A new program will aid junior faculty in pursuing their research and scholarly activities while juggling family responsibilities. The Faculty Scholar Award will provide funding of up to $30,000 per year to support personnel, services, supplies or “buy out” of clinical time to provide opportunity for academic work. “We hope that this award program will enable more junior faculty to advance to senior levels, surmounting obstacles that might otherwise inhibit their academic productivity and advancement,” said Luanne Thorndyke, vice provost for faculty affairs. “In particular, this award program is intended to help diversify the faculty and increase representation of women at the highest faculty ranks.” The Faculty Scholar Award, created by the UMMS Women’s Faculty Committee and the Women’s Leadership Work Group, is funded jointly by UMMS, UMass Memorial Health Care and the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science. The awards are open to UMMS faculty, both women and men at the assistant or associate professor level, and are funded for one year, with the option of a no-cost, one-year extension. Four awards will be available for the current academic year. Research on faculty advancement and retention has shown that heavy responsibilities for family care can impede the progress of talented junior faculty in meeting career goals, according to Thorndyke. Rather than pay for child care or other family support services, the funding is an investment in the research and scholarship of the applicant and can only be used for professional expenses that would be allowed by an external funding agency, such as NIH, she said. Applications are being accepted by the Office of Faculty Affairs until by Jan. 15. For more information, contact the OFA at Faculty.Affairs@umassmed.edu.