While we are talking about stable funding, tenure and the value of scientists following their noses heedless of these issues, what should appear in my mailbox but a note from a reader about the HHMI Early Career Awards.
HHMI will provide each Early Career Scientist with his or her full salary, benefits, and a research budget of $1.5 million over the six-year appointment. The Institute will also cover other expenses, including research space and the purchase of critical equipment.
w00t! That sounds like a very GoodThing does it not?
The selected scientists, who are at 33 institutions across the United States, have led their own laboratories for two to six years. During that time, many have made considerable contributions to biomedical research. Energetic and passionate about a broad range of scientific questions, this group of scientists is at a career stage that many consider to be a scientist's most productive--and most vulnerable.
In today's constrained research funding environment, many early career faculty find it difficult to establish and develop their research programs. They often launch their own labs with start-up funds from their host institution. That support is provided with the expectation that the scientist will establish his or her own research program with independent funding.
The creativity and energy that researchers bring to starting their own labs can quickly be sapped by the time-consuming and often frustrating quest for funding. Within a few years of a new faculty appointment, a researcher's institutional start-up funds typically come to an end. Pressure to secure federal grant money may lead to "safe" grant proposals. As a result, creative and potentially transformative research projects may fall by the wayside.
Niiice. What a great idea. So who got lucky? See the slideshow here.
huh. anything strike you? no? lemme get a pencil here....hmmm.
2 African-American looking guys, another maybe. Six Asian guys. Maybe another four or five men who look other than standard model white guy. Nine women.
Really? That's the best you could do? Seriously? You couldn't even that gender ratio up even a little bit better than that?