Note from CienciaPR: we encourage those interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to explore our member database in searching for potential mentors, which is a pre-requisite for participating in this program.
The Underrrepresented Minority (URM) Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award provides a total of $50,000 over three years as outlined below to support the development of a URM postdoctoral fellow in a degree-granting or research institute in the United States or Canada. Individual URM postdoctoral fellows conducting biomedical or medical research are eligible to apply.
This award cannot be used to provide the postdoctoral fellow’s salary or to purchase reagents or equipment commonly found in the mentor’s laboratory.
- Year one: $20,000 will be granted to support enrichment activities of the postdoctoral fellow ($10,000 for research supplies or equipment uniquely required to enhance the postdoctoral fellow’s research and $10,000 for education and training, including for mentors in the research lab where the postdoctoral fellow is assigned.)
- Year two: $20,000 (same allocation as year one)
- Year three: $10,000 will be granted for enrichment activities for the postdoctoral fellow to advance his/her research.
A qualified mentor is required for the URM Postdoctoral Program. It has been documented that minorities are less likely to enter and remain in science and engineering when they lack mentors and role models. In most science and engineering disciplines, the percentage of URMs among faculty recently hired is not comparable to that of recent minority Ph.Ds. and is far below that of recent bachelor degree recipients. This results in fewer minority faculty to act as role models for minority students. (A National Analysis of Minorities in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities, Nelson and Brammer, January 2010). This program is designed to encourage innovative scientists with broad ranging backgrounds in the biomedical and medical sciences and with experiences in working with postdoctoral fellows to consider serving as mentors.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) will host workshops and courses to set expectations for mentors and postdoctoral fellows. Discussions will include considerations of the cultural barriers that exist for URM postdoctoral fellows within the scientific community and the value effective mentors can have on career development. Year three: $10,000 will be granted for enrichment activities for the postdoctoral fellow to advance his/her research.