M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust funds new professor of biology at Linfield

Associate Professor of Biology Chad Tillberg and a few students perform summer research.M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust continues investment in science education, research with new professor of biology at Linfield College

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust continued its decades-long investment in scientific education and research in the Pacific Northwest with the approval of six grants totaling $180,000 from its “New Faculty Start-up Grants” program to help fund new science faculty positions at five universities in Oregon and Washington – including $30,000 for a new biology professor at Linfield College.

“We have worked with Linfield College for many years in a variety of efforts and we are pleased and impressed with the quality and caliber of work undertaken by their science faculty,” said Dr. Moses Lee, Senior Director for Scientific Research and Enrichment Programs, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “This grant will help Linfield in recruiting its highest ranked, teacher-scholar candidate who has expertise in the field of animal physiology, thereby strengthening their science education curriculum and giving students the opportunity to learn from the best faculty possible. We are honored to support student learning at Linfield and other universities throughout the Northwest.”

This is the sixth award the Murdock Trust has made to Linfield College to support scientific research and to enhance teaching technologies from this program. “A key strength of Linfield College is our close student-faculty collaboration. We’re pleased to partner with the Murdock Trust on science education and student-faculty scientific research,” said Linfield College President Miles K. Davis.

The grant will be used to fund the first two years of collaborative student-faculty research with Dr. Shanna Bowman, who comes to Linfield’s biology department on July 1, 2019. She is currently a postdoctoral student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Since 2011, the Murdock Trust has awarded more than half a million dollars to Linfield College.

About the New Science Faculty grants

Trustees of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust approved a program titled Research Start-up Grants for New Science Faculty in 2005. This program provides grant support to augment start-up research packages offered to new tenure-track faculty in the natural sciences at private institutions.

“Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in the value and power of scientific research, exploration and inspiration,” said Steve Moore, Executive Director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “We are grateful to be able to partner with institutions that are investing tirelessly in the work of growing our scientific knowledge and inspiring the next generation of scientific researchers and educators.”

It is anticipated that, with these grants, these institutions will become more competitive for the best young faculty nationwide; that new hires will have a better environment in which to initiate their research and a greater likelihood of success; and that the institutions will be encouraged to give faculty/student research even more serious attention than they have in the past.

Reviews of this program in 2010 and 2014 show remarkable success. External consultants are used to help with the hiring process, and reports show that the professors chosen have done well and are often awarded tenure. Several have also secured major federal research grants. To date, the Trust has awarded 99 grants under this program, for a total of nearly $3 million.

About M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest – Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington – that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the Trust has awarded more than 6,500 grants totaling more than $975 million. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and on its website.