The Leaders (Atidim) Research Program
The Leaders Research Program (Atidim, in Hebrew) provides funds, including designated donations, to cover research related time and expenses of the most promising medical residents.
It is noteworthy that this word, “atidim” means “future” in Hebrew. The question is, what kind of future? This program envisioned providing the training necessary to prepare young clinician researchers to become leaders in their field; hence, the Leaders Program, in English.
The Leaders Program helps awardees to establish their future careers based on a combination of clinical and scientific excellence, with a focus on basic and translational research. Established in 2007, this program and its alumni have gained wide recognition, serving as an especially important example of Rambam’s dedication to medical trainees and our vision for coupling biomedical research discovery with excellence in patient care. The number of superb applicants is high, the adjudication process rigorous, and many excellent applicants do not receive awards. To date, 25 residents have received Leaders Awards.
Leaders Awards are granted annually to the highest ranked Rambam resident applicants in support of their research projects. After selecting a project and a host laboratory at a research institution, applicants are paired with a mentor from the relevant laboratory. Applications are then subject to a merit review and a competitive selection process by the Leaders Scientific Committee.
An essential component of the program is to provide the awardees with sufficient financial support to enable them to dedicate fifty percent of their time to basic research carried out at their host laboratory. The award funds therefore contribute to the expenses of the mentor’s laboratory to support experimental work, to the awardee’s department to compensate for time spent in research rather than clinical work, and to the awardee’s research-related expenses (professional conferences, equipment, etc.). Each awardee is expected to complete his or her research project within two years.