Career Awards for Medical Scientists

Eligibility Requirements

Career Awards for Medical Scientists (CAMS) provide $700,000 over a minimum of five years to bridge advanced postdoctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service.  Candidate eligibility and institutional nomination requirements are set out below. 


The ideal candidate will be two years away from becoming an independent investigator, have at least two years or more of postdoctoral research experience, and have a significant publication record.

Candidates must be nominated by their dean or department chair at the degree-granting institution where they will conduct the postdoctoral/fellowship training under the award.  Applications must be approved by an official responsible for sponsored programs (generally from the grants office, office of research, or office of sponsored programs) at the degree-granting institution.  Candidates should contact one of these offices for information about the nominating process at the institution.

  • Candidates must hold an M.D., D.D.S., or D.V.M. degree.
  • Proposals must be in the area of basic biomedical, disease-oriented, or translational research. Proposals in health services research or involving large-scale clinical trials are ineligible.
  • BWF encourages nominations from candidates who work in reproductive science.
  • Candidates must be a fellow, resident,  or a postdoctoral researcher and have at least two years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of application.
  • Candidates must not be more than 10 calendar years past their most recent earned 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 or have completed a residency in the U.S. or Canada within the last 10 calendar years.
  • Candidates who hold a junior faculty appointment (Lecturer, Instructor, Assistant Professor-non tenure track, etc.) may be eligible if they have been in a faculty position for two years or less at the time of application.  To meet this requirement, the appointment must have begun no earlier than July 1, 2012.
  • Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or Canada at the time of application.  Persons who have applied for permanent resident status but have not received their government documentation by the time of application are not eligible.
  • Candidates must be nominated by accredited, degree-granting institutions in the U.S. or Canada.
  • Candidates must be committed to a full-time career in research as an independent investigator at a North American degree-granting institution.
  • Candidates with tenure-track appointments as an Instructor or Assistant Professor at the time of application are not eligible.
  • Candidates that have faculty appointments with institutional start-up funds or hold an R01 grant from the NIH are not eligible.

Institutional Nominations

  • U.S. or Canadian institutions--including affiliated medical schools, graduate schools, and all related hospitals and research institutes--may nominate up to five candidates. 
  • BWF encourages institutions to nominate women and underrepresented minorities.  If a woman or underrepresented minority is included among the initial five nominees, a sixth candidate may be nominated provided that candidate is also a woman or underrepresented minority (i.e. African American, Hispanic, or Native American).  See FAQ for examples.
  • NIH may nominate candidates who intend to continue their postdoctoral/fellowship training at the NIH, but such awardees must move to a degree-granting institution to assume a faculty position. The NIH will support these awardees during the postdoctoral/fellowship years, and BWF will support them for the first three years of their faculty appointment. Their total award will be $510,000. Postdoctoral fellows at the NIH should contact its Office of Intramural Research for information about its nomination procedures.

During the postdoctoral and faculty periods,

  • Grants must be made to degree-granting institutions in the U.S. or Canada on behalf of the award recipient.
  • Award recipients are required to devote at least 75 percent of their time to research-related activities.
  • Indirect costs may not be charged against BWF grants.

View the different levels of program support in the postdoc and faculty award information.

Questions regarding candidate or institutional eligibility should be directed in advance to BWF by contacting Debra Holmes, senior program associate, via email or calling (919) 991-5134.

Consult this website for a list of frequently asked questions.