(CLOSED) Searle Scholars Program

Sponsor Name: 
Kinship Foundation
Description of the Award: 

The Searle Scholars Program gives grants to support independent research in medicine, chemistry, and the biological sciences for exceptional early-career scientists who have recently begun their appointment at the assistant professor level, and whose appointment is their first tenure-track position. The Searle Scholars Program Scientific Advisory Board is primarily interested in the potential of applicants to make innovative and high-impact contributions to research over an extended period of time.


  • Applicants should have begun their appointment as an independent investigator at the assistant professor level on or after July 1, 2021. The appointment must be their first tenure-track position (or its nearest equivalent) at an invited institution.
  • Candidates are expected to be pursuing independent research careers in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas of chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences.

Foundation Relations Insights

  • Searle prefers projects that are unlikely to be funded by NIH because 1) the investigator is young and the goals are too ambitious, 2) the project is too novel, 3) there is no preliminary data or it is something that has been tried and others have failed at it. Excerpts from NIH reviews or comments from a program manager will strengthen a proposal.
  • The Searle Scholars Program selection committee is primarily interested in the potential of the applicant to make innovative and high-impact contributions to research over an extended period of time. Potential applicants are encouraged to assess the Searle advisory board’s membership and consider projects that border their expertise. https://www.searlescholars.net/advisory-board
  • Proposed work can be unique and not funded elsewhere, or it may be a component of on-going research. Funds awarded by the Program are not intended to replace monies obtained from another funding agency but may be used to supplement on-going research. The program does not ordinarily support purely clinical research but has supported research programs that include both clinical and basic components. Potential applicants who are unsure if their research is appropriate for our Program are encouraged to examine the research interests of present and former Searle Scholars on the program website. https://www.searlescholars.net/scholarships or reach out to the appropriate institutional contacts below.

The Office of Foundation Relations is the designated institutional contact responsible for communicating with the Foundation and is collaborating with Limited Submissions on the internal downselect process. For questions concerning the application process and other foundation-related questions, University Park and other campus applicants should please contact Karen Kemirembe, Assistant Director of Foundation Relations at University Park (kuk195@psu.edu); Penn State Health and College of Medicine applicants should please contact Jess Kiely, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, (jkiely1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu).

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Sep 30, 2022
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: [Last name]-Searle_2023.pdf) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Cover Page
    • Name and departmental affiliation
    • Date and institution of first Tenure track appointment
  • Research Summary (3 page max.) that includes (1) description of current areas of research and (2) defines the specific research (purpose, methodology, and overall goal) the nominee would pursue with this funding award.
    • Explain why your proposal is bold and impactful if successful; novelty and risk-taking are greatly encouraged. Searle (and the internal reviewers) are looking for the best ideas articulated well.
    • Include, if any, excerpts of relevant comments from formal NIH review or informal interactions with NIH program managers
    • Illustrations and figures are allowed.
  • Personal statement (1 page max.) describing why your record makes you competitive for this program. Include a summary of early-career achievements and/or awards, significant research to date. If possible, show how you made an impact in the lab where you worked as a post doc.
  • Nomination letter from your department head or chair.
  • NIH biosketch
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 4:00pm
Melanie McReynolds (ECoS); Johathan Kuo (ECoS)