Career Development Award Program

The Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation has funds to support the development of talented scientists and to contribute to the establishment of novel areas of research in biological sciences in Italy, while furthering collaborative relationships between Italian scientists and Harvard Medical School (HMS).  

The Career Development Award provides three to five years of support for newly independent scientists at an agreed-upon host institute in Italy. It is intended to foster the development of outstanding scientists and enable them to contribute significantly to their field of research. At the same time, the Foundation hopes the Award will provide an incentive for Italian research institutes to strengthen their departments by providing a sufficiently attractive package to entice applications from the best possible candidates.  Please note:  the application period is March 1 – July 15, 2015; therefore the application period for 2015 is now closed.

Please click here for a full list of previous recipients.

ELIGIBILITY AND GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS

Candidates must:

  • be young, emerging scientists with demonstrated productivity and the ability to function as an independent investigator. Previous experience working with or at HMS is desirable but not an essential requirement.
  • have a minimum of three years of postdoctoral research experience in basic biological sciences (including at least two years abroad) and be no more than 10 years from having received a PhD.  The calculation of the 10 years is made by comparing the date the degree was conferred to the CDA deadline (i.e. July 15, 2015), so this year the degree should have been received no earlier than July 15, 2005.
  • be researchers outside of Italy who wish to become part of the community of researchers in Italy.  Applicants must be working outside of Italy, not only at the time of application, but also when the award is made and accepted.
  • have an agreement for development of a novel research area in a suitable host institution in Italy.   Preferably, this is at an institution other than where the candidate has done doctoral study, post-doctoral research or held a job.
  • not have a pre-existing contract, independent of this grant, with a prospective host institute in Italy.  Applications from candidates who have already been offered an appointment at an Italian host institute will not be considered.

Further:

  • As part of the preliminary discussion with a host institute, an offer of a tenure-track position is desirable.
  • Applicants may apply no more than twice.

FUNDING

  • Appointments are usually ratified by the Board of Trustees in December.  Award winners have until the end of January to accept or decline the award and state when they will be moving to Italy to take up the grant. This start date must be within 12 months of notification of the award.
  • Each award will be granted initially for three years and will be distributed annually at a rate of $200,000 per year, per scholar.
  • Funds can cover salaries for the scholar (commensurate with position at the host institute), technicians, junior scientists, research supplies or administrative support required for the program. Recognizing that the salary levels, personal benefits, and faculty position are a matter of negotiation between the host institute and the recipient, the Foundation is happy to have the award be used flexibly as an incentive to attract high-caliber scientists. Funds can also cover specialized equipment not normally available at the host institute.
  • The host institute must provide the facilities, equipment, and infrastructure necessary to carry out the proposed research. However, up to 25% of the funds can be used for administrative costs associated with the program in the host department.
  • A candidate who is nominated for a Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation Career  Development Award may not hold this award concurrently with another  grant designed to assist in establishing the scientist at a host  institute in Italy and to pursue the same line of research. Exceptions to this will be made only under exceptional circumstances, which must be communicated promptly to the Armenise-Harvard Foundation for consideration.  Co-funding from the host institution, on the other hand, would be positively considered.

Changes in Status of Awardees

  • If, after the Award recipient has moved to Italy and taken up the grant, he/she receives a permanent position and/or salary from other sources additional to the Award, the recipient may use the preserved funding (i.e. no longer used for salary) to support the research program in other ways, provided that the goals of the research program are unchanged. The Foundation should be notified of the change in status.
  • If, after the Award recipient has moved to Italy and taken up the grant, the recipient should wish to move his/her research to a different host institute, it is possible to submit to the Scientific Advisory Board for consideration a new proposal clearly outlining the reasons for the move and providing a Letter of Intent from the new host institute.
  • If the Award recipient wishes to change host institute before taking up the grant, the original grant may be forfeited and a new application may have to be made the following year.

EVALUATION AND REPORTING

Award recipients will be expected to provide an annual progress report, including a financial report and a brief summary of their research activity.

After the initial three years, to apply for a further two years of funding, a detailed description of all work accomplished and in progress as a result of the Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation Award must be submitted in the third year.  A report from the host institute will also be required at this time.  If the additional two-year funding is granted, a final report from both the grant recipient and the host institute must be provided at the end of the fifth year.  Reports will describe publications, other support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program on the scientific achievement of the individual.

Awardees will be invited to take part in thematically-relevant Armenise-Harvard Foundation symposia during the term of the Career Development Award.

The Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation should be acknowledged in all publications emanating from the research carried out during the award period.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 15 (11:59pm EDT) each year.

APPLICATIONS must be typed using a 12pt font.  Please put your name in the title of each pdf document (e.g. MillerL CV.pdf, MillerL Publications.pdf, etc.) and the document title, date, and page number in the header or footer of each separate document.

PLEASE NOTE:  Applicants should note that short-listed candidates will be required to attend an interview in Italy on Friday, 6 November 2015.  The interview will include a presentation of the candidate’s work, with a maximum of 5-7 slides, of no more than 10 minutes, in addition to an informal dialogue about the candidate’s aspirations and choice of host institute.

INSTRUCTIONS

The application consists of several elements, some of which need to be uploaded, while others must be emailed.  Please have everything ready before you start.

  1. Application Form: Complete all information requested.  At the end of the form you will be prompted to upload the following in pdf format:
    1. Curriculum Vitae. Your CV must include university grades for all degrees.
    2. List of Publications.
    3. Description of Previous Research and where it was conducted (the narrative should not exceed two pages of double-spaced pages with one-inch margins, excluding bibliography). Type should be 12 pt.
    4. Narrative and Bibliography: Upload a description of your proposed research.  This should be written in English in sufficient detail to enable the reviewing committees to appraise it.  A level of detail typical of a Scientific American article is appropriate.  Review committees will be asked to evaluate the quality of the candidate, the originality and feasibility of the proposed research and the overall contribution that the research could make to the specific area of science.The narrative should not exceed five pages of double-spaced pages with one-inch margins (excluding bibliography). Type should be 12 pt.  Include the following sections:
      • Introduction: a brief summary of preliminary work or other background material.
      • Objectives: a description of what is to be accomplished over three years including an explanation of why the candidate considers this is important for the advancement of this scientific area.
      • Scope of Research: a summary of the design and methodologies to be applied.
      • Host Institution: a short summary of the academic record of the proposed host institute and an explanation of why the project should be conducted in that particular host institute.
      • Bibliography: list publications separately to the five-page narrative.
    5. Budget: Upload a detailed budget (including assumptions) outlining personnel, equipment, travel, supplies, meeting costs, overhead and taxes, if relevant.
    6. Other SupportDocument all other support, active and pending, indicating principal investigator, sponsor, title of project and award dates.  This information can be copied and pasted into the application form.  If you have no other support, please indicate this in the relevant box on the application form.
  2. Three Letters of Reference:   These letter should be on institute letterhead, signed and scanned and contain the name of the applicant and referee in the file title (eg MillerL from SmithC.pdf).  They must be sent directly from the referee via e-mail to armeniseharvardfdn@hms.harvard.edu by the July 15 deadline.
  3. Letter of Intent from Host Institute:  This should confirm the institute’s full support, encouragement of independent scientific research in general and the applicant in particular, and give a commitment to the applicant’s future career.   Like the Letters of Reference, we need a signed copy on institute letterhead, and the name of the applicant and the Host Institute should be included in the file title (eg MillerL from La Sapienza.pdf).  The Letter should be sent by the department head to armeniseharvardfdn@hms.harvard.edu via e-mail by the July 15 deadline with a cc to the applicant.   It is very important that the applicant and department head are in complete agreement on all aspects of the position before submitting the application, and the applicant should be fully in agreement with the contents of the Letter which should:
    • Indicate why the department head wishes to have the applicant work in his/her department.
    • Illustrate how this research, while remaining independent, complements the other work done in the host institute.
    • Clearly state that the host institute offers the necessary facilities to allow the candidate to carry out his/her project and include a description of these facilities including both shared and dedicated lab space, administrative/research help available, etc.
    • Confirm that the department is willing to take on the administrative responsibilities involved in accepting the grant and furthering the career of the awardee, including mentoring.
    • Indicate the agreed salary, the employment grade level and contract type, and the plan for future career development.
    • Confirm that the host institute and the applicant are in complete agreement as to the terms under which the applicant would take up a position at the host institute, including salary and benefits, position, ranking, responsibilities, time frame for review, mentoring, and the possibilities of a permanent position.

On-line applications can be submitted between March 1 and July 15, 2015.  It will not be possible to submit an application for 2015 later than July 15.  You should receive an email confirming your successful submission of the application.  If you do not receive a confirmation, please send an email to Elisabetta Vitali (email address below).

If you have any questions concerning this application or the program, please contact:

Ms. Elisabetta Vitali, Program Administrator of Italian Programs

Elisabetta_Vitali@hms.harvard.edu

The Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation
Tel: +1 617 384 5182