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Grants to USA and Canada Minority Postdoctoral Fellows
for Professional Development in Medical Research

Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program (PDEP)

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)

Deadline Date:

01/14/22 4:00 PM ET


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Grants of $60,000 to USA and Canada minority postdoctoral fellows involved in biomedical and medical research for professional development and career enhancement activities. The purpose of the program is to support the postdoctoral experience and training of disadvantaged minority junior scientists.

Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP) provides funding over three years to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution in the United States or Canada whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research.

Funds will be provided to support the following enrichment activities:

1. Activities for the postdoctoral fellow to enhance research productivity, e.g. workshops, courses, travel, collaborations, and training in new techniques.

2. Activities for the postdoctoral mentor to increase the mentoring of PDEP fellows in university-based programs:

  • Career guidance of the underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellow
  • Research guidance that increases the productivity of the PDEP fellow
  • Attendance at one annual meeting of mentors hosted by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)

3. Participation in a peer network system of underrepresented minority postdoctoral scholars.

Awards will be granted for enrichment activities. This grant is meant to supplement the training of postdocs whose research activities are already supported. It is not a research grant.

A qualified mentor is required for the PDEP. (This program is designed to encourage innovative scientists with broad ranging backgrounds in the biomedical and medical sciences and with experiences in working with postdoctoral fellows to consider serving as mentors.) 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182682

Number of Grants:

Generally, up to 15 Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program (PDEP) awards will be made annually. This year, up to 25 awards will be granted for enrichment activities annually.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The program provides a total of $60,000 over three years as follows:
- Year one: $20,000 will be granted to support enrichment activities of the postdoctoral fellow ($10,000 for research supplies or equipment uniquely required to enhance the postdoctoral fellow’s research and $10,000 for education and training, including for mentors in the research lab where the postdoctoral fellow is assigned.)
- Year two: $20,000 (same allocation as year one)
- Year three: $20,000 will be granted to help the postdoctoral fellow advance research efforts towards the professoriate. The funds must be used to develop independent, innovative areas of research.

Term of Contract:

Postdoctoral Enrichment Program (PDEP) provides funding over three years:
- Award start date September 1, 2022
- Award end date August 31, 2025

Funding for the postdoc must have been secured and the position must begin on or before the award commencement date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Individual underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows conducting biomedical or medical research are eligible to apply. The program targets postdoctoral fellows with Ph.D.s in the biomedical or medical sciences. Applicants with M.D. degrees who have secured a postdoctoral research appointment beyond clinical fellowship will be considered for this program.

The PDEP award supports the development of a PDEP fellow at a degree-granting institution. Applicants at affiliated graduate and medical schools, hospitals and research institutions in the United States or Canada must apply through the degree-granting institution.

Applicants for the Postdoctoral Enrichment Award:
- Must have no more than 36 months of postdoctoral research experience (in a research laboratory) at the time of application and not be more than 5 years from his/her Ph.D.
- Must be nominated by a qualified mentor at the degree-granting institution where the applicant will conduct the postdoctoral/fellowship training. Applications must be approved by an official responsible for sponsored programs (generally from the grants office, office of research, or office of sponsored programs) at the degree-granting institution
- Must have secured a postdoctoral position with funding (including support by the mentor’s existing research grants) at a degree-granting institution in the United States or Canada and must begin the postdoctoral position on or by the designated award commencement date
- Must be underrepresented minorities (i.e. American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander)
- Must be citizens of the United States or Canada (at the time of application)
- Must devote at least 75% of time to research

DDS, DVM, and PharmD candidates may be eligible, but should contact BWF prior to applying.

A qualified mentor is required for the PDEP award. Mentors are expected to provide a letter of nomination with the proposal and the mentor’s commitment to the applicant’s career is important. Mentors of funded PDEP awardees may be requested to attend a mentoring workshop. For more information, see:

Applications must be approved by an official responsible for sponsored programs (generally from the grants office, office of research, or office of sponsored programs) at the degree-granting institution.

Proposals in health services research or involving large-scale clinical trials are ineligible.

This award cannot be used to provide the postdoctoral fellow’s salary or to purchase reagents or equipment commonly found in the mentor’s laboratory, nor may it be used for indirect costs..

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- Grant application portal available: October 15, 2021
- Application deadline: Jan 12, 2022 by 4:00pm ET
- Notice of award: By end of June 2022
- Award start date: September 1, 2022
- Award end date: August 31, 2025

Awards are made to the degree-granting institutions on behalf of the award recipients.

A qualified mentor is required for this program. The mentor must submit a mentor letter in support of the applicant's application for a grant. An application cannot be submitted until the mentor letter has been uploaded and attached to the application.

BWF acknowledges that postdoctoral fellows may move to new institutions. Awards may not be transferred for another postdoctoral position. Award recipients who change institutions for another postdoctoral position may take with them any equipment or supplies purchased under the award.

Awardees should follow their institutions’ patent, copyright, and intellectual property policies regarding discoveries that result from research conducted under these awards.

Award recipients may obtain funds from other sources for research in the same or similar areas as that conducted under these grants, so long as there is no conflict with meeting the terms of BWF's award.

Terms of Grant/Use of Funds:

Forms and Resources:

Application Instructions to Request Mentor Letter:

Mentor Instructions to Upload Letter:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

For questions, contact:

Alfred Mays, Senior Program Officer

Tiffanie Taylor, Senior Program Associate

Burroughs Wellcome Fund
21 T. W. Alexander Drive
PO Box 13901
Research Triangle Park
NC 27709-3901
(919) 991-5100

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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