The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, formerly known as the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, was created to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine, dentistry, or nursing and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians, dentists, and nurse-scientists.  Four-year postdoctoral research awards are offered to historically disadvantaged physicians, dentists, and nurses who are committed to developing careers in academic medicine and to serving as role models for students and faculty of similar background.

The program defines the term “historically disadvantaged” to mean challenges facing individuals because of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or other similar factors.

The program was renamed and expanded in 2004 in honor of Harold Amos, Ph.D., who was the first African-American to chair a department, now the Department of Microbiology and Medical Genetics, of the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Amos worked tirelessly to recruit and mentor countless numbers of minority and disadvantaged students to careers in academic medicine and science. He was a founding member of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Minority Medical Faculty Development Program in 1983, and served as the Program’s National Program Director between 1989 and 1993. Dr. Amos remained active with the program until his death in 2003.

The program was further expanded in 2012 to include dental medicine, and in 2016 to include nursing.

Each Amos Scholar selected (up to ten each year) will receive an annual stipend up to $75,000, complemented by a $30,000 annual grant toward support of research activities. Each Scholar will study and conduct research in association with a senior faculty member located at an academic medical center, dental school, or school of nursing noted for the training of young faculty and pursuing lines of investigation that are of interest to the Scholar. Scholars are expected to spend at least 70% of their time in research activities.

A distinguished National Advisory Committee assists the Foundation with the program. While these awards are intended to provide four years of support, the National Advisory Committee reviews the progress of each Scholar after the first two years to determine the appropriateness of continuing funding for the full duration of the award.