Grants & Initiatives

We’re always looking for the chance to expand opportunities for BU postdocs, graduate students, and faculty. In 2018 alone, we received $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to launch new professional development offerings. Here are a few of our active projects.

The National Institutes of Health Innovative Programs to Enhance Research and Training (IPERT) program supports creative and innovative research educational activities designed to complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical research needs. PDPA is funded to develop the Postdoc Academy, offering digital learning opportunities for postdocs to give them more flexibility in how they can access professional development focused on the NPA competencies.

The National Science Foundation Alliances in Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program seeks to increase the number of historically underrepresented minority (URM) faculty in STEM disciplines and education research fields by advancing knowledge about pathways to faculty career success. PDPA is a part of the CIRTL AGEP Alliance, and the goal of our project is to create more inclusive research climates for URM PhD students and postdocs in STEM and SBE disciplines. Our research focus is on drivers – evidence-based elements of mentoring, academic expectations, and community – that affect URM persistence in faculty career pathways. Current CIRTL AGEP at BU initiatives include: workshops for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty covering social identity, bias literacy, and mentoring strategies; mentoring awards; and an annual climate survey.

The National Science Foundation Improving in Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program seeks to improve the effectiveness of undergraduate STEM education for both majors and non-majors. PDPA is a part of the CIRTL IUSE program focused on training the next generation of future faculty to be excellent instructors, applying the best practices in teaching and learning in their classrooms. Our programs specifically focus on professional development opportunities tailored to postdocs, including in-person workshops and online learning communities.

The National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. PDPA is funded to expand its PhD Progression program to incorporate workforce training content via collaborations with industry and institutional partners in the biomedical fields.