There is considerable concern within the nephrology community about recent federal budget cuts and the decreasing availability of funds for research. This is especially difficult for junior investigators who are about to start a career as physician-scientists. Accordingly, it is imperative that resources other than federal funds be made available to these individuals during this most delicate yet crucial transition period. This commentary aims to provide an overview of nonfederal funding resources, focusing on the Norman S. Coplon Extramural Grant Program. This program emphasizes support of investigators at the most fragile period in their development of an academic career; it has provided >$11 million of research funds to more than 80 individuals since 2000. The outcome has been stellar, with more than 130 publications originating from these projects and >90% of awardees staying in academia. We hope these accomplishments will encourage similar activities by other entities and scientific programs in addition to ones that are ongoing. Ultimately, these collective efforts will inspire young researchers to use their knowledge, passion, and dedication to advance research into kidney diseases.
Copyright © 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.