A Place at the Bench: Women in Biomedical Research

In 2009, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund commissioned a series of articles by science writer Marla Broadfoot to look at the landscape for women in the biomedical sciences. Broadfoot was given free range to explore the subject area, and the articles were published in the Fund’s FOCUS newsletter. The first article appeared in July 2009 and was circulated through social media. Given the popularity of the articles, it was decided to compile them in the hope that they would inspire more thought and discussion.

Academic Tenure-Track Offer Letters

From 1995 to 2005, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund made 241 Career Awards in the Biomedical Sciences (CABS) to young postdoctoral fellows to help them make the transition to tenure-track faculty member and independent investigator.  The award pays $500,000 over five years.  On average, awardees normally continued as postdocs for about 18 months after receiving the award, with the balance of the award period spent as an assistant professor. 

Obtaining Tenure

The tenure process will be different for each of you. Generally it will take seven years as an assistant professor with the decision on tenure taking place sometime during your sixth year. A typical model will resemble the following. However, please remember that each situation will be different depending on the size and type of institution as well as the location of your department within the institution.

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