Scintillon Assistant Professor Entry Program (SAPEP)
Many of the brightest researchers have the deep conviction that an academic career is what they have been trained for and is worth every effort in its pursuit. In reality, however, the road towards an assistant professorship can be long and narrow. Typically, a university would like faculty candidates that already have independent research grants or strong proof that they will sometime soon. At the same time, without a tenure-track Assistant Professor title, the postdoc or project scientist can find it close to impossible to apply for grants such as an R01 from the NIH.
To deal with this dilemma, the hiring institute often takes a risk by offering a sizable startup package to new faculty members so they can conduct research long enough to obtain grant funding. To mitigate this risk, the recruitment committee and department chairs tend to select candidates based on a set of traditional “fundable” attributes, briefly: 1) with first-authored papers in Cell, Nature, or Science; 2) from a exceptionally respected lab (preferably Nobel Prize winners, academy members, or HHMI investigators) with genuinely strong advocacy by the PI; 3) being a good communicator who talks like a successful academic. If, unfortunately, substantial grants are not obtained within the first few years, the assistant professor will lose their job and the institute will lose their investment.
To provide a better solution, particularly for those up-and-coming researchers who do not yet possess all of the attributes listed above but who are truly dedicated to basic research and development with unusual talents and patience, we offer a chance through the Scintillon Assistant Professor Entry Program.
After passing a personalized screening process, Scintillon Institute will provide accepted candidates with the title of Assistant Professor with full authorization to write independent research grants, such as R01 and R21. More importantly, our highly experienced and distinguished faculty will do hands-on coaching in grant writing and application packaging. Collaborative grants or center grants may also be developed jointly, if appropriate.
Scintillon Institute is a private non-profit institute built by researchers with a big vision to apply basic research to solve real world problems with an emphasis on technology advancement. We have a one-of-a-kind culture that nurtures young talent and helps researchers grow together.
Successful SAPEP participants are expected to secure career-establishing grants, by which time Scintillon will provide institutional support and guidance. As the assistant professors develop through the strong collaborations with senior faculty and industry connections and by experiencing firsthand how a lab is run, the Institute will promote them through the ranks internally and help build their reputation to outside associations and foundations. If the new faculty, after spending two thirds of their first major grant at Scintillon, decide to try a different academic environment, such as a university, public, or government institution, Scintillon will assist in the transition, helping the promising careers that start here to continue to be fruitful.