Mentor Programs

Pre‑Doctoral Summer Fellowship Award Program

Extended Application Deadline: Monday, May 15, 2023, 5:00 p.m. Eastern

The Summer Fellowship Award Program is designed to recognize PhD students conducting research related to scleroderma. The program will encourage and foster the next generation of researchers by cultivating students’ early interests in working to discover the cause and cure of scleroderma. Students may submit a proposal on research relevant to adult or pediatric scleroderma.

Annually one recipient will be awarded the Dr. Arnold Postlethwaite Summer Fellowship. The endowed memorial fellowship was established by the family of Dr. Arnold Postlethwaite and honor’s his career as a scleroderma specialist and his 22-year relationship with the National Scleroderma Foundation’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board and support group leader.

Learn more about eligibility and other details, download the fellowship instructions and the application.

Contact: Please contact the National Scleroderma Foundation with any questions at or by calling (800) 722-4673.

Early Career Investigator Workshop

Every two years the Foundation hosts the Early Career Investigator Workshop in conjunction with the National Scleroderma Conference. The two-day intensive workshop brings together investigators who have received funding from the Foundation to discuss their research in depth. The goal is to facilitate interactions, provide constructive feedback, and offer career mentoring in a highly interactive supportive environment. Following the Workshop, scientists share their research with conference attendees as poster presentations. During the pandemic, the workshop pivoted to a virtual program occuring monthly and has enjoyed great success. Participation is by invitation only.

“These are mostly early-stage investigators who are new to scleroderma research,” said John Varga, MD “The goal is to nurture a community of scleroderma innovators. No one needs to work in isolation, and we can build on ideas to accelerate advances in the field, and bring them to the clinic promptly.”

“This is an unparalleled effort to ensure a pipeline of physicians and scientists committed to the care of patients with scleroderma and to advancing basic, translational, and clinical research on the disease,” said Carol Feghali-Bostwick, PhD, who leads the effort along with Varga.

The ranks of mentor scientists have included Laura Hummers, MD, Johns Hopkins University; Maria Trojanowska, PhD, Boston University; Lorinda Chung, MD, MS, Stanford University; Janet Pope, MD, MPH, FRCPC, St. Joseph Health Care London; Carol Artlett, PhD, Drexel University College of Medicine; Virginia Steen, MD, Georgetown University; and Peter Merkel, MD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania.