Schwartz research funding applications close Nov. 11

Women and underrepresented faculty members engaging in life science scholarship have until Nov. 11 to apply for a grant from the Schwartz Research Fund for Women and Other Underrepresented Faculty in the Life Sciences.

Two grants, of up to $25,000 apiece, will be awarded early next year to faculty members from the Ithaca, Geneva or Cornell Tech campuses.

One award goes to an assistant professor, to provide seed money for pilot experiments expected to generate novel preliminary data that could be the basis for a subsequent award from a major funder, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health.

The second award goes to an associate professor, to support investigations likely to open a significant new line of scientific inquiry and may also be used for bridge funding, increasing the likelihood that additional funding will be received from a major donor.

Offered through the Provost’s Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, the program has been endowed since 2016 by Joan Poyner Schwartz ’65 and Ronald H. Schwartz ’65.

“The Schwartzes are continuing their commitment to excellence in the life sciences and to providing opportunities for those underrepresented in these fields by supporting innovative research in the life sciences,” said Yael Levitte, associate vice provost in the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.

Previous recipients were able to leverage the results they obtained from Schwartz-funded investigations to garner subsequent grants. For example, Jeongmin Song, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, used a 2018 Schwartz award to obtain preliminary data fueling an R01 grant from the NIH aimed at defining the mechanism establishing how typhoid fever-causing salmonella establishes persistent infection.

“Using these preliminary data, we submitted and received a $2.9 million R01 grant. My lab is now supported by three R01 grants,” she said.

Schwartz awards may be used on small-equipment purchases, travel and up to 40% of the salary for students and postdoctoral associates involved in the research.

For more information, visit the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity’s website or email

Lori Sonken is the communication manager for the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity.

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Rebecca Valli