finding funding

saturday, June 9, 2018 | 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM | Board room

One of the most important skills in science is the ability to successfully apply for and acquire funding, whether in a postdoctoral or principle investigator position. Sources of funding are often difficult to identify, and postdocs may find themselves feeling under-equipped in their search and acquisition of grant support. This session will explore approaches for seeking funding, how to tailor applications for foundation and corporate grants, best practices in government grant applications (i.e NIH), and how to write an application that seems beneficial to potential funding partners- “how do I make my application sound fundable?” We invite a diversity of panelists with experience in government, foundation and corporate granting schemes to share their expertise.

To download documents on fellowship and grant applications click here.


Katharine Canfield, MA

Director of Foundation Relations at Boston University School of Medicine

Katharine Canfield is Director of Foundation Relations at Boston University School of Medicine. For nearly 20 years, her development career has focused entirely on foundation, corporate and government funders. In addition to Boston University, she has served Boston Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine and Pine Street Inn. She is grateful for the continuous learning that her work entails; the chance to make a case for a wide range of educational, research and social programs; and the opportunity to work closely with individuals with diverse expertise.


Andrew Henderson, PhD

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at Boston University School of Medicine

Research in the Henderson laboratory focuses on cellular mechanisms that regulate HIV replication and transcription. Current projects include employing chimeric antigen receptors as a tunable system to explore how T cell receptor signaling influences HIV infection and latency, exploring whether Crispr/Cas9 can be engineered for long-term repression of HIV provirus and characterizing the transcriptional status of HIV provirus in T cell and macrophage subsets. I have served on over 30 NIH study sections and special emphasis panels and was a member and chair for the NIH AIDS Molecular and Cellular Biology Study Section.  In addition to my research, I have always been proactive in undergraduate and graduate training having supervised the research of 7 post-docs, 13 PhD students, 10 Masters Students, 23 undergraduate students (including 7 Honor’s theses) and sat on over 70 PhD thesis committees. Furthermore, I have organized and participated in programs for international students including a summer program with University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, a short course at Makerere University in Uganda and a Fogarty planning grant with the University of Liberia. I received my PhD from the University of California, Riverside, my post-doctoral training was at Columbia University and I have had faculty positions at Penn State and Boston University School of Medicine.


Roslyn W. Orkin, PhD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Associate Chief for Faculty Development and Associate Scientific Researcher in Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital

Roslyn's professional career spans that of basic research (cell and developmental biology of the extracellular matrix), teaching, and academic administration. After PhD training with Elizabeth Hay at HMS, she spent ~2 postdoctoral years at the NIH in George R. Martin’s laboratory. A second postdoctoral period with Bryan Toole in the Developmental Biology Lab (MGH) broadened her studies on the extracellular matrix and it was there that she was appointed initially Assistant and then Associate Professor at HMS. Subsequently, she shifted her laboratory to the Dept. of Surgery (MGH), where she co-directed the Vascular Surgery Research Lab. From the mid-70s, when she began her career at the MGH until the late 90s, she was continually supported by independent funding (both federal and private). From 1999 through 2004, she transitioned to academic administration, serving as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at HMS. After that, she first served as a consultant to the Department of Pediatric Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital Boston (BCH), and in 2009 was appointed to her current position (part time) as Associate Chief for Faculty Development in the Division of Hematology/Oncology (BCH, DFCI). She mentors trainees/junior faculty and provides guidance relating to issues of faculty development. These include working one-on-one with trainees and junior faculty to provide detailed and specific mentorship to prepare grant applications (both federal and private). Additionally, she plays an integral role in the preparation of division-wide training grants, and related programmatic entities, and works with senior faculty to prepare nomination packages for prestigious national and international awards and election to academic societies.


Tracy E. Schmidt, PhD

associate director, corporate and foundation relations at tufts university

Tracy E. Schmidt, Ph.D. joined the Corporate and Foundation Relations team of Tufts University as Associate Director in September 2016. Working within the Tufts School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, she focuses on leveraging her biomedical research training to foster relationships and securing private funding support from local, national and international partners in order to advance the institution's priorities and mission. Prior to joining Tufts, she held the position of Associate Director of Corporation and Foundations at UMass Medical School as well as an innovation management and commercial development role in their Office of Technology Management. Dr. Schmidt has over 15 years of biomedical research experience in the higher education and medical space; she has performed sleep, cardiovascular, and viral research in human, mouse and cell culture systems at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, University of Illinois at Chicago and UMass Medical School. Dr. Schmidt received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from UMass Medical School and B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University. She currently resides in Holden with her husband Mickaël, a native Frenchman, and Australian Cattle Dog, Stihl, where they enjoy exploring the vast parks and hiking trails of Central Massachusetts.