Mentors and funding matter to a successful career in biomedical research


If you ask most people involved in biomedical research what two things are extremely important to career success, they might respond with funding and mentorship. The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) has designed programs to promote successful career development in these two specific areas.

The Accomplishing Career Transitions (ACT) program is a two-year, in-person and online, professional development program that provides mentorship, training and practice through practicums to ensure the necessary skills for transition into faculty or research careers in academia. This program is suitable for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows or junior faculty interested in transitioning into full-time faculty and research careers. The application deadline is March 29, 2019.

Along with the financial backing, guidance from a senior faculty mentor is vital for the professional development of postdocs and junior faculty. Sally Rockney, former deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health, wrote in Nature Medicine, “The mentorship of early-career scientists is necessary to their individual career success and the future of the biomedical research enterprise as a whole.”

FRED Cohort

The Faculty Research and Education Development (FRED) program is a year-long program to promote grant funding success through structured, intentional mentorship. The program pairs early-career scientists with a mentor who has a strong record of grant funding. Through the year, mentees are trained and mentored to prepare and submit a successful research, educational, or programming grant proposal to the NIH, NSF, or private foundations. The deadline to apply for the FRED program is March 29, 2019.

Apply for programs that provide individualized training and gain connections and skills to take your career to the next level. As part of ASCB’s mission to advance early-career scientists, our programs are committed to recruiting postdocs and junior faculty from underrepresented groups, including women and underrepresented minorities.

For more information on other ASCB career enhancement programs, click here.

Reference: Rockey, S. (2014). Mentorship matters for biomedical workforce. Nature Medicine, 20(6), 575, doi:10.1038/nm0614-575.

About the Author:

Ashanti Edwards is ASCB's Director of Professional Development.