In 2008, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund launched an institutional award program supporting five-year institutional training awards providing $500,000 a year to bridge the gap between the population and computational sciences and the laboratory-based biological sciences. The Institutional Program Unifying Population and Laboratory-Based Sciences (PUP) award supports the training of researchers between existing concentrations of research strength in population approaches to human health and in basic biomedical sciences.
The goal is to establish training programs by partnering researchers working in schools of medicine and schools (or academic divisions) of public health. With those required institutional partners in place, programs have the freedom to involve a diverse range of other potential partners including those working in international settings, industrial settings, national laboratories, laboratories of federal agencies, quantitative population research groups outside of the life sciences (examples include but are not limited to econometrics, demographics, applied mathematics, anthropology, and other fields not typically represented by departments within medical centers.)
The programs supported by these awards will develop young researchers who will be equally at home with the ideas, approaches, and insights generated at the molecular scale and at the population scale. Such programs may be free-standing graduate programs or newly defined tracks within existing programs. Trainees of such programs may bring new approaches to combining genomics with phenomics, addressing questions of population genetics, understanding molecular and environmental epidemiology, and a range of other issues important to understanding human health and its disruptors.
A list of programs funded in the two previous rounds shows that only a few grants have been made. Potential applicants should not interpret this list as defining "what we want to see" in proposals submitted in this round.