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Fight for Independence

07/03/2013
Andrew S. Wiecek

While the United States declared its independence from the British Empire in 1776, the fight continues for newly minted postocs. So how the NIH has tried to help the cause? Find out...


Forty-two. That's the jersey number that Jackie Robinson wore as he became the first African American baseball player in Major League Baseball. Robinson's talent challenged the segregation in sports as well as American culture at the time. This great player made the MLB question whether it's policies actually were hindering its ability to present the best game possible.

Nearly a decade ago, the NIH said that there were talented young investigators who were having difficulties becoming independence investigators in their system. Source: NIH




Forty-two also happens to be the current average age of investigators when they first received a R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nearly a decade ago, the NIH said that there were talented young investigators who were having difficulties becoming independent investigators in their system, and, as a result, the institute might not actually be funding the best science possible.

One way that the agency attempted to combat this problem was with new initiatives like the Pathway to Independence award program, designed to reduce the average age of first-time R01 recipients.

Today we present some of our past coverage of this grant program, and tomorrow we will publish a news article on the current state of the program, noting its successes and failures at leading the next generation of researchers to their independence.

Pathway to Independence

Traveling the Pathway to Independence

Erin Podolak

In 2010, BioTechniques spoke with recipients of NIH’s Pathway to Independence grant to find out how the funding mechanism has impacted their early careers as they geared up to their first R01 grant applications. Read more...

Pathway to Independence

Pathway to Independence Profile: Erin E. Carlson, Chemical Biologist

Ansa Varughese

In 2011, we spoke with the Indiana University assistant professor and Pathway to Independence award recipient who discussed her 2011 NIH New Innovator Award project to identify natural antibacterial agents for drug development. Read more...

Pathway to Independence

How Will the NIH Save Its Workforce?

Melissa Lee Phillips

In 2012, the NIH announced how it plans to save the biomedical research workforce. Will it work? Find out...

Keywords:  independence