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PSOM Limited Application - Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

To:       School of Medicine Faculty

From:  Katherine L. Nathanson, MD and Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD 

             Co-Chairs, PSOM Limited Applications Selection Committee

Re:       Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences


Date:   March 31, 2022


The University has been invited to nominate one candidate for the 2023 Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) will oversee the final review and selection of the candidate; each school within the University may put forth one nominee.



The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health in the areas of basic, translational, and applied biomedical research; clinical trials are not funded.  The Program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.


Candidate eligibility requirements:

  • Must hold a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine, or a related field.
  • As of Sept. 8, 2022, hold a full-time appointment at the rank of assistant professor.  For purposes of Penn faculty, this includes appointments on the tenure track and clinician-educator track, as the foundation will not consider research-track or adjunct faculty.
  • 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.
    • 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
  • Candidates may be nominated by their institution two times in total.
  • If an applicant’s university has more than one eligible nominating institution or campus, that applicant may only apply from one institution; they may not reapply in a subsequent year from a different one.  Faculty based at CHOP must apply through the hospital and may not apply through both CHOP and PSOM.
  • May not be nominated for the Pew Scholars Program and the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research in the same year.
  • Funding from the NIH, other government sources, and project grants from non-profit associations do not pose a conflict with the Pew Scholars Program.


Review Criteria:

  • According to the Pew call, candidates should demonstrate outstanding promise as contributors in science relevant to human health in the areas of basic, translational, and applied biomedical research; clinical trials are not funded.
  • Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and pioneering approaches to basic, translational, and applied biomedical research.
  • Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles, but who bring in concepts and theories from more diverse fields, are encouraged to apply. 
  • Ideas with the potential to produce an unusually high impact are encouraged. 
  • Selection of the successful 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.
  • In evaluating the candidates, the National Advisory Committee gives considerable weight to evidence that the candidate is a successful independent investigator and has published significant work."


Award Amount:

  • $75,000/year for 4 years
  • Not more than $12,500 of the annual award may be used for the scholar's salary (including benefits)
  • It is expected that Pew scholars will spend at least 80 percent of their time in work related to the accomplishment of their overall research goals. However, Pew provides flexible support to the overall research aims of the scholar and does not monitor or restrict percentage of effort or time of Pew scholars.


PSOM Review Process:

Candidates must submit the following in the order below:

  • Cover Page: Candidate name, academic rank, school, department, month and year of appointment to the faculty, email address and phone number, and title of proposal
  • Letter of nomination from department chair or division chief
  • Research proposal, no longer than 2 pages (references not included in the 2 page limit)
    • Please be mindful of the review criteria which state: Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and pioneering approaches to basic, translational, and applied biomedical research. Also, include the following: Specific aims, Background and significance, preliminary data, if available and research designs and methods.
  • A description up to one page of the nominee’s most significant research contribution to date.
  • CV including current and pending funding with annual award amounts.


Materials must be submitted in single pdf file in the following order: Cover page, letter of nomination, research proposal, CV.


Subject line should read: Pew Scholar_ Applicant’s surname_Applicant's first name. For example: PewScholar_Doe_Jane


Materials must be submitted to Kaitlyn Hagarty at by 9:00 AM on Monday, April 18th.  If you have any questions please contact Kaitlyn Hagarty at


Below is a link to Penn’s Pew Scholars:

Please send any questions to