Research Starter Grant in Translational Medicine
This award assists individuals beginning independent research careers in translational medicine at the faculty level.
Application deadline: February 3, 2020 @ 11:59 PM EST (Application submission and reference letters of support are due by the deadline.)
Click HERE to apply.
Award notification is April 15, 2020.
Eligible candidates (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) holding the academic rank of Assistant Professor (or Research Assistant Professor) within a tenure track (or Research track) appointment, or Instructor, if eligible to apply for independent research funding by their institution, are eligible to apply for these research starter grants, providing their proposed research is neither directly nor indirectly already being subsidized to any significant degree by an extramural support mechanism. Individuals receiving only intramural funding or start-up funding from their institution are eligible to apply for this award.
Applicants will be judged on the scientific merits of the proposed research, and on the degree of need and fit within the scope and goals of the program. The program is not intended for those in postdoctoral training programs. However, individuals in postdoctoral training scheduled to conclude and who will hold an academic appointment by January 1, 2020, or the start of the grant period, may apply.
Funding: $100,000 for one year.
Important: Please click on topics in blue, above, to learn the full details about this award.
Translational medicine is a discipline focused on bridging discoveries in experimental and computational research to their application in clinical practice. To be successful, this requires working with clinicians to first identify critical unmet clinical needs. Examples of research areas include molecular and cellular biology, pathophysiology, systems biology, bioinformatics, modeling and simulation, and other quantitative sciences that connect basic biological concepts to unmet medical needs. Clinical observation should serve as the basis for hypothesis generation to further basic research and to efficiently advance the product of such research to patients.
The goal of the PhRMA Foundation’s Translational Medicine Program is to promote the development of an integrative approach towards clinical needs in diagnosis, treatment and prevention using both experimental and computational methods. The Foundation believes that, towards this goal, it is critical that researchers collaborate with clinicians to identify critical unmet clinical needs. This can lead to an enhanced understanding of human biological and disease processes but requires a strong translational component that is bi-directional, i.e. starting from bedside to bench. This program will support such approaches to Translational Medicine and Therapeutics. Translational Medicine awards will advance training and support career development of scientists engaged in research that significantly addresses specific clinician-defined problems and integrates innovative technologies with advanced biological, chemical, and pharmacological sciences and engineering methodologies in areas including:
- Genetics (Molecular, Pharmaco-, Population, Medical)
- Genomics (Functional, Structural, Toxico-, Pharmaco-, Comparative)
- Systems (Biology and Pharmacology)
- Pathways and Networks
- Integrative Biology
- Modeling and Simulation
- Target Identification and Validation
- Biomarker Discovery and Validation
- Vaccine Development
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Disease Modeling
- Emphasis will be placed on identification of clinician-defined unmet clinical needs and the development of new experimental and computational approaches and technologies that facilitate the translation of research results into the elucidation and understanding of human biological and disease processes that focus on producing solutions.
- Preferences will be given to those applicants whose research identifies unmet clinical need and combines novel experimental and computational methods together with actual clinical validation.
- For applications to be considered, the proposal must contain evidence of collaboration across clinical:non-clinical interface and not solely apply experimental and computational methodologies to data generation and analysis without clinical validation.
- The use of non-human model systems, that do not involve human specimens, data or patients, must be justified in terms of their relationship to human biology and disease, specifying both limitations and advantages, and the results of such studies are required to involve clinical testing in humans in support of the model.
To assist individuals beginning independent research careers in health outcomes at the faculty level. Hence, the term “starter”.
Eligibility & Requirements
- Applicants (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) attending U.S. institutions holding the academic rank of Assistant Professor (or Research Assistant Professor) within a tenure track (or Research track) appointment, or Instructor  , if eligible to apply for independent research funding by their institution, are eligible to apply for these research starter grants, providing their proposed research is neither directly nor indirectly already being subsidized to any significant degree by an extramural support mechanism. Individuals receiving only intramural funding or start-up funding from their institution are eligible to apply for this award.
- Applicants must be sponsored by the department or unit in which the proposed research is to be undertaken.
- This program is not intended for individuals in postdoctoral training. However, those enrolled in postdoctoral training programs scheduled to conclude by July 1, 2020, who will hold an academic appointment by that time, may apply.
- Eligible candidates will not have other substantial sources of research funding. If other funding becomes available during the grant, the PhRMA Foundation must be notified. 
- Applicants will be judged on the scientific merits of the proposed research, and on the degree of need and fit within the scope and goals of the program.
 Exceptions require written support from the department chair stating this funding would promote the instructor into a regular tenure or research track appointment, with the opportunity for promotion within the track.
 This program is not offered to augment an ongoing research effort. Funds must be used to conduct the proposed research.
- The grant provides funding of $100,000 for one year.
- The grant is paid on a quarterly basis to the university on behalf of the applicant, with the understanding that the university will administer the funds.
- The funds have limited restrictions – a characteristic of the program.
- The support of technical assistance may include the hourly wages of a technician or graduate student stipend; however, the funds may not be used to provide fringe benefits or indirect costs for the personnel.
- Within the $100,000 grant, up to $1,500 per year may be used for travel to professional meetings by the grantee.
- The funds may be used to purchase equipment and/or data to support the research efforts.
- PhRMA Foundation funds may not be used for indirect costs or fringe benefits.
- These funds are not transferable.
- Funding may begin as early as July 1, 2020.
- Unspent funds are to be returned to the PhRMA Foundation upon the grant’s conclusion.
Research Starter Grant Application Checklist
Please make a copy of this list to reference during the application process, as incomplete applications will not be considered.
- General Registration Information
- Applicant CV or Biosketch
- Extended Letter
This letter is an opportunity to tell us who you are and to describe your career and future plans. Include a synopsis of your career, your professional interests, and your desired career path. The letter should not exceed two single-spaced pages (U.S. letter size 8.5” x 11” / 12-point font / .5” margin).
- Research Plan (^)
Prepare a comprehensive yet concise statement, not to exceed eight single-spaced pages (U.S. letter size 8.5” x 11” / 12-point font / .5”), including objectives and specific aims, background, significance, and rationale. Preliminary studies, as well as results (if available), should be included. Detail the research design and methodology. Applicants should use a format similar to the format specified for grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health. A bibliography of major references should be provided (bibliographies are not included in the page limit). The first use of any abbreviation or acronym should be preceded by the full name or description. Clearly identify other principals involved as collaborators in the project, the amount of time they will commit, and the amount of time you will commit. List by titles the funded research projects of each principal, the portion of time committed, and the amount and source of funds for these projects. Identify the amount of intramural support available for the proposed project, and other research efforts by budget categories and amounts. If the school makes the services of a technician available to the candidate, note this. Identify the part of the proposal that will be directly initiated or expedited by the Foundation’s funds. The Advisory Committee that reviews each application places considerable emphasis on the quality of the research and training proposal. In describing the research and training plan, it is essential to document that guidance and departmental support will be available to ensure proper training in the techniques and principles of the specified area.
- Research Abstract
Submit a titled abstract of approximately 200 words concerning the proposed research plan.
Complete the budget section of the application portal categorizing how the funds will be used. If you would like to submit additional information, please upload a Budget Justification.
Applicant should upload contact information for each reference (at least three people). The system will auto generate an email asking him/her to provide a letter of support by February 3, 2020 @ 11:59 PM EST.
Applicant should upload contact information for the head of the administrative unit in which the applicant reports, e.g. department chair, program director, center director, institute director, etc. His/her reference letter should include an assessment of the applicant and proposed research as well as confirming the department is responsible for the training in this discipline.
Collaborator (if applicable)
The collaborator should provide a letter of support including their biosketch, acknowledging their support and enthusiasm for the project.
Up to Three Other Individuals Familiar with Your Scientific Career
S/He should provide a letter of support providing as much information about the applicant and their experience for the proposed project.
(^) Submission of this plan is assurance that the research proposal has been written primarily by the applicant.
The deadline for application submission and letters of support is February 3, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.