Initiated in 2012, the Lilly Innovation Fellowship Award (LIFA) program was created to identify and foster exceptional post-doctoral scientists pursuing ground breaking research projects. The prestigious LIFA program pairs a post-doctoral scientist with their academic mentor and a Lilly scientist, who serves as an industry mentor, to advance an innovative research proposal developed by the fellow. The goal of the LIFA program is to focus on research topics or “Grand Challenges” that will drive innovation in scientific areas of greatest strategic interest to Eli Lilly and Company, while remaining general enough to foster disruptive innovation. Once a post-doctoral scientist is selected by Lilly, they will typically work at both the academic institution and at a Lilly research site, with access to Lilly scientists and technologies, to advance their research plan.
Research projects foster career development and are pre-competitive in nature; thus, publication is both encouraged and expected. Career development resources and other benefits are provided, including up to four years of salary, benefits and limited travel support to attend scientific meetings while participating in the program.
Consideration for participation in the program is currently limited to invited academic research centers around the world.
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Who Can Apply?
The LIFA program is by invitation only to selected academic research centers around the world. All applications must be submitted to Lilly by the office of the Dean for their institution. Interested applicants should contact their Dean for further information.
To qualify for consideration for the program, applicants must:
· Have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent) that is awarded by August 1, 2013, and no more than six years prior to August 1, 2013
· Must obtain the commitment of an academic mentor who will serve as their post-doctoral sponsor and will support them in the application process
· The post-doctoral position must not be contingent upon LIFA funding
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Recognizing that many post-doctoral training programs have not always prepared young scientists for the full spectrum of job opportunities available to them (academic, industry, biotech/start up, government, not-for-profit research), Lilly has designed this program to broaden post-doctoral scientists’ training experience.
Key to the success of this program will be the establishment of a true academic-industry training partnership where the post-doctoral scientist and their academic mentor are paired with a Lilly scientist who serves as an industry mentor. The post-doctoral scientist will typically work at both the academic institution and at a Lilly research site, with access to Lilly scientists and technologies to advance the innovative research project proposed by the fellow. The research projects are designed to be “pre-competitive” to encourage publication and presentation of resulting data.
Program benefits include:
· Full post-doctoral salary and benefits for up to four years
· Limited post-doctoral travel support to attend scientific conferences
· Annual payment to the university to support the post-doctoral scientist’s training
· Relocation support when moving from the university to work at a Lilly research site
· Participation in Lilly post-doctoral scientist development programs
· Interaction with Lilly’s global scientific network and become part of Lilly’s community of current post- doctoral scientists and alumni
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Our Grand Challenges were designed to better align post-doctoral research with Lilly’s scientific strategy. These challenges address major scientific gaps of broad relevance that adversely impact our ability to discover and develop new drugs successfully. Our challenges represent broad areas that are not typically the focus of Lilly’s internal research. These challenges are an ideal framework for post-doctoral research since they offer guidance toward the pursuit of excellent, publishable basic and applied research. We look forward to receiving proposals that would be of interest to our therapeutic and functional areas participating in the Lilly Innovation Fellowship Award program. Outlined below are our Five Grand Challenges:
1. To establish clinical efficacy and safety earlier in the drug development process
2. To develop the right medicine for the right patient
3. To deliver exceptional patient outcomes
4. To simplify large-scale chemistry and protein production and minimize its environmental impact
5. To target and deliver biologics and small molecule drugs precisely and safely
Lilly Therapeutic and Functional Areas currently participating in the LIFA program include:
- ADME/Drug Disposition
- Analytical Sciences
- Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases
- Biomolecule Science & Engineering
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chemical Engineering
- Drug Delivery & Devices
- Health Outcomes Research
- Medicinal/Discovery Chemistry
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Neuroscience (pain, neurodegeneration, psychiatric disorders)
- Pharmaceutical Sciences (biologics and small molecules)
- Process Chemistry
- Protein Production
- Regulatory Sciences
- Statistical Sciences
- Tailored Therapeutics
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