The Career Development Award Program is designed to foster the development of outstanding, early-career scientists currently working abroad so that they may fulfill their potential and make significant contributions to their field of research in Italy. The Award provides $200,000 per year, for 3-5 years, to young scientists to establish their own lab at a host institute in which they can conduct independent research in the biological sciences.
At the same time, the Foundation hopes the Award will provide an incentive for Italian research institutes to strengthen their departments by providing a sufficiently attractive package to entice applications from the best possible candidates.
To date, the Armenise-Harvard Foundation has supported 30 young scientists who have established labs in Milan (EIO, IFOM/FIRC, Istituto San Raffaele, University of Milan, CNR), Rome (La Sapienza; EBRI), Padua (VIMM, University of Padua), Trento (CIBIO -University of Trento, IIT Rovereto), Palermo (University of Palermo), Trieste (SISSA), Pavia (University of Pavia), Naples (Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine), Turin (IIGM, University of Turin), and Camerino (University of Camerino), Genoa (IIT Genoa). Fields covered include: neuroscience, plant biology, biochemistry, immunology, cancer biology, proteomics and genetics, synthetic biology, and stem cells.
The Career Development Awardees are now well-established group leaders – in tenure track or permanent positions – guiding over 230 researchers between them in their groups.
Since their arrival in Italy, the Armenise-Harvard Career Development Awardees have produced more than 850 papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals with a high average citation per paper. They have an average h-index of 25.5 (ranges from 11 to 50).
In addition, they have raised a total of more than €85 M in additional grants, including 13 prestigious European Research Council grants and one of only two Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Scientist Awards granted to Italian scientists in 2012.
A few years ago, in announcing these awards, Robert Tjian, president of the HHMI said, “These are the people who, 10 years from now, we expect will be the scientific leaders in their countries.”