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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 2021 Furth Fund award recipients are detailed below. You can also explore a full list of previous recipients.

Benjamin Suárez-Jiménez, PhD

Dr. Suárez-Jiménez is a translational neuroscientist interested in the neural bases of spatial and contextual learning in appetitive and aversive contexts, using tools of fMRI and virtual reality tasks. His work focuses on the coding of basic approach and avoidance mechanisms in the brain, and how these neural signatures become dysfunctional in specific contexts for individuals that experience trauma.

The Furth Fund award he received will be used to support a graduate student project to study reward vs. threat competition within an environment using virtual reality and MRI technologies.

Andrea Pickel, PhD

Dr. Pickel’s research focuses on quantifying temperature and heat flow at the nanoscale using sophisticated optical techniques.

The Furth Fund award she received will be used to support a PhD student conducting research in the area of high-throughput optical super-resolution nanothermometry. This support will provide excellent training opportunities in areas ranging from optical instrumentation to analytical heat transfer modeling while simultaneously enabling research that pushes the boundaries of nanoscale thermal metrology.

Full list of past winners

Name Year selected Department
Benjamin Suárez-Jiménez 2021 Neuroscience
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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