July 11, 2019

VUMC Limited Submission Opportunity: 2020 Searle Scholars Program

These instructions are for VUMC investigators. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to VU-LSO@vanderbilt.edu.


Vanderbilt University Medical Center may nominate two candidates for the 2020 Searle Scholars Program, which supports the independent research of outstanding individuals who have recently begun their first appointments as tenure-track assistant professors.  The Searle Scholars Program Scientific Advisory Board is primarily interested in the potential of applicants to make innovative and high-impact contributions to biomedical research over an extended period of time. Each year, 15 new individuals are named Searle Scholars and awarded $300,000 over three years. Indirect costs are not permitted.


  • Applicants are expected to be pursuing independent research careers in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas in chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences.
  • Applicants should have begun their appointment as an independent investigator at the assistant professor level on or after July 1, 2018. The appointment must be their first tenure-track position.
  • The Program does not support purely clinical research but has supported research programs that include both clinical and basic components.
  • Applicants who were nominated for awards in the previous competition year but were not awarded may still meet the eligibility criteria for the current competition. *Contact LSO@vanderbilt.edu if this applies.

Potential applicants who are unsure if their research is appropriate for the Program are encouraged to examine the research interests of present and former Searle Scholars.

Internal Application Process:

Eligible faculty interested in being one of VUMC’s nominees must submit the following (in a single PDF) to LSO@vanderbilt.edu  by 5 p.m. on July 15, 2019: 

  1. Brief (2-page maximum) research plan including summary budget (overhead not allowed);
  2. Letter of support from department chair/center director;
    1. Letter must acknowledge that this grant does not allow indirect costs.** This statement can be used/modified: “The Department recognizes that this grant does not allow indirect costs and will commit to covering any associated indirect costs per applicable institutional policy.”
  3. NIH Biosketch

**Process for cost-sharing typically coordinated at the departmental level and approved by department chair and/or dean. Please consult LSO@vanderbilt.edu for further guidance.

Submissions should reference the program name in the subject line of the email.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to LSO@vanderbilt.edu