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By Marilyn Morris

Marilyn MorrisAs stated by NIH Director Francis Collins in a recent commentary, “We have a serious risk of losing the most important resource that we have, which is this brain trust, the talent and the creative energies of this generation of scientists.” It is not only this generation of scientists but the future generation of scientists that are at risk due to lack of funding and resources to support graduate education and research.

As I previously wrote in a column for Pharmaceutical Technology, “It is important to recognize that life-saving medicines are developed from well-trained scientists who are the product of graduate programs and mentors involved in cutting-edge research.” Lack of funding will lead to a delay in medical progress and a risk to the scientific workforce.

One of the funding priorities of the new AAPS Foundation is to support our graduate students and new scientists. This has become a reality in 2015, with the recent announcement of two new funding opportunities. First, there are five fellowships of $10,000 each, available for graduate students performing research in the pharmaceutical sciences in the United States or internationally. The fellowships are not restricted to U.S. citizens, nor to Schools of Pharmacy, and can be renewed for a second year. Coming to a U.S. graduate school as an international student, I know first-hand that many graduate student fellowships are restricted to U.S. citizens; we felt it was important to eliminate this restriction to support our many talented international graduate students.

The second opportunity is for new investigators, with a grant for $40,000 for research support for tenure or non-tenure track faculty members who have been in their position for three years or fewer. Grant support for new faculty members is crucial to assist them in obtaining preliminary results supporting a future successful NIH, NSF or Foundation grant application. The goal of the AAPS Foundation is to increase the number of these awards for 2016 and additional years.

For AAPS Foundation donors—kudos! We are paying it forward.

For graduate students and new investigators—Apply! For more information, visit the Grants & Fellowships webpage.

Marilyn Morris, Ph.D., is the 2014 AAPS past president.