Endow Science for Eternity

Finding a faculty position is challenging. Every year, extremely talented postdocs (Scientists performing academic research after obtaining a Ph.D.) leave academia because they are unable to secure a position at a research university. The reason for non-selection is complicated, and often times is out of the hands of the applicant (e.g., fit for a given department changes every year). I know, because I was one such postdoc whos faculty dream did not pan out until my second year on the job market. Owing to their academia interests, these scientists have (multiple) projects that are well-researched, ready to begin, and just needing a little luck (funding) to come to fruition.

I wish to host these scientists who will be free to explore their own transformative research ideas. An endowment would support salary and research expenditures for this scientist as they obtain preliminary results that can strengthen their faculty application and allow them to apply for federal grants. Because the research would be supported outside traditional funding mechanisms (e.g., federal research grants), there will be freedom to explore high risk / high reward research.

This position will be pointed towards scientists recently completing a preliminary postdoc position in a different laboratory within the USA. The postdoc will be supported for 2-3 years, and Kyle Plunkett will mentor the applicant for future faculty applications.

What is Needed

An endowment of $4 million would support this independent research position (forever). Please see the SIU Foundation. Smaller donations towards this end goal, or our research in general, are definitely welcome (See Research Infrastucture).

Donation Mechanism

Donations to the Saluki Materials Laboratory would be handled through the Southern Illinois University Foundation. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) designated organization with IRS permission to issue tax-deductible receipts.
Please contact Kyle Plunkett at kplunkett@siu.edu to start a conversation about possible gifts to the Saluki Materials Laboratory or the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences.