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Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program (PDEP) provides a total of $60,000 over three years to support the career development activities for underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows in a degree-granting institution in the United States or Canada whose training and professional development are guided by mentors committed to helping them advance to stellar careers in biomedical or medical research.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is committed to fostering the development of the next generation of biomedical scientists and is strongly committed to supporting only degree-granting institutions to achieve this goal. The career development of young scientists has been a major funding theme at BWF. The continuing lag in advancement of underrepresented minority scientists is a significant problem for the scientific community. Despite several decades of federally supported programs, Americans from these minority populations continue to be underrepresented among Ph.D. recipients and in the Science & Engineering workforce. Contrary to popular belief, many well prepared underrepresented minority students— including people of Latino, Native-American, Pacific Island, and African- American descent— are interested in pursuing scientific or engineering careers. Many students with strong SAT scores, impressive grades, and success in high school honors math and science courses leave the college science pipeline, but the loss is disproportionately among women and minorities. Thus, factors other than school preparation, science aptitude, and interest must be responsible for the low achievement and low persistence of these subgroups of undergraduate and graduate Science & Engineering students. Identifying and mitigating these negative factors, then retaining well-educated students with Science & Engineering interests would improve the United States’ ability to compete in today’s global scientific community. (SCIENCE, 31 March 2006, Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers, Michael Summers and Freeman Hrabowski)

For this reason, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund created the Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program in 2012. BWF is committed to funding the next generation of scientists and researchers, thus we have an interest in advancing the careers of underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows. The primary goal of the Postdoctoral Diversity Enrichment Program (PDEP) is to substantially enhance the postdoctoral training and experience of underrepresented minority junior scientists. Funds will be provided to support the following enrichment activities:

  • Activities for the postdoctoral fellow to enhance research productivity, e.g. workshops, courses, travel, collaborations, and training in new techniques
  • Activities for the postdoctoral mentor to increase the mentoring of PDEP fellows in university-based programs:
    • Career guidance of the underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellow
    • Research guidance that increases the productivity of the PDEP fellow
    • Attendance at one annual meeting of mentors hosted and/or sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)
  • Participation in a peer network system of underrepresented minority postdoctoral scholars


For more information, contact Senior Program Officer Alfred Mays at or Senior Program Associate Tiffanie Taylor at

Application Procedures

Please refer to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund website for application procedures.

Eligibility Requirements

Please refer to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund website for eligibility requirements.



Evaluation Criteria

Please refer to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund website for evaluation criteria.


Annual Value

$60,000 USD over three years