(Accelerated Independence in Microbial Sciences)

Program at Washington University

The objective of the AIMS Program is to attract talented recent PhD and MD/PhD graduates to engage in independent research as Fellows as an alternative to a traditional post-doctoral position. Fellows are given the space, resources and support needed to run their own labs and pursue an independent research agenda. The Programs goal is to enable Fellows to eventually transition into tenure track faculty positions at Washington University or other institutions.

Overview of the AIMS Program

The Program emerged from the idea that there are numerous paths to becoming a successful scientist beyond the conventional route involving postdoctoral training after completing a graduate degree. In contrast to a traditional postdoctoral fellowship, this Program emphasizes independent research. Fellows are provided a competitive salary ($90,000 plus benefits), research space, startup funds and resources to run a small, independent lab. Fellows are appointed for a three-year term with the possibility of a two year extension. In summary, Fellows will have the unique opportunity to establish and maintain an independent laboratory, a situation that many researchers don’t experience until later in their careers.

Goals of the Program

The primary goal of the Fellows program is to allow talented junior scientist to flourish on their own during some of their most creative years after graduating. Fellows will be able to take advantage of the rich research environment in microbiology and pathogenesis at Washington University, including a dedicated mentorship program. The long-term goals include acquiring outside funding (e.g. NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (DP5)) and successfully being hired in a tenured track position at one of the leading institutions in the world.

How to Apply (see Application Process)

Applicants should submit a CV/Biosketch, a one page summary of their previous research accomplishments and a one page description of the research they plan to conduct as a Fellow. In addition, they should arrange to have three references each submit a letter of support. Washington University encourages applications from candidates from historically underrepresented communities. All materials should be submitted to AIMS-Micro@email.wustl.edu .