2014 Awards
Translational Medicine Research Starter Grant

Translational medicine and therapeutics (TMT) is a discipline focused on bridging research and discoveries using experimental and computational technologies to their application in clinical practice. Examples of research activities include molecular and cellular biology, pathophysiology, systems biology, bioinformatics, modeling and simulation, and other quantitative sciences and the application of basic biological concepts and entities to directly address unmet medical needs. Using clinical observation as the basis for hypothesis generation in basic research, TMT’s goals are to efficiently advance the product of basic research to patients and physicians.

Research Starter Grant

The purpose of the PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grant is to offer financial support to individuals beginning their independent research careers at the faculty (or equivalent) level.
The Research Starter Grant Program in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics aims to support individuals beginning independent research careers in academia or research institutions who do not have other substantial sources of research funding and where long term training of students and/or scientists is an expected outcome in conjunction with their research.

This program focuses on supporting the career development of scientists engaged in bridging research and discoveries using experimental and computational technologies to their application in clinical research and the clinic.

This program is not designed to support the application of standard technologies to experimental biology or medicine but specifically to explore innovative and collaborative projects across the non- clinical:clinical interface.
Consideration will be given pnly to those individuals whose research combines the application of experimental and/or computational methods together with clinical research and clinical application. Emphasis will be placed on the development of collaborative research programs that support the translation of experimental or computational data into an elucidation and understanding of biological and/or molecular processes as directly relates to human disease. Studies performed in model systems that do not include validation in human studies are considered non-responsive to this program. Collaborations with industry are encouraged but not required.


Candidates typically hold 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. Further eligibility to apply for these starter grants requires that the 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 these grants.

The program is not intended to support individuals in postdoctoral training programs. However, individuals completing postdoctoral training and who will hold an academic appointment by January 1, 2015 or the start of the grant period, may apply. Applicants must be sponsored by the department or unit in which the proposed research is to be undertaken as evidenced by letter of commitment from the department or unit head.

Applications must be submitted in conjunction with an accredited U.S. university or research institution and all applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents by the time of initiation of

this award. Applications are to be submitted via the Foundation website and received by February 1, 2015. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline date.
Applicants will be judged on the scientific merits of the proposed research, its fit within the scope and goals of the TMT program and on the degree of need.

Research projects that extend or develop the proprietary value of specific drug products are not acceptable in this program other than in hypothesis-based drug repositioning. This exclusion does not preclude research in which specific drug products are used to test hypotheses that extend their potential clinical application.
The "starter" aspect of the program strives to assist those individuals who are establishing careers as independent investigators in the field of translational medicine and therapeutics. The program is not offered as a means to augment an ongoing research effort nor is the grant intended to be used for any direct effort to obtain further extramural funding. The funds are to be used solely to conduct the proposed research.


The program provides a research grant of $100,000 for one year. The grant is made to the university on behalf of the applicant and with the understanding that the university will administer the funds.
If significant external support for the proposed research 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 U.S. university or research institution. These funds are not transferable. These grants can begin on July 1, 2015 or not later than December 1, 2015 for a period of 1 year.

The funds have limited restrictions - a characteristic of the program. In an effort to gain maximum usefulness, these funds specifically are not awarded to provide salary support of the candidate. They may be used to support technical assistance and for travel related to the research program and in support of critical collaborations. Indirect costs are not provided to the institution, and RSG grant funds may not be used for this purpose. No more than $1,500 a year may be used for travel to professional meetings by the grantee. Applications that do not meet the aims of the program will not be considered.

Starter Grant Application Components

1. Applicant Registration on the PhRMA Foundation Website
2. Applicant CV or Biosketch
3. Extended Letter: This provides the applicant with an opportunity to describe who you are and to detail your future plans in the area of translational medicine and therapeutics. The applicant should Include a synopsis of their career and their career interests. Your extended letter should not exceed 2 type-written pages (size 12 font). 4. Research Abstract
An abstract of approximately 200 words concerning the proposed research plan.
5. Research Plan
Applicants are requested to use a format similar to that specified for the submission of grants to the National Institutes of Health. This narrative should be limited to 8 pages (size 12 font) and include objectives/specific aims; background/significance/rationale; preliminary studies; research design/methodology; and bibliography. 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 the titles of actively funded research projects for 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 provides 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.
6. Budget: Provide a detailed budget and list any other funding this project will receive.
7. Letter of recommendation from Department Chair, including contact information and email address 8. Letter of recommendation from collaborators including contact information and email address as well as CV or Biosketch
8. Letters of reference from up to 3 other individuals familiar with your scientific career.
9. Reprints and Copies of relevant articles published by the applicant.

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