By Craig Svensson
Academic researchers have long struggled to acquire enough cash to support pursuit of all their ideas. In fact, federal funding for biomedical research has declined by more than 20 percent in the past decade, and industrial support is undergoing a similar downward trajectory. There simply are not enough dollars available to support all, or even most, of the meritorious proposals submitted to various federal agencies by pharmaceutical scientists.
There are two programs at the upcoming AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition specifically designed for academic scientists pursuing extramural funding. The first program is NIH Programs and Funding Opportunity for Pharmaceutical Scientists. With an annual budget approaching $30 billion, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the major funder of biomedical research. This professional development program will include NIH program directors from a number of institutes who will discuss current and future opportunities for research funding relevant to pharmaceutical scientists. Hearing the perspective of key decision-makers at the NIH will help scientists better position their research programs in line with strategic initiatives at the various institutes of the NIH.
The second professional development session is Pharmaceutical Industry-Academic Research Support and Collaborations. The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly looking to partner with academic researchers to enhance drug discovery and development. In this interactive program, industrial leaders from a number of different companies will discuss opportunities for research funding and collaboration, the current priorities and interest of their company, and the mechanisms of applying for and obtaining funding for fellowships and research projects. These discussions are intended to help identify targeted areas for collaborative research and training, as well as appropriate avenues for seeking funding from industrial partners.
We hope that these programs will provide valuable insight and better equip our members in their pursuit of cash to support their research.