BioKansas Awarded Grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund to Develop Novel Kansas-Based Training Program

BioKansas has received a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund to develop a bioscience industry immersion program for PhD students. The new program aims to broaden area students’ understanding of career options, expand their professional networks, provide awareness of area job opportunities, and preparation for career advancement.

SHAWNEE, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioKansas, a life science nonprofit committed to preparing students for careers in the biosciences, is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The grant supports one-year projects that model affordable and transferable approaches to improving trainees’ readiness for stable and fulfilling careers. BioKansas is the very first state BIO affiliate to ever be awarded the Career Guidance for Trainees grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

The BioKansas program will allow students to interface with the state’s bioscience landscape and explore how the broader bioscience ecosystem operates – from the process of moving a discovery beyond the lab to the marketplace or clinic, to a broader awareness of the economics and business of science, as well as lessons in entrepreneurship and how communication plays a role in driving innovation. The program will be hosted by regional companies, allowing participants to hear from subject-matter experts while also exposing them to different work environments, company cultures, and professional networks. Taken together, these features aim to assist students in better aligning their career expectations while also becoming more knowledgeable of bioscience organizations within the region. Partnering organizations include the Bioscience & Technology Business Center, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Hovey Williams LLP, Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association, KCAS Bioanalytical and Biomarker Services, Likarda, and Merck Animal Health.

“We want to immerse early career scientists in the scientific ecosystem while helping them develop a suite of in-demand business-related skills. We anticipate these experiences will help students establish realistic expectations of career opportunities, which will lead to greater job satisfaction, lower attrition, and the ability for them to more efficiently advance through their careers,” said Sonia Hall, President & CEO of BioKansas.

Due to the increasing focus on developing and providing robust professional development for early career scientists, BioKansas is designing the program to be scalable and transferrable for a variety of organization and institute types. Upon completion of the pilot, BioKasas will provide support and training to other organizations interested in implementing this program.

The application is open fall 2020.


Sonia Hall, 785-727-0442

View original press release here.