The Road to Independence: Financial Self-Sufficiency for Post-Docs
Postdoctoral fellows in all fields of science who wish to pursue a career in academia are usually nervous about securing independent funding necessary to find a faculty position. Roughly 80 percent of post-doctoral researchers are supported by their principal investigator’s research grant, which provides salary security and resources for scientific investigation, and is crucial for gaining independence within the profession. The road to becoming an independent investigator requires that fellows demonstrate an ability to design, conduct, and evaluate their own research projects. Post-doctoral fellows are increasingly competing for limited funding. In this environment, how does one become the ideal candidate, and more importantly, find resources to aid in one’s success?
The ASH Trainee Council provides critical resources for trainees to develop independent research careers. To that end, we compiled a database of grant opportunities in the Grants Clearinghouse for those wishing to obtain individual funding. The Grants Clearinghouse provides a list of opportunities, including both federal and private/foundation grants, geared toward post-docs, medical fellows, and young investigators. It will soon list pre-doctoral and medical student funding opportunities as well as, for those wishing to pursue a career in hematology or related fields. Locate links to grant websites, eligibility criteria, budgets and stipend amounts, duration, and due dates. The clearinghouse may be found on the Fellows page of the ASH website. Please remember that not getting a grant doesn’t mean you have failed. Instead, consider the crucial experience you’ve gained that will carry you into your future career as a principal investigator. Lastly, if you have ideas on how ASH can best support you, please let us know.