The Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP) provides a total of $60,000 over three years to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution (an institution includes its affiliated graduate and medical schools, hospitals and research institutions) in the United States or Canada whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research. BWF is committed to funding the next generation of scientists and researchers, thus we have an interest in advancing the careers of underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows. Generally, up to 10 awards will be granted for enrichment activities annually. This grant is meant to supplement the training of postdocs whose research activities are already supported. It is not a research grant.
The program provides a total of $60,000 over three years as follows:
- 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.) The PDEP award cannot be used to support salary expenses or indirect costs. (Refer to Terms of Grant for information on indirect costs and other requirements for use of funds.)
- Year two: $20,000 (same allocation as year one)
- Year three: $20,000 will be granted to help the postdoctoral fellow advance research efforts towards the professoriate. The funds must be used to develop independent, innovative areas of research.
The continuing lag in advancement of underrepresented minority scientists is a significant problem for the scientific community. Despite several decades of federally supported programs, Americans from these minority populations continue to be underrepresented among Ph.D. recipients and in the S&E workforce. Contrary to popular belief, many well prepared underrepresented minority students—including men and women of Latino, Native-American, Pacific Island, and African-American descent—are interested in pursuing scientific or engineering careers. Many students with strong SAT scores, impressive grades, and success in high school honors math and science courses leave the college science pipeline, but the loss is disproportionately among women and minorities. Thus, factors other than school preparation, science aptitude, and interest must be responsible for the low achievement and low persistence of these subgroups of undergraduate and graduate S&E students. Identifying and mitigating these negative factors, then retaining well-educated students with S&E interests would improve the United States’ ability to compete in today’s global scientific community. (SCIENCE, 31 March 2006, Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers, Michael Summers and Freeman Hrabowski).