Sidebar: Some Organizations and Programs That Support New Investigators

When it comes to funding, young researchers with minimal track records face a catch-22: They have problems getting funded without preliminary data on which to base their research, yet they lack the money to do that preliminary work. Several programs aim to remedy the situation by providing grants to help new investigators get started.

The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, as well as several private foundations, offer early-career awards, special grants, and training programs to help new scientists get an extra edge. Many of these awards not only fund research, but also provide money for equipment and both graduate and undergraduate student support. Program officers say that for many scientists, such career-starters are vital for building experience and successfully competing for research grants. But award winners and program officials note that while the awards are invaluable to...

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