Faculty Starter Grant
$100,000 for one year
The PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant in Translational Medicine offers financial support to individuals beginning independent research careers at the faculty level at an accredited U.S. university. Applicants must be within the first five years of their independent status.
Application Deadline: February 1, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time (ET)
Application submission and reference letters of support are due by the deadline.
Application Portal Opens
Translational medicine is a scientific discipline focused on turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into medicines, diagnostics, or other interventions that improve human health.
Translational medicine fosters a patient-focused research cycle that stretches from the lab bench to the patient bedside and back to the lab again. This includes adapting basic research discoveries in cells, tissues, and animals for application in humans and then taking the knowledge of what did and didn’t work in the clinic back to the bench.
Given the breadth of the discipline, the PhRMA Foundation’s Translational Medicine Program focuses specifically on novel research that uses the “bedside to bench” approach to address unmet needs in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. The Foundation seeks research proposals that focus on identifying unmet clinical needs and developing new diagnostic, experimental, and computational approaches and technologies to improve patient care and management.
Applicants should work with clinical collaborators to identify unmet clinical needs. Proposals should integrate innovative technologies, with advanced biological, chemical, diagnostic, and pharmacological sciences and engineering methodologies in areas that include but not are limited to:
- 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 Identification and Validation
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Disease Modeling
Note: Studies that do not involve human specimens, human data, or patients will not be considered. The results of any model system study are required to involve clinical testing in humans in support of the model and be documented in the proposal. For basic research projects, please apply to our Drug Discovery Program. For research on health outcomes and health technology assessment, please apply to our Value Assessment and Health Outcomes Research Program.
- Applicants (U.S. and non-U.S. citizens) must be full-time, promotion-eligible, research-intensive faculty employed at a PhD and/or MS degree-granting accredited U.S. university.
- Applicants must be within the first five years of independent status
- Applicants must be eligible to apply for independent external research funding by their university.
- Applicants should not have other substantial sources of research funding. Individuals receiving only intramural funding or start-up funding from their university are eligible to apply. (Applicants are ineligible if they are the principal investigator of an R01 from the National Institutes of Health or a career award from the National Science Foundation.)
- The Foundation will not consider multiple applications for the same or similar efforts on the same project. If multiple applicants are submitting proposed efforts on the same project, the efforts must be separate activities and not duplicative. This pertains to applications in both categories of our translational medicine programs (postdoctoral fellowships and faculty starter grants).
- The PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant in Translational Medicine provides funding of $100,000 for one year.
- Funding is conditional upon the awardee’s continued employment with the university, which will be assessed on a quarterly basis prior to payment. Awardees are required to notify the PhRMA Foundation if they leave the university. Payments will be made directly to the university on behalf of the awardee, with the understanding the university will administer the funds.
- Funds may not be used for salary support of the awardee, fringe benefits, or indirect costs.
- Funds may be budgeted to include the support of a technician, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow at an hourly rate. The funds may not be used to provide tuition, fringe benefits, or indirect costs for said personnel. Said personnel may not be an active award recipient of the PhRMA Foundation.
- Up to $1,500 may be used for travel by the awardee to professional meetings in the United States.
- Funds may be used to purchase equipment and/or data to support the research efforts.
- Funding may begin as early as July 1, 2024, or on the first day of any month thereafter, up to and including December 1, 2024.
- A final progress report and financial report will be required within 60 days of the grant’s conclusion.
- Unspent funds are to be returned to the PhRMA Foundation upon the grant’s conclusion.
- If other funding becomes available during the grant, the PhRMA Foundation must be notified.
- Any changes to the proposed project must be approved by the PhRMA Foundation.
- Funds are non-transferable.
The application portal for 2024 awards will open in November 2023.
To start an application, go to the ProposalCentral website at proposalcentral.com. If you are a new user of ProposalCentral, follow the link “Create an Account” and complete the registration process. If you are already a registered user, login with your username and password. If you have forgotten your password, click the “Forgot your Password?” link.
Once you are logged in, please click the “Professional Profile” tab at the top and complete steps 1-11 or update with your current information. Your name, degrees, position/title, academic rank, department, and address will be pulled from this page in ProposalCentral.
Next, select the “Grant Opportunities” tab and a list of applications will be displayed. Find “PhRMA Foundation” and click the “Apply Now” link next to Faculty Starter Grant in Translational Medicine.
The following components are included in the application:
1. Applicant’s Biosketch (NIH format)
2. Extended Letter (personal statement)
This is an opportunity for you 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” / .5” margin / 11-point font).
3. Research Plan
Applicants must prepare a comprehensive yet concise statement, not to exceed eight single-spaced pages. Applicants should use a format similar to the format specified for National Institutes of Health grants, including a description of the aims, objectives, rationale, significance, research design and methodology, and a bibliography of major references (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.
Preliminary studies, if any, should be included. 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.
Identify the amount of intramural support available for the proposed project, and other research efforts by budget categories and amounts. If the university 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 PhRMA Foundation’s funds.
Required type specifications: U.S. letter size 8.5” x 11” / .5” margin / 11-point font (figures may be provided in a smaller font). Submissions that do not meet the specified guidelines for proposal preparation will be considered non-responsive and will not be considered for funding.
4. Research Impact Questions
Please answer the following four questions using the template provided in the application portal titled Research Impact Questions.
- What are the challenges or gaps in the field you are solving?
- How is your project innovative?
- How will the completion of your project bring value to society?
- How are human subjects/data/specimens involved in the study as opposed to laboratory models?
Enter your budget explaining how the funds will be used. If you need to add further explanation, please add an attachment titled “Budget Justification.”
6. Other Sources of Funding/Funding Explanation
Upload other support you may receive. If you do not receive other support, upload a document stating, “No other support has been received or is pending.” Other support includes all financial resources, whether Federal, non-Federal, commercial or institutional, available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and/or institutional awards. Training awards, prizes, or gifts do not need to be included.
You can upload up to three relevant publications in PDF format.
Please note that the system will not accept your application unless the letters of support from your references have been successfully uploaded. You are required to submit contact information for the following personnel (2-4 references):
- Collaborator(s), if any
- General reference(s) who are familiar with you and your scientific career
Once you add their name and contact information to your application, an auto-generated email will be forwarded to them. The email will include instructions as to what they should address in their letter of support and it will provide a personalized hyperlink where they should upload their letter.
Letters of support should be uploaded before February 1 so you can submit your application before 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET. We suggest you inform your references in advance of what items should be addressed in their letter of support.
Collaborator(s) should provide:
- Acknowledgement of their commitment, participation, and enthusiasm in the project.
- Their brief biosketch.
General reference(s) should provide:
- The period of time they have known the applicant and in what capacity.
- Comment on the applicant’s communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate with peers on research projects.
- Explanation of how this program will be a productive experience for the applicant and why they should be selected.
REMEMBER to begin your application early so your references have ample time to meet the February 1st deadline.
It is your responsibility that these letters are uploaded. The application portal will permit you to review your application and the status of your letters of support before your final submission. Be sure to check it frequently and do not wait until the last minute.
The application portal will not permit the application to be submitted until the letters of support have been uploaded.
Award notification is April 15, 2024.
The PhRMA Foundation Faculty Starter Grant in Translational Medicine provides tremendous support for me to hit the ground running during my early independence. This award will help my lab develop noninvasive diagnostics for disease detection and treatment monitoring at the point of care, and ultimately make precision health care accessible for cancer patients.