IICD Path to Independence Program: Currently Accepting Applications

Lorenza Favrot
October 21, 2021

The Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics supports several Associate Research Scientist positions through its “Path to Independence Program,” intending to continue building a solid foundation for the next generation of interdisciplinary cancer researchers. The Associate Research Scientists pursue their own research and provide mentorship for postdocs and other trainees in computational biology, typically in collaborative projects within the Columbia community. This program provides them with a path toward applying for faculty positions and establishing their independent labs.  IICD initiated the program in 2020 and currently supports three Associate Research Scientists.

Headshot of Sanket Rane

“I was looking for the next step in my academic journey where I can ask some interesting questions at the intersection of computation, mathematics, and cancer-immunology with the mentored independence. IICD delivered more than what I had hoped for,” says Dr. Sanket Rane (20’ cohort).

Headshot of Karol Nowicki-Osuch

A key aspect of the program is the opportunity for the Associate Research Scientists to apply for independent funding, under the mentoring of IICD faculty members. This feature is one of the main reasons that led Dr. Karol Nowicki-Osuch (21’ cohort) to join the Institute. “The Associate Research Scientist position at IICD is an excellent opportunity to develop my leadership and management skills in a highly collaborative and engaging environment. As an ARS fellow, with the help of the IICD team, I can apply for independent grants whilst working on my own research ideas. To this end, the Institute provides excellent financial, academic, and administrative support that helps me develop and drive my independent ideas that hopefully will be appreciated during my transition towards an academic faculty position,” explains Dr. Nowicki-Osuch.

Headshot of David S. Tourigny

As part of the program, IICD faculty also provide guidance and mentorship to the Associate Research Scientist as they apply for academic faculty positions. Dr. David S. Tourigny (20’ cohort) will join the School of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham (UK) in Fall 2022 as a Birmingham Fellow (equivalent to an Assistant Professor rank). “The Associate Research Scientist position at IICD provided me with an ideal setting for the transition from postdoctoral fellow to an independent scientist. The academic freedom afforded by the ARS position, together with the intellectually stimulating and prestigious research environment of IICD, allowed me to consolidate and expand previous work in preparation for a faculty position. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such outstanding scientists and administrative staff, and the collaboration network that has resulted from participating in the first steps of establishing a world-class research institute will be something I very much treasure going forward,” says Dr. Tourigny.

Two new Associate Research Scientist positions are currently opened: one in mathematical sciences with a particular emphasis on research relating to cancer and one in quantitative aspects of cancer research. To learn more, visit: https://cancerdynamics.columbia.edu/research-scientist-position-opening