When Helen Leung was hired as an assistant chemistry professor at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., last year, she was given an unexpected bonus worth $10,000.

Before she even taught a class, the 33-year-old academic was nominated by her department head for a research-support grant from the New York-based Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, which had recently begun a new program for faculty at non-Ph.D.-granting institutions.

"It was all the department chair's idea," recalls Leung, who was more than happy to follow up on the suggestion that she apply for the grant. "I hadn't even heard of it until it was mentioned to me--and I got one. Now, I don't have to worry about my budget."

Indeed, thanks to the Dreyfus Foundation, Leung and nine other first-year chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering professors at non-Ph.D.-granting institutions have been able to plan their research without agonizing over where the...

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