2014 Awards
Research Starter Grants
Pharmacology/Toxicology > Research Starter Grant


The purpose of the PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grants is to offer financial support to individuals beginning their independent research careers at the faculty level. The areas of interest within this program are research efforts in the fields of pharmacology and drug toxicology. The program provides a research grant of $100,000 for one year.

Research projects that extend or develop the proprietary value of specific drug products are not acceptable in this program. This exclusion does not preclude research in which specific drug products are used to test hypotheses that have a general applicability.

In the field of pharmacology or toxicology, highest priority will be given to applications for research that attempts to integrate information on the mechanism of action of a drug or chemical at a molecular or cellular level with the drug's effects in the intact laboratory animal or human, encompassing the potential influences of biochemical, physiological or behavioral systems.

The "starter" aspect of the program strives to assist those individuals who are establishing careers as independent investigators in the fields listed above. The program is not offered as a means to augment an ongoing research effort. The funds are to be used to conduct the proposed research. This program supports individuals beginning independent research careers in academia who do not have other substantial sources of research funding. Applicants will be judged on the scientific merit of the proposed research, and on the degree of financial need.

This program is not offered as a means to augment substantially funded research efforts. It is intended to offer support for researchers who are starting their independent research efforts.

The funds have limited restrictions - a characteristic of the program. In an effort to gain the maximum usefulness, some guidelines are in order. The funds may not be used for salary support of the grantee, but may be used to support technical assistance. The support of technical assistance may include the hourly wages of a technician; however the funds may not be used to provide fringe benefits or indirect costs for the technician.  No more than $1,500 a year may be used for travel to professional meetings by the grantee. Indirect costs are not provided to the institution, and grant funds may not be used for this purpose.


Those holding the academic rank of instructor or assistant professor and investigators at the doctoral level with equivalent positions are eligible to apply for these research starter grants, providing their proposed research is neither directly nor indirectly subsidized to any significant degree by a competitive extramural grant. Applicants must be in a tenure track position for 3 years or less. 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, 2015 may apply. Applicants must be sponsored by the department or unit in which the proposed research is to be undertaken. The sponsoring unit must have responsibility for pharmacology/toxicology teaching and research as part of its core mission. If the pharmacology/toxicology mission is not apparent on the sponsoring unit's web site, the sponsor letter must describe how the academic appointment will support the applicant's career development in pharmacology/toxicology. The grant is made to the university on behalf of the applicant, with the understanding that the university will administer the funds. Schools of medicine (human or veterinary), pharmacy and dentistry are eligible for this award.

Applications must be submitted by an accredited U.S. school, and all applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications are to be submitted via the Foundation website and received by September 1, 2014.  Applications will not be accepted after the deadline date.

Applicants holding multi-year national competitive awards or grants supporting their independent research will not be considered. If a national competitive grant is obtained after the application has been submitted, the Foundation must be so informed.

Before an individual is eligible to apply for a PhRMA Foundation award, the applicant must first have a firm commitment from a university in the U.S.

These grants will begin on January 1, 2015 for a period of 1 year.

Research Starter Grant Application Components

1. General Registration Information
2. Applicant CV or bio sketch
3. Extended Letter
This letter is an opportunity to tell us who you are and to detail your plans for your future. Include a synopsis of your career, tell us your interests and describe your desired future career path. Your letter should not exceed 2 pages of size 12 font.
4. Research Plan
The applicant must prepare a comprehensive yet concise statement, not to exceed eight single-spaced pages of size 12 font. This narrative should include objectives and specific aims, background, significance, and rationale. Preliminary studies, if available, should be included. Detail the research design and methodology. Applicants are requested to use a format similar to that specified for the submission of grants to the National Institutes of Health. A bibliography of major references should be provided and is not included in the 8 page limit. Preliminary results, if any, should also be included.  Acronyms should be put in a footnote on the first page or they should be spelled in full the first time it is used.
Other principals involved in the project as collaborators and the amount of time devoted to the project by the applicant and other principals should be identified. List by titles the funded research projects of each principal, the fraction of time committed, and the amount and source of funds for these projects.
Identify the amount of intramural support presently available to the candidate for the proposed project and other research efforts by budget categories and amounts. If the school makes available the services of a technician to the candidate, note this. Identify that part of the proposal that is to be directly initiated or expedited by the Foundation's funds.
The Advisory Committee which 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 proper guidance and departmental support will be available to insure training in the techniques and principles of the area.
Submission of this plan is assurance that the research proposal has been written primarily by the applicant.
5. Research Abstract
An abstract of approximately 200 works concerning the proposed research plan.
6. Budget
Provide a budget and list any other funding this project receives.
7. Department Chair’s information including an email address. A letter of recommendation.
8. Sponsor’s information including an email address and a biosketch. A letter of recommendation.
9. Information and letters of reference from up to 3 individuals familiar with your scientific career.
10. Reprints
Copies of relevant articles published by the applicant.









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