The United States National Institutes of Health has launched a new Medical Research Scholars program that will begin approximately one year from now. The program will represent a collaborative effort between the NIH, the Foundation for NIH, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Pfizer Inc. Applications will initially be accepted between October 1, 2011 and mid-January 2012. The full announcement can be viewed here.
The intent of the program is to accept up to 70 students (40 for the first year) to work with intramural NIH investigators in basic, clinical, and translational research at the NIH Clinical Center. Previous collaborations between NIH and HHMI were traditionally focused solely on basic research. This program represents a shift, or an evolution, in the focus of that relationship between NIH and HHMI towards translational research.
This program also includes funding from an industry participant, Pfizer. This type of program, which is both focused, to a degree, on translational research, and includes some type of participation by industry partners, is representative of a trend in the research funding world towards translational or commercially viable work that has a market driven or industry driven intent.
Opinions aside, this trend is an important one, and InfoEd intends on responding. As always, SPIN will continue to cover its traditional sponsors, but will again be taking on an expansion effort in order to ensure we provide the most comprehensive source of funding opportunity information. There will be efforts focused solely on ensuring SPIN contains up to date information regarding opportunities funded directly from biomedical and pharmaceutical industry firms.
These efforts will ensure that InfoEd will offer access to opportunities that have been cornerstones of research funding as well as emerging opportunities, for all types of applicants.