Airalzh and Armenise Harvard: a call for Mid-Career Researchers

Call for application is open: $200,000 to support mid-career researchers studying neurodegenerative diseases in Italy

In a researcher’s lifetime, there is a tremendous gap in the possibility of accessing funding to consolidate their lab activities and discoveries: the mid-career phase. And, often, this hiatus causes the interruption of a promising career.

To bridge this gap, Airalzh (Italian Association for Alzheimer’s Research) and the Armenise Harvard Foundation have teamed up to offer a grant of 100 thousand USD per year for two years, to support the most interesting basic research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.

The call, active from March 1st to May 31st, 2022, is accessible only to scientists who have been heading an independent laboratory in Italy for at least five but not more than 12 years.

The problem? Funding, not quality

High-quality scientific research takes time. Scientists in Italy, Europe and the United States share the same issue: there is a period in their academic careers when they experience a gap in the funding system. It is the period when they are beyond their starting grants but are too junior to compete successfully for grants aimed at more senior researchers. That’s why it is crucial to provide them with targeted tools for the middle phase of their careers, so as not to lose scientific momentum or cause them to have to abandon research altogether.

In 2020, the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation launched a pilot program dedicated precisely to this phase of scientists’ lives. It now joins forces with Airalzh to support mid-career researchers in basic research of neurodegenerative diseases.

Our experience of more than 20 years with the Armenise Harvard Foundation is emblematic: with the Career Development Award (CDA) program, we have supported the research in Italy of 29 young scientists who, in turn, have raised funds of more than 80 million euros, publishing more than 700 peer-reviewed papers with an average H-index of 24.6 and more than 3,800 average citations. Despite this, however, our researchers also suffer from this unacceptable situation,” – says Elisabetta Vitali, Director of the Armenise Harvard Foundation Italian Programs. – “This is a structural lack that often jeopardizes advanced careers and, above all, risks thwarting the achievement of scientific discoveries”.

Basic research is crucial for developing new knowledge for the benefit of humankind. Our Association is relatively young: it will be celebrating ten years in 2024” – says Prof. Alessandra Mocali, President of Airalzh – “But, through the provision of 82 research grants and 13 Grants, we have already supported a national network of young researchers active in over 30 universities and excellent research centres located in 15 Italian regions, from North to South. However, we believe it is equally important to give researchers time to grow professionally, thus achieving tangible results. For this reason, we have enthusiastically welcomed the proposal of the Armenise Harvard Foundation to support the intermediate phase of scientists’ careers”.


Armenise Harvard Airalzh Mid-Career Award Call:

Rome – Barberino di Mugello – Boston March 1st, 2022

Armenise Harvard Foundation Press Office

Manuel Bertin

Cell. 0039.329.3548053

Airalzh Press Office

Studio Nazari – Novella Candeo – Michael Dones

Tel. 0039.02.76110017

The Armenise Harvard Foundation

The Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation was created to support basic research in the biomedical field. It helps young scientists working abroad establish their laboratory in Italy and supports various research programs at Harvard Medical School in Boston. It has invested over $70 million in Harvard and $31 million in Italian science, creating many research programs and fostering collaboration between the two continents.

The Career Development Award (CDA) funding amounts to $200,000 per year (between 3 and 5 years). To date, the CDA program has supported 29 young scientists.

CDAs have established laboratories in Milan (EIO, IFOM/FIRC, San Raffaele Institute, University of Milan, CNR), Rome (La Sapienza, EBRI), Padua (VIMM, University of Padua), Trento (CIBIO Department, University of Trento), Palermo (University of Palermo), Trieste (SISSA), Pavia (University of Pavia), Pozzuoli (Tigem), Turin (Italian Institute of Genetic Medicine, University of Turin), Rovereto (IIT), and Camerino (University of Camerino).

Fields covered include neuroscience, plant biology, biochemistry, immunology, cancer biology, proteomics and genetics, synthetic biology, and stem cells.

Airalzh (Associazione Italiana Ricerca Alzheimer)

Airalzh (Associazione Italiana Ricerca Alzheimer – Italian Alzheimer’s Research Association) is the only Italian Association that promotes medical and scientific research on Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It was created in 2014 by clinicians, university researchers, and corporate managers. Since 2016, the Association has provided 82 research grants (both basic and clinical) for an investment of 2 million euros, thanks to the support of large and small donors. Thirty-three young researchers have been supported: they now work in the best Universities and Research Centers located in 15 Italian regions, between North and South. They have obtained more than 250 publications in international journals. Since 2020, the AGYR (Airalzh Grants for Young Researchers) call for proposals has been published every year, with an annual investment of € 300,000. To date, 13 projects have been selected, with a total investment of 600,000 €. A new call for proposals (AGYR 2022) will be published next Spring.