Woman wearing white coat and looking into a microscope

School of Medicine receives funding to support researchers with COVID-19-related caregiving

Grants will focus on early-career scholars from under-represented groups


The UC Davis School of Medicine has successfully pursued new funding opportunities to provide research funds to early-career biomedical researchers working on clinical research projects and facing extra-professional demands of caregiving increased by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and its funding partner – the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the School of Medicine has received a $500,000 award that will support 10 faculty members. Matching support by the School of Medicine, UC Davis Health Academic Personnel and the UC Davis MIND Institute will provide program support and funding for an additional four faculty. Each will receive a $50,000 supplement to bolster research productivity and allow them to participate in small group, professional development mentoring activities.

Melissa Bauman (left) and Colleen Clancy (right)

The successful application, “A Novel Program to Identify, Support and Retain Clinical Scientists Impacted by Pandemic Caregiving Challenges” was developed by Melissa Bauman, professor and director of UC Davis Health’s Women in Medicine and Health Sciences and Colleen Clancy, professor and associate vice chancellor for academic personnel, who will serve as co-directors.

“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the challenges facing scientists who also have caregiving responsibilities,” said Bauman. “We are hopeful this funding will help us retain promising scholars who have caregiving roles at home and support their research productivity.”

In collaboration with fellow UC Davis faculty members, Bauman and Clancy will identify a diverse pool of potential applicants. They’ll work with other Diversity, Equity and Inclusion colleagues to ensure that individuals from under-represented groups, particularly people of color, members of the LGBTQIA community, and parents of children with special needs, are encouraged to apply. The grants will be administered by the UC Davis MIND Institute, where Bauman is a faculty member.

“As a consequence of the pandemic, we have seen a compelling and time-sensitive need for many early-career physician-scientists and biomedical researchers to regain momentum lost due to COVID-19-associated caregiving responsibilities,” said Bauman. “At UC Davis we are committed to supporting our early-career physician-scientists and are excited to work with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to support all applicants and ensure research equity.”

At UC Davis we are committed to supporting our early-career physician-scientists and are excited to work with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to support all applicants and ensure research equity.Melissa Bauman

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and its funding partners have come together to offer grants for U.S. medical schools that are evolving to strengthen policies, practices, and processes to support the research productivity and retention of early-career faculty with family caregiving responsibilities. These grants also aim to enhance institutional efforts to normalize family caregiving as part of their operations supporting physician-scientists and their broader early-career faculty.

“The outcomes of our program will be systematically evaluated and shared with the broader community through peer-reviewed publications,” said Clancy. “We anticipate that in addition to positively impacting the careers of award recipients, this program will also contribute to our long-term goal of creating a climate supportive of caregivers.”

Applications will be posted in December and due Jan. 15, 2022. Please contact Anurupa Kar anukar@ucdavis.edu to learn more.