Donna Vogel, PhD supported early scholars through grant management and career advising

By Donna Vogel

Introduce yourself and describe your work

After my postdoc, I moved into the grant space, and later found my dream job doing career advising and professional skills training. I’d like to showcase the niche of Program Officer, i.e. running a grant program. In this under-appreciated role, you have a surprising amount of impact on your field.

What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or discovery?

I am proudest of crafting the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) grant program in 1999. It supports early-career scholars doing mentored interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, and/or health-services research relevant to women’s health.

How does your work impact people and the world around us?

I’ve brought about funding initiatives in reproductive science, helped many early-career researchers to launch and persevere, and provided encouragement and information to those looking to careers away from the bench.

What is a unique fact about your career/industry?

People do not realize there is a very creative side to managing a grant program. It’s not just administrivia – it can be surprisingly proactive.

What advice do you have for other women or nonbinary individuals considering this field?

In my experience of over 40 years, government employment has generally been more equitable and inclusive than the private sector. Sure, there are problems, but nowhere near what you see elsewhere.