The scientific goals of the Institute require new approaches to studying the properties of living organisms. To promote innovation and creativity, the Institute uses the gift of $35 million from Peter B. Lewis, Class of 1955, to provide generous salary and research support for early career scientists at the beginning of their independent research careers. The intent of this program is to release these scientists from the requirement to raise their own grant support, and to encourage risk taking in their research.
The program is used to attract early career scientists to the Institute with diverse backgrounds and exceptional promise, people who will eventually populate the new interdisciplinary field of integrative genomics. They are largely drawn from the ranks of recent Ph.D. graduates, and conduct their independent research under the mentorship of the Institute. Appointments are for a non-renewable term of 5 years. The Institute provides an exceptional, one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary environment and research funds for these term appointments.
In addition, the Lewis-Sigler Fellows play an important role in the undergraduate teaching mission of the Institute, developing the laboratory components and running the precepts for the Integrated Science Curriculum.