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Schwartz Research Fund for Women in the Life Sciences

The Schwartz Research Fund for Women in the Life Sciences is made possible by generous support from Joan Poyner ’65 and Ronald H. Schwartz ’65, Chemistry majors in the College of Arts and Sciences and pioneers in promoting the work and careers of women in the life sciences.

The Schwartz Research Fund for Women in the Life Sciences

Description: Two or more grants of up to $15,000 each were awarded to Ithaca- and Geneva-based female faculty in the life sciences who display outstanding promise for conducting creative research which may have an important impact on human or environmental health, with the goal of supporting an innovative pilot experiment or a significantly new line of inquiry in their current research focus.  The Cornell Chronicle featured a story about the 2018 awardees, Renata Ivanek, associate professor of epidemiology, and Jeongmin Song, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, and their research.

These awards have in prior years been limited to faculty in traditional life science disciplines. In 2017, female faculty from a variety of colleges and departments are eligible to apply provided they clearly state the relevance of their research to and its impact on the life sciences.*

One award was given to a female assistant professor in years three to six of her Cornell employment by 2017. The goal is to provide seed money for a pilot experiment that would generate novel preliminary data to be used in a subsequent application for major new funding (e.g., NIH-ROl, NSF, or other equivalent multi-year support.)

The second award was given to a female associate professor to conduct an innovative pilot experiment that might open up a significant new line of inquiry in her current research focus or outside of it and that could be used as preliminary data in a subsequent application for major new funding. Alternatively, the award can serve as a bridge grant before the onset of such funding.

With the exception of equipment purchases and faculty salaries, grants from the Schwartz Research Fund may be applied toward a wide variety of expenses with the goal of supporting current research (for example: specific scientific needs, undergraduate/graduate/ postdoc support, and /or travel and lodging for research and/or conferences for grantees and/or students, postdocs, or consultants working with them).

Applicants are encouraged to include conference / travel opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Grants from the Schwartz Research Fund are awarded on a 12-month cycle.


  • Ithaca- and Geneva-based female assistant and associate professors conducting research in the life sciences are invited to apply.
  • Special note for assistant professors: you must be at least three years into employment at Cornell by 2017 to be eligible to apply.
  • Recipients of the Research Fund grants may not apply again until the third subsequent rfp cycle (i.e. if awarded in 2017, cannot apply until fall 2020 application cycle).

Application:  Applications for the 2018 Schwartz Research Funds were due Monday, November 6, 2017.

*Note to faculty members outside of life science departments: if you are unsure if your research may qualify, please consult Yael Levitte before submitting your application.


Contact Information

Office of Faculty Development and Diversity
122 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Ph: 607.255.6867
Fax: 607.255.4672