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Furth Fund

The Valerie and Frank Furth Fund provides awards to help foster the development of promising scientists in the natural and biological sciences.

The Fund was created to provide early career scientists with up to $12,500 in research funds. These funds are used to promote the research activities of the faculty member, which may include the purchase of new equipment or support for graduate students or postdocs. The Furth Fund may not be used as a source of salary support for the faculty member.

Learn more about the fund below, including eligibility and how to submit a nomination. You can also explore a list of past Furth Fund winners.


Nominees should be tenure-track junior faculty appointed in natural and biological science or engineering departments within the School of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the School of Nursing who have been hired within the past three academic years. Preference will be given to nominees who wish to use the award to support the active engagement of graduate students or postdocs in their research.

Nominations for tenure-track candidates being actively recruited for positions, but not yet hired, will also be accepted. Departments must have made an offer to the candidate before the nomination will be considered. The nomination materials should note the status of recruitment efforts and the anticipated date of the candidate’s decision.

Submitting a nomination

The VP for research will solicit nominations from the deans. All nominations must include the nominee’s curriculum vitae and a short (1-2 page) letter from the departmental chair describing the nominee’s research activities and proposed use of the funds, along with and an endorsement from the dean of the school. There is no limit to the number of nominations per school.

Past winners

Our 2023 Furth Fund award recipients are detailed below. You can also explore a full list of previous recipients.

Nikesha Gilmore, PhD

Dr. Nikesha Gilmore is a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Supportive Care in Cancer. She is a translational scientist with a strong background and training in molecular mechanisms, behavioral medicine, and health disparities/health equity. Dr. Gilmore’s research focuses on two main areas: 1) the development of interventions to mechanistically target frailty in older adults with cancer and to develop evidence-based solutions to foster health equity for older Black cancer survivors and 2) to improve the relationships between older Black patients with cancer and their caregivers with oncologists.

Erin Black, PhD

Dr. Black is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences. Her research group, the TRACER (Tracking Radioisotopes for Aquatic Chemistry and Environmental Research) Lab, studies the biogeochemistry of Earth’s hydrosphere and critical zone using radioisotopes and other tracers. More specifically, her research specializes in the investigation of the global carbon cycle and the transfer of atmospheric CO2 into the ocean surface, the transformation of that CO2 into organic and inorganic forms of carbon, the transport of that carbon material into the deeper interior of the ocean, and the alteration of that carbon by biogeochemical processes. The ocean and other aquatic reservoirs are by far the largest carbon reservoirs on Earth in active exchange with the atmosphere, and Erin’s research is directly determining how these Earth systems are helping to regulate the concentration of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

Full list of past winners

Name Year selected Department
Benjamin Suárez-Jiménez 2021 Neuroscience
Brian McGarry 2022 Medicine – Geriatrics / Aging
Meghan Underhill-Blazey 2022 Nursing
Andrea Pickel 2021 Mechanical Engineering
Matthew D. McGraw, M.D. 2020 Pediatric Pulmonology
Tolulope M. Olugboji 2020 Earth and Environmental Sciences
Martina Anto-Ocrah 2019 Emergency Medicine
Mauricio Ibanez-Mejia 2019 Earth and Environmental Sciences
Jinjiao Wang 2019 Nursing
Kathryn Knowles 2018 Chemistry
Martinia Poletti 2018 Neuroscience
Ellen M. Matson 2017 Chemistry
Andrew Wojtovich 2017 Anesthesiology
Doug Kelley 2016 Mechanical Engineering
Feng Vankee Lin 2016 School of Nursing
Dragony Fu 2015 Biology
Mark Buckley 2015 Biomedical Engineering
Rajeev Raizada 2012 Brain and Cognitive Sciences 
Hitomi Mukaibo Taguchi 2011 Chemical Engineering
Benjamin Hayden 2010 Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Danielle Benoit 2009 Biomedical Engineering
Marvin Doyley 2008 Electrical & Computer Engineering
Azadeh Vosoughi 2007 Electrical & Computer Engineering
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