The Academy of Medical Sciences’ (AMS) Springboard Awards enable biomedical scientists to develop independent research careers. This includes funding of up to £100,000 over two years and access to the Academy’s acclaimed mentoring and career development programme.
Due to the highly competitive nature of these awards institutions must run a managed process to select a maximum of four applications for each round.
Dr Laura Wisby from the Research Grant Development team in Research and Innovation Services (RIS) worked with Springboard Champion Professor Laurence Hurst at the University to select applicants and support them in applying.
Further RIS support is available from our Pre-Award team with the financial costing and submission to the funder.
Professor Laurence Hurst, Director of the Milner Centre for Evolution and AMS Springboard Champion at the University says:
The AMS Springboard scheme is designed to help launch the research careers of young academics. As the local Springboard Champion I am delighted with the recent success of our candidates. It is a pleasure working with RIS in running the selection process and overseeing Grant submission. I must especially thank Laura Wisby for all of her efforts coordinating the scheme. The way we run the scheme is unusual in that we have a panel of senior academics who both help choose the candidates to go forward and comment on drafts of the grants. I hope the candidates learn from the process whether they are eventually successful or not. For those chosen to submit their grant, the Academy offer a world class mentor program regardless of the success of the grant. If for this alone I’d encourage anyone interested to consider the scheme, the next round of which opens soon.
Testimonials from our early career researchers at the University, who were successful in the last found of AMS Springboard funding, reinforce the support available and the benefits of the scheme.
Dr Gernot Walko, Assistant Professor in Cell and Developmental Biology, says:
The AMS Springboard award offers a bespoke package of support to biomedical researchers at the start of their first independent post to help launch their research careers. In my case, this includes funding of a research assistant and research consumables over two years, enabling my lab to move our research into a new direction. I'm also looking forward to having access to the Academy’s acclaimed mentoring and career development programme. RIS’ support has been great throughout the application process, as they helped me with writing the grant application, but also with doing the grant costings which can be quite challenging if you are still relatively new to the University.
Lauren Cowley, Prize Fellow in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, says:
I was absolutely delighted to receive the AMS springboard grant to fund the use of machine learning to predict source country for foodborne bacterial infections in the UK, in collaboration with Public Health England. The grant will provide me with essential funding to hire a postdoc in my group to initiate projects and analysis that will help us get larger grants and papers in the future. The scheme also provides a well regarded mentoring and training aspect that will help my development as a fully independent principal investigator. I am extremely thankful to RIS at Bath who helped me get the award in many ways. Firstly, for the nomination to the academy in order to compete for the award, secondly, in the editing and proof reading of multiple drafts of the grant before submission and thirdly, in answering all my questions about the scheme. I would also like to thank Caroline Jones from the RIS Pre-Award team for helping me enormously in the financial planning of the award for my submission. I can’t wait to get started on the grant!
George Stothart, Lecturer in the Department of Psychology says:
The AMS Springboard award is invaluable to me, it provides both the means to progress my research and to grow my lab. We will be working with Mild Cognitive Impairment patients across Bath and Bristol, using novel neurophysiological methods for measuring their cognition. Ultimately the aim of my research is to develop a new tool for the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease. The internal review process included a panel interview and the coordination of peer-review of the application prior to submission, organised by RIS. Four separate reviewers provided feedback, which undoubtedly helped to improve the application and ultimately made it successful.
The next call for Springboard Awards from the AMS will open in March. Dates for the University internal selection process will be advertised soon.
Contact Dr Laura Wisby, Research Development Manager in RIS if you are interested in applying to the AMS Springboard scheme . Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiries.