The AATS Foundation/WTS Mid-Career Investigator Award is a collaboration between the AATS Foundation and the Women in Thoracic Surgery (WTS) that aligns with their mutual cardiothoracic surgery-based missions to support education and research. It is intended for mid-career female cardiothoracic surgeon scientists who have faced external constraints to professional growth. Potential candidates are expected to also demonstrate previous research experience and a need for funding to advance their careers further.
Faculty development at the early career stage is essential for professional academic progression. There exist known barriers to career advancement for women in cardiothoracic surgery, such as their caregiver roles, heavier load of non-promotable service, as well as inherent biases or lack of institutional infrastructure support. Studies focused on female cardiothoracic surgeons have revealed that 60% of academic appointments were at the instructor or assistant professor level; only 18% were full professors. There are also more available opportunities for surgeon scientists at the onset of their careers, but fewer grants available in this mid-career space. To address these obstacles, the WTS has partnered with the AATS Foundation to support mid-career women cardiothoracic surgeons.
The focus of proposed research can be clinical, translational or basic science. Funding is intended to lead to future applications for larger independent grants by providing preliminary data or foundational work for extramural funding. Therefore, all candidates must articulate their plan for ensuring continued funding for the research career beyond this award.
To be eligible for an award, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
Applications requesting up to $50,000 per year for up to two years are welcomed, in addition to smaller short-term requests. For requests of more than one year, a progress report and request for additional funding are required prior to the end of the originally funded year. Decisions for the second year of funding will be made after review of the progress report.
Candidates will be required to submit the following materials within their online application:
The AATS Foundation/WTS Mid-Career Investigator Award Committee and the AATS Foundation Advisory Council will review all applications and select one awardee to be presented to AATS Board of Directors for final approval. Applications will be graded on all aspects of the award criteria.
At the conclusion of the experience, a final report must be
submitted, highlighting all activities and the advances achieved. The
recipient will also work closely with AATS Foundation staff to determine
ways to share details with a larger audience.