The Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research (JCC Fund) was established by the Childs Family in 1937, to honor the memory of Jane Coffin Childs who died of cancer in 1936. Inspired by the founding purpose to support research into the causes and treatment of cancer, the Fund’s mission has broadened to support fundamental scientific research that advances understanding of the causes, treatments, and cures for human disease.
The JCC Fund provides three years of salary support to the best and brightest postdoctoral fellows, as selected by the esteemed Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA), pursuing fundamental biomedical research to advance human health. Over 1,700 Jane Coffin Childs Fellows have been awarded to conduct basic cancer and human disease related research in laboratories in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia.
The JCC Fund supports between twenty-five and thirty new three-year postdoctoral fellows each year. The current fellowship stipend levels are Year 1 $56,000; Year 2 $59,000 and Year 3 $62,000 with additional funding provided for research costs, travel costs, relocation costs and supplemented salaries for fellows with dependents. Additional funds for child care costs are accessible for fellows, thanks to a generous gift to the JCC Fund, established by Dr. Joan Steitz.
From the start, the Fund has been fortunate that distinguished, thoughtful and dedicated scientists have generously given their time and efforts as members of the BSA. The rigorous selection process, the mentoring and sharing of knowledge that the BSA provides each year is one of the great strengths of the JCC Fund. The BSA has included seventeen recipients of the Nobel Prize, as well as numerous recipients of other prestigious scientific awards and honors. The BSA are innovators and leaders who are well-known among scientists and non-scientists around the world. As a result, competition is high for a JCC Fellowship. Each year over three hundred and fifty applications for fellowship projects are received by the JCC office and evaluated by the BSA.
The JCC Fund is committed to mentoring and advancing people from all backgrounds and through its role as a funder of biomedical research, is dedicated to increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce.
Between twenty-five and thirty three-year Fellowships are awarded annually. Most of these fellowships are funded from the resources of the JCC Fund itself. A Board of Managers, consisting principally of members of the Childs family, manages the endowment. Each year ten to thirteen of the fellowships are funded by corporate and non-profit partners of JCC, including Merck and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The administrative and program offices of the JCC Fund are located in New Haven, CT at the Yale Medical School.
Each year the BSA and the currently funded fellows are expected to attend an annual symposium. As part of the agenda, the fellows will partake in poster sessions, scientific sessions and career development sessions, all to enhance the networking, communication and scientific skills of the fellows. When Starling W. Childs established the JCC Fund in 1937, he stressed the need for maximum communication among those focused on the war on cancer. While the focus of our research support has broadened, Starling W. Childs was ahead of his time and the need for clear, accessible scientific communication from trusted leaders in science is more pressing than ever.