Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Seeking applications for the 6th Annual Dr. Eddie Méndez Scholar Award

Office of Faculty Affairs and Diversity

Fred Hutch is seeking applications for the 6th Annual Dr. Eddie Méndez Scholar Award, which recognizes outstanding postdoctoral fellows from any discipline conducting research on cancer, infectious diseases, or basic science. The award was created to recognize Dr. Méndez’s commitment to cancer research and supporting early-career scientists from historically excluded backgrounds. This award aims to build a community between postdoctoral scholars aiming to pursue academic faculty careers and scientists at Fred Hutch.

This award recognizes the achievements of postdoctoral fellows from backgrounds that are underrepresented in science based on the NIH definition, which includes individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders), individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. We acknowledge that not all groups historically excluded from science are within the NIH definition and have expanded eligibility to also include scientists who are LGBTQ+, formerly incarcerated, and more. Additionally, this award is open to individuals of all nationalities (e.g., being a U.S. citizen/permanent resident is not required). A selection committee consisting of Fred Hutch faculty will select up to eight awardees. Fred Hutch will provide an honorarium to awardees, and Fred Hutch will cover all expenses related to travel and accommodations. Awardees will present their postdoctoral research at a scientific symposium honoring Dr. Eddie Méndez and have the opportunity to meet with Fred Hutch faculty and senior leaders.

At Fred Hutch, we believe that the innovation, collaboration, and rigor that result from diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to our mission of eliminating cancer, infectious diseases and understanding the mechanisms of disease. Fred Hutch is in pursuit of becoming an antiracist organization. We are thus committed to supporting the diversification of academia. More information about our efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found at www.fredhutch.org/en/about/about-the-hutch/diversity-equity-inclusion.html.

Dr. Méndez, who died of cancer in 2018, specialized in treating head-and-neck cancer, an often disfiguring and debilitating disease. It was his mission to save lives and improve the well-being of cancer patients, whether through spearheading minimally invasive robotic surgery for these tumors (he was the first in Washington state to perform such surgery) or tirelessly developing new treatments in his laboratory at Fred Hutch.

Eligibility: (at the time of application submission and symposium)

  • Be a postdoctoral researcher from a disadvantaged background seeking an academic faculty position.
  • Be completing research that aligns with the work being pursued at Fred Hutch.
  • Have plans to enter the academic job market in the Fall of 2024 or beyond.
  • Have not yet entered the academic job market nor accepted a faculty position.

Qualifications: Qualified applicants will have made innovative research contributions during their postdoctoral training, be planning to pursue an academic research career, have a clear direction in their future research vision, and be conducting research that is broadly applicable to the research being pursued at Fred Hutch.

Required Application Materials:

  • CV
  • Research statement (1 page)
  • Personal statement (1/2 page)
  • Faculty Letter of Support

Application Instructions:

Your CV

Research Statement (1 page total): Please describe your postdoctoral research accomplishments. As a reminder, your application may be reviewed by someone outside your field of study. In your research statement, please answer the following questions (3/4 of a page):

  1. What is the rationale underlying your project?
  2. What are the major discoveries you have made during your postdoctoral fellowship?
  3. Why is your work innovative, and why are your findings significant?
  4. How does your work challenge or extend existing paradigms within your field?

As this award aims to foster the development of scientists aiming to pursue an academic research career, in your research statement, please also:

  1. Describe the proposed research program you will pursue as a future faculty member (1/4 of a page).

Personal Statement: Eddie Méndez was not only recognized as an outstanding researcher but he was also committed to family and community. Those in his lab frequently spoke about his dedication to mentoring scientists. Please write a personal narrative that supports how you exemplify these values. You may also discuss your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion and any barriers you have overcome throughout your career. While there is no designated format for the personal statement, please clearly state how your application aligns with the spirit of the Eddie Méndez Award.

Faculty Letter of Support: Please identify a faculty member with knowledge of you and your research who is willing to provide a letter of recommendation to support your application. Note that this letter of support does not need to be from your primary mentor and you will not be penalized for not having a letter from your postdoctoral mentor.

Identify the Division(s) at Fred Hutch most closely aligned with your scientific interests and research.

Application (Due March 1st): apply.interfolio.com/138708

Questions? Please contact Sara Cole at scole2@fredhutch.org.

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