Postdoc to Academic Transition Awards
I'd like to address a couple comments swirling around one of my last posts.
First Alexis posted:
In 2004, the company also established a US national fellowship program which each year awards five post-doctoral female researchers with fellowship grants of $40,000. To date, this program has awarded research grants of $500,000.
Learn more about the international or national fellowships or laureate awards.
Then Janus Prof Answered:
I was interested in doing the LOreal fellowhsip and was very angry that I did not qualify. For starters, you had to already be in your post-doc to qualify! Faculty often won't accept you as a post-doc unless you already come pre-funded, which starts a chicken and egg problem for the LOreal fellowship. Dear anonymous, please change these guidelines so that real women can actually apply!!
This actually brings up a deeper questions about these awards. Some of them are so restrictive in who can apply, I wonder if they really help.
L'oreal Award- Have to already be a postdoc. Many students in engineering majors only postdoc for 1-2 years making it difficult to apply. Also, some majors (EE, BME) tend not to postdoc at all (and EE could sorely use some awards to encourage diversity).
Burroughs Wellcome Fund- This award provides two years of funding for a postdoc and three years of funding for a faculty grant. To apply you must be a postdoc for at least 12 months, and you cannot already have a faculty position. Again this prohibits a lot of people from applying for this award. In my field, it is not uncommon to get a faculty position before starting a postdoc and therefore not qualify for this award. Also, a 1-2 year postdoc person would have difficulty applying for this award.
NIH Pathways to Independence Award- This award is almost identical to the Burroughs Wellcome. Same problems.
So do these awards really help? I think they may in natural sciences where longer postdocs are much more traditional, but I don't think they are doing much at all for engineering, which arguably has fewer women than most natural science majors. Maybe we need some engineering specific awards to address these issues.