Tips for junior investigators

Dec 10, 2014, 5:00am

This is a challenging time for researchers-especially younger, less established investigators, one expert says. He offers several tips to fellow junior investigators.

This is a challenging time for researchers-especially younger, less established investigators, says Adam Friedman, M.D., assistant professor of medicine (dermatology)/physiology and biophysics and director of dermatologic research at Montefiore - Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. Money is short, so researchers have to work extra hard to secure funding.

He offers these tips to fellow junior investigators:

  • The theme in federal funding, foundational funding and industry funding is there has to be a clinical endpoint or translatability to the work. That’s not always the case, but often it is.

  • Especially with NIH funding, a lot of it is who you know. Put the time in on committees, meeting people and submitting multiple grants.

  • Consider nontraditional routes. There are ways to find synergy between your interests and those of industry. The turnaround with and accessibility to industry partners is often faster and easier then when dealing with federal sources.

  • There are plenty of foundations looking to support junior faculty. “I would not be where I am today without the Dermatology Foundation – let them be there for you,” he says.

  • Finally, don’t give up.

“It’s not easy, but it’s worth it because one small finding can have a ripple effect. And one day that single data point could change the lives of millions of people,” he says.

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