Programs Offered

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund's grantmaking strategies support biomedical scientists at the beginning of their careers and areas of science that are poised for significant advancement but are currently undervalued and underfunded.  

BWF has programs which support primary and secondary students, science and mathematics teachers, institutions, and academic scientists: postdoctoral-faculty bridging awards and faculty awards.

The majority of the BWF ’s grantmaking is through competitive award programs. Most awards are made to degree-granting institutions in the United States and Canada on behalf of individual researchers, who must be nominated by their institution.  All institutions receiving awards must be tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations.

Each program has an Advisory Committee consisting of members who are external peer reviewers that lend their expertise and time to reviewing and assessing applications for BWF programs.  BWF selects members of these committees for their scientific and educational expertise in the program areas.  The committee meets, for some programs, to interview potential nominees, and make recommendations based on their experiences to the BWF Board of Directors.  Members of the various advisory committees are complete and separate bodies from the BWF Board of Directors.

To apply for the competitive award programs, select the program below and follow the guidelines and application requirements.  All applications must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on the deadline date provided for the indicated program.

To complement these competitive award programs, we also make modest grants on an "ad hoc" basis to nonprofit organizations conducting activities intended to improve the general environment for science. These noncompetitive grants are for activities closely related to our focus areas identified above.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is committed to supporting science education for primary and secondary students and has partnered with various organizations to help develop an infrastructure for improving science, mathematics, and technology education across North Carolina.

Awards supporting K-12 Education

Student STEM Enrichment Program
Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted for career-oriented and practical programs intended to provide creative STEM enrichment activities for students in K-12 education who have shown exceptional skills and invest in STEM, as well as those perceived to have high potential.

Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is committed to supporting the early careers of promising scientists. Toward this end, BWF has developed four programs that are designed for advanced postdoctoral scientists to help make the transition to a faculty appointment:

Career Awards for Medical Scientists
Application Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted toward medically trained individuals whose research proposal is in basic biomedical, disease-oriented, translational, or molecular, genetic, or pharmacological epidemiology research, and who intend to pursue careers in academia.

Career Awards at the Scientific Interface
Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted toward researchers whose doctoral training is in one of the physical, chemical or computational sciences and who intend to pursue academic research doing work that addresses biological questions.

Collaborative Research Travel Grant
Deadline: TBD

Collaborative Research Travel Grants provide up to $15,000 in support for interdisciplinary biomedical researchers from degree-granting institutions to travel to a laboratory to acquire a new research technique or to facilitate collaboration.

Postdoctoral Enrichment Program
Deadline: TBD

The Postdoctoral Enrichment Program for underrepresented minorities provides $50,000 over three years to support the development of underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research.

Graduate Diversity Enrichment Program
Deadline:  July 2, 2019

The Graduate Diversity Enrichment Program (GDEP) provides a total of $5,000 over two years to support underrepresented Ph.D. candidates enrolled in a North Carolina university and conducting biomedical research.

Awards for Faculty

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has three programs for which faculty of degree-granting institutions in the United States and Canada are eligible:

Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted toward assistant professors for the study of pathogenesis, with a focus on the intersection of human and pathogen biology. The program is intended to shed light on the overarching issues of how human hosts handle infectious challenge.

Preterm Birth Initiative
Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted toward faculty whose work will increase the understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying parturition and spontaneous preterm birth.  This program is also intended to bring together a diverse interdisciplinary group with expertise in genetics/genomics, immunology, microbiology, and proteomics along with the more traditional areas of parturition research such as maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics, and pediatrics to address the scientific issues related to preterm birth.

Innovation in Regulatory Science
Deadline: February 2021

Innovation in Regulatory Science Awards provides up to $500,000 over five years to academic investigators who are addressing research questions that will lead to innovation in regulatory science, with the ultimate translation of those results into improving the regulatory process. These awards are intended to provide support for academic researchers developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in regulatory science that will ultimately inform the regulatory decisions the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others make.

Awards for Institutions

Career Guidance for Trainees
Deadline:  TBD

These awards promote BWF's investment in the human capital of the research enterprise by supporting the development of new approaches to improving trainees' preparedness for jobs at and away from the bench. 

Physician-Scientist Institutional Awards
Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted towards medical schools in the United States and Canada to create programs with the intent of increasing opportunities for the physician interested in a research career.

Awards for Teachers

Career Award for Science and Mathematics Teachers
Deadline:  TBD

These awards are targeted towards outstanding Science and Mathematics teachers in the North Carolina public K-12 schools.

Promoting Innovation in Science and Mathematics
Deadline:  TBD

These awards target teachers in the North Carolina public K-12 schools to assist in providing quality hands-on, inquiry-based activities for students.