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Funding Biomedical Research Programs: Contributions of the Markey Trust
United Kingdom and Australian Visiting Fellows
In addition to the scholars program, the Trustees supported outstanding young scientists from the United Kingdom and Australia by enabling them to spend two years as postdoctoral fellows at American research institutions. A total of 36 Visiting Fellows—26 from the United Kingdom and 10 from Australia—was elected between 1986 through 1994. Total support amounted to $3,298,000.
GENERAL ORGANIZATIONAL GRANTS
Almost at its inception, The Markey Trust had become cognizant of a growing gap between biomedical research and clinical application. In 1989, input was sought from a number of biomedical scientists on directions for Trust funding during its remaining term. They advised that there was general concern in medical schools about the “bed-bench gap” and that plans were emerging in many universities to develop new curricula and teaching techniques to close the gap between laboratory research and research based on clinical observation.
The Markey Trust indicated that it would be responsive to proposals to address the development of training programs designed to bridge the “bed-bench” gap. The trustees received a number of proposals that fell into two categories: those that provided significant opportunities for M.D.s to engage in basic research during and immediately following medical school and residency and those that provided significant clinical exposure for Ph.D.s while they were predoctoral or postdoctoral students. The first of these awards, classified as General Organizational Grants, was made in 1992. These grants were designed to close the widening gap between rapid advances in our understanding of biological process and the translation of that knowledge into techniques for preventing diseases (Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, 1995).
General Organizational Grant programs were funded for approximately five years, although due to the flexibility of the Markey grants, many grant recipients were able to extend the grant’s duration. Because of the limited term of the Trust, General Organizational Grants could not be renewed. Between 1988 and 1995, 22 General Organizational Grants amounting to $62,121,700 were awarded. The average amount awarded was about $2.8 million, but award amounts ranged from $50,000 to $13,750,000.
During its tenure, the Markey Trust made a number of awards that did not fit into the three major award categories. These awards continued