Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

To attain its ultimate goal of increasing the number of imaginative, well-trained and dedicated medical scientists, the Foundation grants financial support of sufficient duration to help further the careers of young men and women engaged in biological or medical research. The Fellowship is for a period of three years, contingent on performance satisfactory to the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee. One and two-year fellowships are not considered.

The Helen Hay Whitney Foundation was established and endowed by Mrs. Charles S. Payson, the former Joan Whitney, in 1947, and named in honour of her mother, Helen Hay Whitney. Originally established to stimulate and support research in the area of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, the Foundation later expanded its interests to include diseases of connective tissue and, ultimately, all basic biomedical sciences.

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To attain its ultimate goal of increasing the number of imaginative, well-trained, and dedicated medical scientists, the Foundation grants financial support of a three-year duration to young men and women planning careers in biological or medical research. Under this program, approximately 24 three-year research fellowships are awarded annually, resulting in a total of 72 outstanding fellowships. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over 1,100 research fellowships.

Review Procedure:

In addition to considering the research plan and recommendations presented in each application, the Scientific Advisory Committee must give weight to the many intangibles involved, including interpretation of the Foundation’s objectives. The following procedure is designed to be fair and to take into account the number of applications received in relation to the number of fellowships that can be awarded.

The initial step is the screening begun by the Scientific Advisory Committee as soon as all applications have been received. In this screening, the Committee selects those candidates whose applications merit a personal interview with a Committee member. Each applicant so selected is then assigned to a member of the Committee, who completes arrangements for the interview in October. Interview travel expenses from points in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are paid by the Foundation. US citizens residing abroad who are approved for an interview will be reimbursed for travel to the interview, up to an amount comparable to the transcontinental domestic airfares reimbursed for other candidates. All applicants will be advised by email of their status (declined or approved for interview) by early-mid October.

All personal interview reports and applications are reviewed in context with each other at a full Scientific Advisory Committee meeting in November, and it is at this meeting that those interviewed candidates are selected to be recommended for approval by the Board of Trustees. All interviewed applicants are notified of the Committee’s decisions by mid-November.

As the last step in the procedure, the Board of Trustees votes to approve the fellowship awards, in order of priority, up to the availability of funds.


  • Travel Expense: The Foundation provides funds for travel to the fellowship location at the time of activation of the fellowship for the Fellow and his or her family. No payment is made for the transportation of household goods. The Foundation also covers travel expenses incurred for the two-day Annual Fellows Meetings held in November. Travel expenses will be reimbursed directly to the Fellow, upon submission of expense receipts. These reimbursements are in addition to the annual stipend and research allowance.
  • Stipend:
    • 1st year
      • Stipend: $54,000
      • Research Allowance: $1,500
    • 2nd year
      • Stipend: $57,000
      • Research Allowance: $1,500
    • 3rd year
      • Stipend: $60,000
      • Research Allowance: $1,500


  • Candidates who hold, or are in the final stages of obtaining a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree and are seeking beginning postdoctoral training in basic biomedical research are eligible to apply for a fellowship. The Foundation accepts applications from candidates who have no more than one year of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the deadline for submitting the application (June 15, 2020), and who have received a PhD (or D.Phil. or equivalent) degree no more than two years before the deadline, or an M.D. degree no more than three years before the deadline.
  • Fellowships may be awarded to US citizens planning to work in laboratories either in the US, Canada, or abroad and also to foreign citizens for research in laboratories in the US only. They expect that most applicants will reside in North America at the time of application. Foreign Students will need to obtain appropriate visa documentation, as required by US Immigration.
  • Applications from established scientists or advanced fellows will not be considered. The fellowships are for early postdoctoral training only. Clinical house-staff training does not count as “postdoctoral laboratory training.”
  • The Foundation will not ordinarily consider applicants who plan tenure of the fellowship in the laboratory in which they have already received extensive predoctoral or postdoctoral training. The aim of the fellowship is to broaden postdoctoral training and experience, and a significant change of venue is advisable.
  • Since the number of available fellowships is limited, the Foundation does not make more than one award per year for training with a given supervisor. It also does not support more than two fellows per laboratory at one time.
  • The SAC will review no more than one application from a laboratory during each annual cycle. They will accept applications from different laboratories/supervisors at the same institution. Should we receive more than one, the Chair of the SAC will decide which of the applications appears most competitive and decline the other(s) administratively. They urge the heads of laboratories to make this choice for us, if at all possible.
  • The Foundation expects that fellowship training will be obtained in an academic setting. The selection of a commercial or industrial laboratory for the training experience is not acceptable.
Eligible Regions: US citizens

Application Process

Apply through the given link.

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Application Deadline: June 15, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link
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