Irving Scholars Program

This program is provided by the Administrative Core and Evaluation.


Recognizing the critical importance of training young clinical investigators, Herbert and Florence Irving earmarked a major portion of the Irving Endowment for the Florence and Herbert Irving Clinical Research Career Awards, usually referred to as the Irving Scholars Program. Scholars are selected on the basis of research proposals that reflect independent, well-developed scientific initiative in clinical investigation. It is expected that the proposed project will make significant use of the resources of the Irving Institute. These three-year awards provide substantial salary support, allowing the scholar more time for clinical investigation. The ranks of the scholars appointed since the program was launched in 1987 include physicians who have since become internationally recognized for their work.

During the tenure of their awards, successful candidates will hold a named professorship: either a Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of (Department) or a Florence Irving Assistant Professor of (Department). Additionally, with the initiation of our Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and expanded educational and mentoring program, we expect that Irving Scholars will assist Irving Institute leaders in various, CTSA-related activities such as grant review, mentoring programs, and the development of seminars.

  • Duration: Three years
  • Scholarship amount: $75,000 per year, increased starting with the 2024 cohort
  • Quantity: Approximately four to six new scholarships funded each year

See a list of current and past Irving Scholars.


The program is open to applicants from all clinical departments at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Preference is given to deserving applicants from dermatology, medicine, surgery, urology, and those engaged in translational cancer research, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the endowment agreements. Candidates should be appointed full-time Columbia faculty and hold the rank of assistant professor at the time of application. Tenure-track is not required. Competitive candidates should already have had significant involvement in patient-oriented research and have demonstrated an ability to pursue independent peer-reviewed extramural funding.  Based on the number of faculty and previous applications, each department is assigned a certain number of slots, therefore each applicant must consult with and be recommended by their department chair.

Eligible candidates for the Irving Scholars program must have a track record demonstrating a productive career and future potential in clinical and translational research - research that directly involves patients and human derived biomaterials or directly impacts patient care and therapeutics.  In alignment with the university-wide Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative and in accord with the vision of the Irving family, we expect the Irving Scholars to conduct clinical and translational research that could be considered to fall within the broad and inclusive definition of precision medicine and cancer research, and we do not plan to provide specific inclusion/exclusion criteria for applicants. The selection committee will, as it always has, choose those candidates who we consider to be the best amongst the applicant pool. We expect, however, to continue to accrue a cadre of young diverse faculty members with interest and growing expertise in clinical and translational research and precision oncology.

Please note: Due to the overlap in the terms of the award for the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Scholars Program and the Irving Scholars Program, faculty are eligible to hold only one of these awards at any one time.


All applications are due via SMApply by April 12, 2024, at 11:59pm EST.


A complete application includes:

  • Application form (all fields in SMApply required)
  • Research statement (not to exceed 4 pages)
    • Detailed instructions provided on the application form. In summary the 4 pages should include: overview of career goals, summary of education and training, research activities and focus, future directions, other research support, leadership or professional service positions and achievements, and a diversity statement
  • Research proposal (not to exceed 6 pages)
    • Detailed instructions provided on the application form. In summary the six pages should include: 1-page specific aims, 4-page research strategy (including significance/innovation, research approach), and 1-page on budget, budget justification and utilization of Irving Institute resources. Page limit does not include references which have no limit.
  • Abstract (not to exceed 200 words) 
  • Curriculum vitae
  • NIH-style biographical sketch (with eRA Commons Username noted)
  • Reprints of relevant publications
  • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s department chair, including comments on the nature of the department’s own commitment to the support of the candidate for a career in clinical and translational research.

Cite it, Submit it, Share it!

If your research has benefited from one or more Irving Institute resources, please remember to:

  • Cite our CTSA grant, UL1 TR001873, in any relevant publications, abstracts, chapters, and/or posters.
  • Submit your publications to PubMed Central (PMC) for compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Share your research updates with us by sending an email to:


Elisabeth Swift DiMaria
622 West 168th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States