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Gertrude B. Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award

Administering Organization

Triangle Community Foundation


The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) provided $500,000 to the Triangle Community Foundation (TCF) to establish the Gertrude B. Elion Fund for Health Research.  The Elion Fund was endowed in memory of Gertrude B. Elion, 1988 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF).  BWF is an independent private foundation based in North Carolina whose mission is to advance the medical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.  Recognizing Dr. Elion’s interest in fostering the research careers of students, and particularly women, the Elion Fund was established in 1999 to provide support for the research mentoring of medical students.  The Gertrude B. Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award is the first initiative developed within the Elion Fund.

The Gertrude B. Elion Mentored Medical Student Research Award will provide an annual award to one student in the amount of $10,000.  These awards will support women medical students who are interested in pursuing health-related research projects.  Students must have an interest in health research, and must have the support of a faculty mentor.


Selection is based on a number of factors.  These factors include the candidate’s qualifications, the quality and relevance of the proposed health research, and the interest and support of the student’s scientific mentor.  Consideration also will be given to the institutional environment.  Institutions should provide evidence that they are committed to research in the areas in which the student will work and that they are willing to provide appropriate mentoring for the student.
Please note: 

  • Nominations must be submitted by either Duke University Medical Center, or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
  • Candidates must be women, enrolled as full-time students, and will have completed at least one year of medical school prior to the start of the award.  They must conduct their research at the applying institution.
  • Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada at the time of application.  Documentation of permanent residency status must be provided with the application.  Persons who have applied for permanent residency but have not received their government documentation by the time of application are not eligible.
  • Triangle Community Foundation, in cooperation with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, has appointed an outside advisory committee composed of distinguished scientists to review the applications.  The committee’s recommendations will be reviewed by BWF, and TCF’s Board of Directors will make the final selections.

    Neither TCF nor BWF will provide critiques of unfunded proposals.




    How To Obtain An Application

    Applications must be typed (single-spaced using 12-point font) on standard 8.5 by 11 inch paper with one inch or larger margins on all sides.  Pages must be numbered.  Collate all sections of the application.  Do not provide a cover letter.  Application packets must be submitted using the Foundation’s online system.  Click here to begin the application process. 

    Important note: Applications that contain more than the specified number of pages, or letters will be rejected out of fairness to candidates who adhere to the guidelines.  In addition, applications that are not properly organized or that do not include all of the requested materials will be rejected.

    Applications must be organized as follows:
    1. Application Form
    Candidates must complete the application form.  An official of the host institution must confirm approval of the application by signing the application form as designated.  Candidates who hold permanent residency status in the United States or Canada must provide a copy of government documentation that residency has been granted.  Include a copy of the documentation after the application form.
    2. Sponsor’s statement of nomination
    Present the institution’s reasons for nominating the student.  Verify that the candidate meets the award’s eligibility requirements and describe the expected impact of the award on the candidate’s research or training. Describe all program and institutional support that will be provided for the candidate, including such things as mentoring for career development.  Briefly describe the laboratory space, equipment, and other resources for research and training that will be available to the awardee.

    3. Candidate’s curriculum vitae (no more than two pages)
    Include name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, education and training, experience in research, and a list of current and pending grants and awards – if any- with any presentations or publications.

    4. Mentor’s curriculum vitae (no more than two pages) 
    Include name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, significant publications and experience in research, education and training.

    5. Research plan
    The plan should include three components: 
    First, the mentor should provide a one-half to one-page scientific abstract. 
    Second, the mentor should provide a description of the proposed research that the student will be working on and describe the student’s specific role in the project (up to 5 pages).  Third, the student should provide a statement describing her career objectives and the expected impact of the award.

    6. Budget
    Explain in general terms how the award will be spent. The award should be spent for the academic enrichment of the student.  No indirect costs may be charged against the grant.  Budget may not include student stipend support, university tuition, or general reagents for the laboratory in which the student works.  Some examples of how the award might be spent include attending outside short courses, travel to scholarly meetings, purchase of a computer for the personal use of the student, or books for the personal use of the student. 

    7. Letter of recommendation
    Provide a letter from someone other than the mentor, who is familiar with the student’s qualifications.  If, for reasons of confidentiality, the letter is submitted to the Foundation under separate cover, the original must be provided by the application deadline.  Please do not fax any portion of the application. 

    Application Deadline

    Application materials must be submitted online by March 15