copy of a current passport with an I-551 stamp. Persons who have applied for permanent resident status but have not received their government documentation by the time of application are not eligible.
  • Candidates at the appropriate career stage who have held or are currently holding a Burroughs Wellcome Fund award must contact Linda Sopp to determine eligibility for this program.

Selection Process:

Per BWF, successful applicants who do not yet have an R01 have frequently obtained independent K- or R-series NIH grants or early career grants from other funders. Researchers who have not demonstrated this level of independence should not apply, as they will not be competive.

If interested, please submit the following in one PDF by August 21 to Michelle Wonsey:

  1. PI name, department, # of years in assistant professor position. If a collaboration, also include the names, dept., and position of co-PI’s.
  2. 1-2 paragraph (500 words) lay summary of the research project
  3. 1-2 page research project proposal that includes how this research is different from federal funding (builds on, is an extension into another area)
  4. CV

Recent UMass History:  Biophysicist Nikhil S. Malvankar received a 2014, five-year $500,000 career award from BWF to assist him in moving from advanced postdoctoral training into a faculty position. Malvankar, the first UMass Amherst scientist to receive this award, works with physicist Mark Tuominen and microbiologist Derek Lovley. He plans to develop new, physics-based nanometer-resolution tools to guide treatment of diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria and to improve understanding of how human and bacterial cells interact.

Sponsor Deadline:

November 3, 2014 by 4pm