Northwestern grants equity to biomedical research

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has been granted a grant from the Walder Foundation via the COVID-19 Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists (FRCS) competition, which is designed to support the policies and practices of U.S. medical schools to increase research productivity and retain early-career clinician investigators who are facing challenges in family caregiving because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our research endeavor that resulted in a nearly complete end to research on campus and shift of our focus to clinical research. This will affect the careers of our medical school faculty, specifically early career faculty seeking to create a research program for a long time to come. The Walder Foundation supports this funding opportunity. It will provide the opportunity to help early career clinicians who have been affected by the pandemic because of the family caregiving obligations.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation made the $550,000 grant possible. This is part of $12.1 million awarded to 22 medical schools in 17 states. At Feinberg the grant will award a one-time supplement grant of $30,000 to $50,000 to 12 to 17 early-career investigators who have suffered delays in their research due to family caregivers during the pandemic. In addition, more faculty will receive additional outreach to help with support abilities and mentorship to ensure the success of young researchers.

The FRCS is the largest national financing cooperative that promotes equality in biomedical sciences. The grants will be distributed nationwide to at least 250 biomedical faculty. They will assist faculty in times of crisis by bringing in statisticians researchers, technicians, and statisticians among other purposes.

As documented in a new report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the burden of family caregivers, which is often carried in a greater proportion by women and those of color, and faculty in the sciences being particularly affected which has put decades of progress in the representation of women in these fields at risk.

According to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the 22 medical schools including Feinberg chosen for FRCS support all feature an impressive body of research and a determined effort to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for students and faculty, and a commitment to the advancement of these efforts.

COVID-19 brought people face-to-face or Zoom to Zoom, with the issues that caregivers face. This is a crisis for biomedical science, but it can also be an opportunity. These medical schools are at the forefront of making the most of the moment to challenge the status quo and to embrace innovative approaches that will assure an inclusive and equitable future for biomedical science.”

Sam Gill, CEO and President of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

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Gemma Wilson

Gemma is a journalism graduate with keen interest in covering business news – specifically startups. She has as a keen eye for technologies and has predicted quite a few successful startups over the last couple of years.

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