University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center: #4 (US)
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center rocketed from 30th place in 2007 to fourth this year on our list of the best US places to work in academia, perhaps in part for its focus on new investigators.
Although opportunities for government funding have been slim in the last year, the university has made a variety of small state-run research grants available to researchers just starting out. The university gives their scientists a leg-up in the competition for grant money by organizing occasional application preparation workshops and sending weekly emails to all lab directors about potential new grant opportunities, says Paul DeAngelis, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.
One of the cushier grant opportunities comes through the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science & Technology, a state development agency, which grants funds for basic science research up to $45,000 per year for 3 years and for applied science research up to $150,000 per year for 2 years. The University of Oklahoma Medical Alumni Foundation also gives small grants of approximately $20,000 each year for new investigators or researchers branching out into novel directions.
Despite the nation’s financial struggles, Oklahoma also continues to expand its research facilities, offering researchers the promise of new space and capabilities. Through smart financial planning, generous private funding, hospital revenue and the State’s tobacco tax, the Health Sciences Center is now constructing a 19,500-square-meter, $120 million Cancer Institute building, scheduled to open in 2010.