Need $20 million? Come to Alberta

The Canadian province of Alberta is linkurl:offering up;http://www.ahfmr.ab.ca/press/2007-02-14.php to three "superstar" biomedical researchers $20 million ($17 million US) each, distributed over 10 years, to move to Alberta and conduct research there. Half of the money comes from the funding agency Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), and the province's three universities (University of Calgary, University of Alberta, and University of Lethbridge) will pony up t

By | February 28, 2007

The Canadian province of Alberta is linkurl:offering up;http://www.ahfmr.ab.ca/press/2007-02-14.php to three "superstar" biomedical researchers $20 million ($17 million US) each, distributed over 10 years, to move to Alberta and conduct research there. Half of the money comes from the funding agency Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), and the province's three universities (University of Calgary, University of Alberta, and University of Lethbridge) will pony up the rest. AHFMR describes an eligible scientist as "a mid-career investigator with an outstanding record of accomplishments in health research who is prepared to relocate to Alberta full-time for the duration of the award." The agency plans to announce the first winner in 2008. AHFMR CEO and President Kevin Keough told me on the phone this morning that part of the $20 million could go to things other than direct research, such as salary, equipment or additional personnel. "We are going to be fairly open-minded about what the funding will be used for." He said the $20 million figure is designed to attract "high flying people on an upward trajectory," who will already have a "fair amount" of funding they would have to leave behind. The organization has prioritized projects involving disease prevention, food and health, maternal and child health, and health issues in rural and remote environments. It's been a big month -- recently, tycoon Richard Branson linkurl:offered a $25 million prize;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/51104/ for the best plan to remove greenhouse gases. AHFMR says theirs is the biggest health research award ever offered by a Canadian provincial agency. If you've heard of any other biggies, let us know.

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