Kick Start Your Funding: Looking Beyond NIH and NSF

Funding for scientific research is becoming progressively harder to obtain and competition continues to grow. Despite the increased challenge to gain federal funding (i.e. NIH), many universities and other institutions require their applicants to have funding when applying for faculty positions, regardless of their career stage. As such, an enormous amount of pressure is placed on trainees to obtain funding prior to looking for a position as an independent scientist. In addition, early career investigators who have already transitioned to independent positions also experience similar pressures and difficulties obtaining funding. In recognition of the funding crisis as well as the increasingly competitive job market for trainees and early career investigators, the goal of this symposium is to provide information on funding sources outside of the NIH and NSF. We have four speakers with each representing less tradition funding mechanisms including 1) industry, 2) private foundations, 3) crowd-funding, and 4) military funding. Each speaker identifies how to find funding within their genre, provide information and tips for writing successful grant proposals, and compare and contrast their organization with how other funding mechanisms (i.e. NIH) work. The speakers have either successfully obtained funding or are representatives from companies or private foundations that have grant programs or regularly fund product research. Information is also available on crowd funding websites.


  • Seeking funding outside the norm: unique opportunities within military research programs
    Lisa Leon, Ph.D.US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
  • Successfully securing funding and collaborating with industry
    Eugene W. Shek, Ph.D.Lilly China Research and Development Co., Ltd.
  • Cancer funding from a private foundation
    Charles Saxe, Ph.D.The American Cancer Society
  • Crowd funding your science
    Melissa Wilson Sayres, Ph.D.Arizona State University

 You can find links to all presentations here:

Melinda Engevik, PhD is an instructor at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. Her research focuses on the interaction between intestinal microbiota and the host epithelium.

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