baccalaureate. Moreover, there was a consensus that M.D.s were at a competitive disadvantage with Ph.D. scientists for postdoctoral fellowships. Finally, the experts pointed out that the move from postdoctoral fellow to junior faculty was a difficult transition. The development of a career in independent research required that junior faculty devote considerable time and effort to research with salary and research support assured. Yet NIH funding mechanisms were not designed to foster the independent research careers of new faculty. The long lead time required, the difficulty in developing independent pilot data, and the complexity of the NIH review process, combined with the limited funding available worked against the development of an independent research career for young scientists.
As a result of the deliberations that occurred at the two meetings, the Trust crafted a program to fund young scientists with the potential to contribute significantly to biomedical research. This program, the Markey Scholars Awards program, was a hybrid funding mechanism that combined postdoctoral training with the first faculty appointment. Scholars Awards provided adequate support for both the postdoctoral period as well as for the initial years of the faculty appointment, to maximize productivity, foster intellectual growth, and encourage independence. Under the conditions of the Trust, a total of 16 Markey Scholar Awards were to be made each year, half to applicants with Ph.D. degrees and half to applicants with either M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees.
The Trustees recognized the special circumstances of some M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. scientists who are required to spend up to 3 years of clinical residency training. Such individuals require an additional 3 or 4 years of postdoctoral support, before obtaining a faculty position in a clinical or basic sciences department. By contrast, the Ph.D.s will have completed their postdoctoral fellowship and will be ready to assume faculty status at a much earlier point in their career. Recognizing these different career pathways, the Trustees determined that Ph.D. scientists would be eligible for nomination at the start of their second or third year postdoctoral year and would receive funding for an additional two years of the postdoctorate and that M.D.s and M.D./Ph.D.s would be eligible for nomination at the start of their last year of clinical training or after 1 year of postdoctoral training and they included funding for 3 years of postdoctoral training. All nominees were eligible for 5 years of funding at the faculty level.
In addition, the Trustees concluded that it was appropriate to fund a research allowance (varying from $15,000 to $60,000) for all Scholars. The research allowance was modest during the postdoctoral years; increased substantially during the initial faculty years; and was reduced during the final faculty years in anticipation of other extramural funding. Finally, recognizing the potential for additional education debt for Scholars with