More than $37 million to support scientists

at the beginning of their careers
29 mar 2016

The Gulbenkian Foundation for the first time joins up with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to develop scientific talents on a global scale

An international program of research grants supporting 50 scientists of excellence has been launched by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the end of March with the objective of helping to develop scientific talents on a global scale. “We are highly satisfied that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation are joining us in this initiative”, affirmed HHMI President, Robert Tjian. “Each one of these organisations shares the commitment to build up the international scientific capacity, identifying and supporting scientists of excellence embarking on their careers and displaying the potential to become scientific leaders.”

Involving a total amount of $37.4 million, each one of the 50 scientists selected by this program receives a five-year grant of $650,000. Applications are open to scientists that have undertaken educational programs in the United States or in the United Kingdom for at least one year. Furthermore, scientists are only eligible when having spent less than seven years in their laboratories, in countries that are not members of the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) or the subject of sanctions by the United States. Portugal thus proves eligible for this tender.

In launching this international program, the HHMI and its philanthropic partners, including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, are seeking top scientists at the beginning of their careers in various fields of biomedical research and recognising how institutional support constitutes a fundamental factor for these scientists to be able to put together independent research programs.

“One of our statutory objectives incorporates science and the dissemination of scientific knowledge. In part, we obtain this objective through contributing towards the development of young, promising scientists with extraordinary potential to improve the condition of humanity through discoveries in the basic sciences and privileging healthcare and quality of life”, said José Neves Adelino, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Director who also presides over the Management Commission of the Gulbenkian Science Institute.

With its headquarters in the city of Chevy Chase, Maryland, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is the largest private financier of biomedical research in the United States. In 2012, the Institute selected a first group of 28 scientists at the beginning of their careers, from 12 different countries and chosen from among 760 candidates. This group contains various researchers working in Portugal including two scientists at the Gulbenkian Science Institute: Karina B. Xavier and Miguel Godinho Ferreira. The countries with the largest number of researchers selected in 2012 were China (7), Portugal (5) and Spain (5) joined by scientists based in nine other countries: South Africa (2), Italy (2), Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, India, Poland and South Korea.

Interested researchers may submit their applications through to 30th June via the HHMI website. The finalists will be announced in April 2017.




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