In order to advance the frontiers of research in science, the Simons Foundation recognizes the need for a diversity of ideas and perspectives contributing to the scientific enterprise. To that end, the foundation supports talented early-career scientists from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds as they transition from mentored training to independent research positions. The Simons Foundation Independence Awards provide talented early-career scientists with up to two years of postdoctoral support, mentorship, community and professional development activities, and three years of grant funding at the start of their professorships. The awards are offered through the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), the Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain (SCPAB) and the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB).
On November 2, 2023, Simons Foundation staff held an online informational session describing the SFARI Bridge to Independence (BTI), the SCPAB Transition to Independence (TTI) and the SCGB Transition to Independence (TTI) requests for applications (RFAs). This session provided a brief overview of the awards, including each award’s distinct scientific mission. The session ended with three 20-minute breakout room conversations between program scientific staff and a fellow from each program. The scientific staff and fellows also addressed audience questions. Interested applicants are advised to review each of the RFAs, watch the videos provided here, and contact the respective program teams with questions. Applications are due January 10, 2024.
Current BTI fellow Anila D’Mello, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and O’Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern, joined Kelsey Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Autism & Neuroscience division at the Simons Foundation, and Jennifer Foss-Feig, Ph.D., SFARI senior scientist, to answer audience questions about the SFARI BTI program.
Current SCPAB TTI Frankie Heyward, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Neuroscience, housed in the Center for Hypothalamic Research at UT Southwestern, shared his experience in the fellowship with Krithika Venkataraman, Ph.D., SCPAB scientist, and Jacob Sellman, Project Coordinator.
The SCGB TTI conversation featured current fellow Rebecca Jordan, Ph.D., Principal Investigator at the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain, with Alyssa Picchini Schaffer, Ph.D., Vice President & Senior Scientist, Neuroscience Collaborations at the Simons Foundation, and Sachin Ranade, Ph.D., SCGB scientist. Please note that this will be the last RFA for the SCGB TTI program.