Research-specialist awards aim to establish non-faculty academic careers.
Non-faculty researchers in university labs and core facilities will soon be able to apply for grants from the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. The 'research specialist' award addresses the unsustainable growth in the number of postdoctoral positions and reflects an effort to both develop new career paths and provide stability for biomedical labs, says Dinah Singer, director of the institute's division of cancer biology. Lab-research scientists, facility managers and data scientists can work with a sponsoring principal investigator to apply for renewable grants that will cover specialists' salaries and travel. The pilot programme would award 50–60 five-year grants, totalling US$5 million in the first year.