Bringing Home the Bacon: Funding Opportunities for the Early Career Scientist

The Early Careers Committee presented a panel entitled Early Career Grant Opportunities at the 55th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, in March. Four diverse funding agencies and institutions known for their early-investigator grants were represented. This issue of the Newsletter highlights the Research Corporation and Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF). The June Newsletter will highlight the National Science Foundation and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

According to the panelists, here’s what you need to know to get the most out of the opportunity that’s right for you.

The Research Corporation boasts two grants aimed at scientists within the first three years of their careers. Casey Londergan, Early Careers Committee member and panel moderator, offered details and noted some differences between these grants:

  • The Cottrell College Science Awards are single-investigator or multi-investigator grants where the proposed research project should add to fundamental scientific knowledge. Th is award is primarily directed towards teaching careers or investigators at institutions where teaching is the primary focus.
  • The Cottrell Scholar Awards are for early career faculty members who are committed to excel at both research and teaching. This award is primarily directed towards careers that involved both research and teaching.

For more information on the Cottrell Awards, visit

Nancy Sung, Senior Program Officer at BWF, explained BWF’s Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI), which are intended to foster the early career development of researchers with backgrounds in the physical, mathematical, and/or computational sciences and engineers whose work addresses biological questions. Typically about $500,000 each, they’re intended to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the fi rst three years of faculty service. CASI grants target people who’ve received their PhDs within 12-48 months of application time and who have picked a good biological question, are situated in a supportive environment, exhibit a high degree of innovation, and have hit two home runs (strong fi rst-author papers showing good, solid work—one during graduate training and another during postdoc training). US permanent and temporary residents as well as Canadian citizens or permanent residents are welcome to apply. Visit for more information.

Bert Tanner, Early Careers Committee Member

May 2011 Table of Contents