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Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences

General Information

Program Description

The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The Program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in the first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.


Schools may submit one (1) application for Penn’s internal competition.


  • Candidate must have been awarded a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine or a related field, including engineering or the physical sciences. 
  • As of September 7, 2023, nominees must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor. (Appointments such as Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Research Track, Visiting Professor or Instructor are not eligible.) 
  • Must not have been appointed as an assistant professor at any institution prior to June 12, 2019, whether or not such an appointment was on a tenure track. Time spent in clinical internships, residencies, in work toward board certification, or on parental leave does not count as part of this four-year limit. Candidates who took parental leave should contact Pew’s program office to ensure that application reviewers are aware of their circumstances. 
  • Please note that eligibility criteria have been temporarily expanded to account for COVID-related lab shutdowns and research disruptions. Please direct any questions to the program office at
  • Candidates may be nominated by their institution two times in total. 
  • If an applicant’s university has more than one eligible nominating institution or campus, that applicant may only apply from one institution; they may not reapply in a subsequent year from a different one. Faculty based at CHOP must apply through the hospital. 
  • May not be nominated for the Pew Scholars Program and the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research in the same year. 
  • Funding from the NIH, other government sources, and project grants from non-profit associations do not pose a conflict with the Pew Scholars Program.
    • If you have questions concerning eligibility, please contact Kara Coleman, project director, Pew Biomedical Programs at 215-575-4925 in advance of applying.
  • For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see Penn’s PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible. 

Award Information

  • A research award of $75,000/year for 4 years ($300,000 total).
    • Grant agreements will be issued in August of the award year. The awarded funds may be used at the discretion of the Pew scholar, for personnel, equipment, supplies, or travel directly related to the scholar’s research and to best advance his or her research and career. 
    • No more than $12,500 of the annual award may be used for the scholar’s salary (including benefits). 
    • Not more than 8% ($24,000) of the total award value may be allocated for facilities and administration (F&A) charges or indirect costs (IDCs).
  • Investigator effort: It is expected that Pew scholars will spend at least 80% of their time in work related to the accomplishment of their overall research goals. However, Pew provides flexible support to the overall research aims of the scholar and does not monitor or restrict the percentage of effort or time of Pew scholars.

Review Process

Selection Criteria

The University has been invited to nominate 1 faculty member. A committee, established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), will determine the final nominees to represent the University. 

OVPR Internal Review Process

Applications must include the following:

  1. Cover Page which includes:
    1. Proposal Title
    2. Candidate’s name, academic rank, department, email address, phone number and campus address.   
  2. Letter of Nomination (maximum 1 page)
  3. Research Proposal (maximum 2 pages) (references not included in the 2-page limit)
  4. A CV (Using NIH format) (maximum 3 pages), which includes educational background, professional appointments, awards and honors. Include all current research support (start-up and external) and pending support, including dollar amounts and start/end dates.
  5. All materials must be submitted in a single pdf document in the above order to 
  6. Subject line of the email should be, Pew_SCHOLAR_applicant LAST name_ applicant FIRST name.