Postdoctoral Enrichment Program

Terms of Grant/Use of Funds

Awards are made to the degree-granting institutions on behalf of the award recipients.  The Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP) award provides a total of $60,000 over three years as outlined below to support the development of a PDEP fellow at a degree-granting institution.  Applicants at affiliated graduate and medical schools, hospitals and research institutions in the United States or Canada must apply through the degree-granting institution. Individual PDEP fellows conducting biomedical or medical research are eligible to apply. Award recipients must commit 75% of their time to research.

The institutions are responsible for disbursing the funds and for maintaining adequate supporting records and receipts of expenditures. Indirect costs may not be charged against the awards.

Award recipients must provide BWF with an annual progress report detailing their progress. Institutions must provide an annual financial report.  Both reports must be submitted (on forms that will be provided) by November of each award year.  Continued funding will depend on both the timely submission of these reports and their favorable review by BWF and its program advisory committee.

Award recipients may obtain funds from other sources for research in the same or similar areas as that conducted under these grants, so long as there is no conflict with meeting the terms of BWF's award.

This award cannot be used to provide the postdoctoral fellow’s salary or to purchase reagents or equipment commonly found in the mentor’s laboratory.  The award is under the control of the award recipient and may be used flexibly for career development activities as outlined below.

  • 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.)

  • 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 primary goal of the Postdoctoral Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Minorities (PDEP) is to substantially enhance the postdoctoral training and experience of underrepresented minority junior scientists. Funds will be provided to support the following enrichment activities:

  1. Activities for the postdoctoral fellow to enhance research productivity, e.g. workshops, courses, travel, collaborations, and training in new techniques

  2. Activities for the postdoctoral mentor to increase the mentoring of PDEP fellows in university-based programs:

    • Career guidance of the underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellow

    • Research guidance that increases the productivity of the PDEP fellow

    • Attendance at one annual meeting of mentors hosted by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)

  3. Participation in a peer network system of underrepresented minority postdoctoral scholars

A qualified mentor is required for the PDEP. It has been documented that minorities are less likely to enter and remain in science and engineering when they lack mentors and role models. In most science and engineering disciplines, the percentage of underrepresented minorities among faculty recently hired is not comparable to that of recent minority Ph.Ds. and is far below that of recent bachelor degree recipients. This results in fewer minority faculty to act as role models for minority students. (A National Analysis of Minorities in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities, Nelson and Brammer, January 2010). This program is designed to encourage innovative scientists with broad ranging backgrounds in the biomedical and medical sciences and with experiences in working with postdoctoral fellows to consider serving as mentors.

BWF will host workshops and courses to set expectations for mentors and postdoctoral fellows. Mentors are strongly encouraged and expected to participate in online training elements and attend one annual Spring meeting (within the first two years) to share information and to network.  Discussions will include considerations of the cultural barriers that exist for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows within the scientific community and the value effective mentors can have on career development.

BWF acknowledges that postdoctoral fellows may move to new institutions.  Awards may be transferred only with written approval of BWF and ONLY for postdoctoral positions at the new institution.  Requests must be received well in advance of the move.   Award recipients who change institutions for another postdoctoral position at another institution may take with them any equipment or supplies purchased under the award, as well as the balance of any unused award funds.  The new host institution must enter into a new agreement with BWF.

Scientific publications or presentations that result from these awards must acknowledge the awardee’s receipt of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program for Underrepresented Minorities award.  Copies of journal articles and other publications should be sent to BWF along with the annual progress report.

Awardees should follow their institutions’ patent, copyright, and intellectual property policies regarding discoveries that result from research conducted under these awards.  BWF expects the appropriate federal, state, and local guidelines with regard to scientific misconduct are in place and enforced at all institutions with which BWF awardees are affiliated.

Awardees should share scientific findings in a timely manner via the standard means of scientific communication, including publications and/or presentations in scientific forums.  BWF will not retain any rights to published results or patents that result from the research.

The awards will begin on September 1, 2018.