Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: 2023 Pew Biomedical Scholars Program

Applications due March 3

These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should visit the OOR funding opportunity site.


Vanderbilt University may nominate one candidate for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ 2023 Pew Biomedical Scholars Award. The award supports assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to human health. The award provides $300,000 in flexible support—$75,000 per year for a four-year period. Not more than 8 percent of the total award may be allocated for overhead costs.

Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and pioneering approaches. Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles but brings in concepts and theories from more diverse fields are encouraged to apply. Ideas with the potential to produce an unusually high impact are encouraged. Projects that are solely clinical research are not within the scope of Pew-funded research

Selection of candidates will be based on a detailed description of the work that the applicant proposes to undertake, evaluations of the candidate’s performance, and notable past accomplishments, including honors, awards and publications. The committee gives considerable weight to both the project proposal and the researcher, including evidence that the candidate is a successful independent investigator and has the skill set needed to carry out their high-impact proposal.

Pew recognizes the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in scientific progress and innovation and seeks applicants from all backgrounds. Pew encourages applications from candidates who are diverse in terms of gender, minority status and biomedical research field.

For examples of Pew Scholar projects, a directory of past scholars can be found here, including previous Vanderbilt awardees (John Karijolich, ’18; Lauren Parker Jackson, ’16; Ethan Lee, ’04; and David Cortez, ’03).

This program is distinct from the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program, but candidates may apply to both internal competitions.


  • Must have a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine or a related field.
  • As of Sept. 8, 2022, 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. Associate professors are not eligible.)
  • Must not have been appointed as an assistant professor at any institution prior to June 13, 2018, 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 indicate this in their internal application.
    • 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
  • It is expected that Pew scholars will spend at least 80 percent of their time in work or activities related to the accomplishment of their overall research goals (which are not restricted to the specific aims proposed for this award).
  • The selected candidate may not be nominated more than two times in total, regardless of institution.
  • Funding from the NIH, other government sources, and project grants from nonprofit associations do not pose a conflict with the Pew Scholars Program.
  • Projects that are solely clinical research are not within the scope of Pew-funded research.
  • Ideas with the potential to produce an unusually high impact are encouraged.

Following the internal review, the nominee’s name will be submitted to the Pew Charitable Trusts by May 18, 2022, and the complete application will be due Sept. 8, 2022.

See the program details for more information.

Internal application instructions

Interested faculty should visit to apply for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity. The deadline for the internal competition is March 3, 2022.

Any questions about this opportunity may be directed to