Faculty Scholar Award

Attracting, developing, and retaining the best faculty to create advances in medicine is critical to all of our futures. Junior faculty often face heavy family responsibilities with young children, ill or aging parents, and their academic contributions may be diminished in the face of these additional pressing needs. The goal of the Faculty Scholar Award was to support junior faculty to continue research and scholarly activities while also managing a finite period of increased need for family care.

 The Award

The Faculty Scholar Award provided up to $30,000 in funding that could be used to support personnel, services, supplies, or ‘buy out’ of clinical time to provide time for academic and scholarly work. Awards were granted through a competitive application process that required submission of a project plan, personal statement, and letters of support from the applicant’s chair or chief, and from a mentor with expertise in the area of the proposed project.

Applications were reviewed by a senior faculty committee according to specific criteria that included the applicant’s needs, the quality of their academic achievements and potential for future productivity, particularly external funding, and the strength of support from their chair or chief and their mentor. Between 2011–16, Awards were granted to 22 faculty members (19 women, 3 men) from both basic and clinical departments.

Outcomes

The Faculty Scholar Awards have demonstrated success in helping junior faculty continue their research and make scientific advances. Since receiving Awards,

  • awardees have obtained over $15M in external funding, a 23-fold return on investment
  • 8 faculty members (of 11 eligible) have been promoted to Associate Professor and two have been awarded Tenure
  • 3 awardees have been appointed as Division Chiefs
  • 20 awardees are currently UMMS faculty

Acknowledgements

The Faculty Scholar Award was developed by the Women’s Faculty Committee and the Women’s Leadership Work Group under the oversight of the Office of Faculty Affairs. Funding for the Award was provided by UMMS, the UMass Memorial Health Care and the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS). These funds have enabled faculty on less traditional career paths to continue or initiate research as they work towards becoming independent scientists. The Award has been an important element of our efforts to increase the diversity of faculty.

Scholarship and Reports