Kick Start your Funding

2017 Trainee Symposium
"Kick Start Your funding: Looking Beyond NIH and NSF "
(Sponsored by the Trainee Advisory Committee)


Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017  

Time: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Room W192C



Jennifer Steiner, Ph.D., Penn State College of Medicine

Kristi Streeter, Ph.D., University of Florida

Funding for scientific research is becoming progressively harder to obtain and competition continues to grow. Despite the increased challenge to gain federal funding (i.e. NIH), many universities and other institutions require their applicants to have funding when applying for faculty positions, regardless of their career stage. As such, an enormous amount of pressure is placed on trainees to obtain funding prior to looking for a position as an independent scientist. In addition, early career investigators who have already transitioned to independent positions also experience similar pressures and difficulties obtaining funding. In recognition of the funding crisis as well as the increasingly competitive job market for trainees and early career investigators, the goal of this symposium is to provide information on funding sources outside of the NIH and NSF. We will have four speakers with each representing less tradition funding mechanisms including 1) industry, 2) private foundations, 3) crowd-funding, and 4) military funding. Each speaker will identify how to find funding within their genre, provide information and tips for writing successful grant proposals, and compare and contrast their organization with how other funding mechanisms (i.e. NIH) work. To provide such information we have invited speakers who have successfully obtained funding (Dr. Leon, military) as well as representatives from companies or private foundations that either have grant programs or regularly fund product research. We will also have a representative to discuss fund raising opportunities via crowd funding websites. This symposium will be conducted in the typical format of 25 min presentations followed by 5 minutes of questions with additional interactions to be encouraged following all 4 speakers presentations.




  • Seeking funding outside the norm: unique opportunities within military research programs
    Lisa Leon, Ph.D., US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
  • Successfully securing funding and collaborating with industry
    Eugene W. Shek, Ph.D., Lilly China Research and Development Co., Ltd.
  • Cancer funding from a private foundation
    Charles Saxe, Ph.D., The American Cancer Society
  • Crowd funding your science
    Melissa Wilson Sayres, Ph.D., Arizona State University