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This is a three-year career development award to support 50% protected clinical research time for Junior Faculty.

DEADLINE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2020 AT 11:59 PM EDT
APPLY: gi.org/acg-institute/research-awards
Award Amount: $450,000 ($150k per year, $100k for salary support and $50k for research costs)
Award Period/Length of Award: July 1, 2021–June 30, 2024

Grant Overview

The ACG Institute for Clinical Research and Education and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) are proud to support junior investigators working toward independent careers in clinical research in gastroenterology or hepatology, and invite eligible applicants to apply for a $450,000, three-year career development award, to be funded from July 1, 2021–June 30, 2024. This award supports 50% research time and is only available to ACG members.

All applications must be submitted online. The grant site will open to submissions in early September 2020, and close on Friday, December 4, 2020, at 11:59pm (Eastern time).

The goal of the Junior Faculty Development Award is to assist promising clinical researchers in developing research careers that have a direct bearing on clinical gastrointestinal practice. This award provides the protected research time, and time dedicated to developing research and leadership skills in order to advance a junior faculty member’s career with novel research.

This grant is designed to support research that is principally focused on digestive or liver diseases. The patient population or disease target should be principally related to the gastrointestinal tract, liver, biliary system, pancreas, or neuroenteric science, including any translational, clinical, social science, or health services research studies that pertain to managing such patients or conditions. For example, a study about microbiota would be appropriate if it pertains to a digestive disease. In contrast, a study that is principally about HIV would likely not be appropriate unless it directly relates to how HIV affects digestive health. (For questions on study relevancy, contact the grant administrator at research@gi.org.) Since its inception in 1997, the Junior Faculty Development Award has provided over $12 Million in funding to over 65 recipients.


A key mission of the ACG and its Institute for Clinical Research and Education is to fund innovative patient-oriented research awards. For the purposes of these awards, patient-oriented research is defined as:

  1. Research conducted with human subjects
  2. Research on new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions
  3. Research on material of human origin, such as tissues and specimens While research that explores mechanisms of human disease is highly encouraged, the research projects should be translational in nature; i.e., have direct applicability to clinical care.
    Note: Studies involving animals will not be considered unless the work cannot be done in humans.
 
The ACG Clinical Research Awards are a project of the ACG Institute and are supported by charitable contributions to the G.U.T. Fund.
 

Eligibility

Applicants must meet all the following criteria:

The following are not eligible for this award:

*Important! Please note you must be an ACG member to apply for this grant. All member applications must be submitted by September 25, 2020 in order to be eligible for review at the October Credentials Committee meeting, which is the last opportunity to be approved for full membership prior to the grant application deadline. To Join ACG, click here. For questions on ACG membership, please email membership@gi.org or call 301-263-9000.


Preparing the Research Proposal

A complete application consists of two separate components:

  1. A single Adobe PDF document comprising (but not limited to) the following: research proposal (limited to 8 pages), budget, Biosketches for candidate and others involved in the proposed research, outside funding details, IRB forms, COI statement (if applicable), candidate’s statement, and letters from division chief and preceptor.
  2. Completion of required tasks via the online grant system: upload the completed research proposal PDF; provide confirmation of ACG membership; provide full contact information for all investigators/participants; submit a 350-word abstract of the proposed research; indicate IRB approval status; list all investigators/participants and any potential conflicts of interest. See “Submitting the Application” below for instructions and requirements.

Required elements for the full research proposal document (i.e., the PDF that will be uploaded to the online grant system):

A. FORMATTING—Format all pages with ½” margins and use a font no smaller than 11 point. All pages must include a page number in the left header. All pages must include the PI name and grant type in the right header, in the following format:

Last name, First name
Award Type

B. RE-SUBMISSIONS—The Committee requires applicants who have applied previously to provide additional information and resubmit the application. For re-submissions, in addition to selecting “Yes” in the re-submission field of the online system, you must provide a cover letter responding to the reviewer’s critiques/outlining how you have updated your application. This should be included as the first section of your Research Proposal, as part of the PDF upload to the grant system. Limit to 2 pages.

C. RESEARCH PROPOSAL—Limit to 8 pages (excluding references). Outline the proposed research. In general, this should be a series of linked projects developed around a common theme, and should include the following sections:

D. REFERENCES—Include a separate section for references. Be judicious in the use of references.

E. BUDGET AND JUSTIFICATION—Include a separate section for the budget and justification. The budget should be listed as a table, indicating all expenses for each year of the award. The budget justification should be listed after the budget table, with an explanation for each budget item. Funding for this award will provide salary support of up to $100,000 a year for the candidate’s salary/fringe benefits, and $50,000 a year is intended to support other research costs—salary support for other personnel (research nurse, computer programmer, statistician) if adequately justified, and support for supplies and equipment. The candidate is required to take a leadership course during the period of the award, and this expense will come out of the total grant funding. Expenses for other courses/classes may be requested if adequately justified. Up to $1,500 may be requested for travel to the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting in 2022, as the candidate is required to present to the Research Committee on their progress. Costs not supported: major equipment acquisition; travel and manuscript preparation; indirect costs (i.e., university overhead); and salary support for mentors/preceptors.

F. INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) STATUS—Include the IRB approval letter, or indicate if IRB approval is pending. If IRB approval is pending at the time of submission and the grant proposal is subsequently approved for funding, funds will not be released until the IRB approval letter is received by the ACG. If the proposal is requesting funds for reimbursement of human subjects, a copy of the IRB-approved consent form is required prior to funding as well.

G. CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT—Include, if applicable.

H. BIOSKETCHES—Provide these for the candidate, division chief, preceptor, and anyone critical to completion of the project. Use the NIH format and adhere to the NIH 5-page limit. (For sample format see the NIH webpage at grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm.)

I. OTHER RESEARCH SUPPORT—List this information on separate pages. List the title, funding agency, total direct costs, dates, including expected dates of notification of pending applications for all current and pending funding for Candidate, Division Chief, and Preceptor. (Use NIH format: grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/othersupport.htm.)

J. CANDIDATE’S STATEMENT—Include as a separate section. Describe the anticipated benefits of the award to your career development. Specifically, the applicant should outline a detailed career development plan for each year of the award. This plan should include any relevant courses, conferences, and training specific to the applicant’s proposal that will (1) Advance the applicant’s career, and (2) Aid in completion of the proposal aims. Limit to 2 pages.

K. INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT—There must be a strong commitment from the candidate’s division to support the candidate by protecting time for research and providing adequate access to needed resources, such as patients, endoscopic facilities, and computers. In addition, the candidate must have a letter of support from his/her preceptor, who will mentor him/her in the research.

L. OTHER LETTERS OF SUPPORT (optional)—These may be included to demonstrate the other investigators’ involvement and support of the project (example: other research sites providing patients, specialists who will provide specialized training).


Submitting the Application

All applications must be submitted online. The online grant application site will open in early September; a link to the site will be available at gi.org/acg-institute/research-awards. The submission deadline is Friday, December 4, 2020 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. This deadline will be strictly enforced, and no exceptions will be made.

Once you begin the online application process, you will be able to save your work and return to complete it until the submission deadline. As part of the online application process, applicants are required to provide information about others, such as institutional addresses and potential conflicts of interest for co-investigators, the preceptor, etc. We encourage applicants to gather all the necessary information early, and to not wait until the last minute.

The following tasks must be completed via the online grant system in order to successfully submit an application for grant consideration:

A. INDICATE PROPOSAL TITLE AND SELECT GRANT TYPE—The title should be concise and clearly reflect the proposed research. Select the “Junior Faculty Development Award” grant type. (Please note, the same project should not be submitted for multiple ACG grant types, and will not be considered if this occurs, i.e., do not submit the same proposal for the Junior Faculty Development Award and for the Clinical Research Award.)

B. ACG MEMBERSHIP VERIFICATION—You must provide your ACG member ID. To look up your member ID number, log into gi.org/membership/my-acg-login then click “My Contact Information” from the menu on the left. Member ID is listed below Date of Birth.

C. ADD INVESTIGATORS—List the PI, Co-Investigators, Preceptor, and Division Chief. Enter their names, ACG member status (and year joined if available), titles, email address, role (PI, CO-investigator, preceptor, division chief), and institution names and addresses.

D. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR—Indicate agreement to abide by the grant requirements, if awarded grant funding.

E. INVESTIGATOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION—Provide PI’s academic position, medical school information, and information about involvement in any other research.

F. RESEARCH PROPOSAL ABSTRACT—Provide an abstract of no more than 350 words that summarizes the proposed research.

G. RE-SUBMISSIONS—For re-submissions, select “Yes” in the re-submission field of the online system.

H. IRB STATUS—Verify current IRB status.

I. RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL PDF UPLOAD—Format the file as required in the “Preparing the Research Proposal” section, including all required elements, and upload the file as directed. The file name should include the candidate’s first and last name.

J. CONFLICT OF INTEREST—A potential conflict of interest (COI) exists when research involves a device from which any investigator(s) or a company may benefit. It also exists when research involves a pharmaceutical agent that is not FDA-approved for any indication. A conflict of interest exists if any investigator holds or has submitted a patent on a device or pharmaceutical agent or is a major shareholder in a company involved in the research. If applicable, select “Yes” and include a detailed explanation within the grant system, including names of each investigator and their potential COIs.


Application Review Process

Immediately following the application submission period, all applications are reviewed and scored by the ACG Research Committee, following its standardized process. Each application is reviewed by 3 reviewers who will present on the grant at the Research Committee Grant Review meeting.

Reviewers consider the following when scoring applications: feasibility, scientific and clinical significance of the research proposal, attributes of the candidate including potential for independence, a well-defined career development plan for the award period based on the project(s) proposed, and strength of the institutional environment and commitment, including a well-developed mentoring plan by the preceptor and statement from the division chief assuring 50% protected time if the proposal is funded.
In evaluating the merits of an application, the Committee will consider two categories of criteria, each comprising 50% of the overall assessment: 1) Project Merit, and 2) Individual Credentials / Institutional Support / Career Development Plan.

1. Project Merit—50% of score includes:

2. Individual Credentials/Institutional Support/ Career Development Plan—50% of score:

In general, the proposed research should be a series of linked projects developed around a common theme. The description of a proposed project should provide enough detail to assess the scientific merit, feasibility, and analytic strategy.


Award Notification and Grant Requirements

Notification of Awards will be completed by April 1, 2021. Please do not contact ACG prior to this date to inquire about the status of your application.


Questions or Assistance

For any questions about grant requirements, please refer to the FAQs.

Prior grant application submitters must create a new login for the grant system each year, even if you have applied for an ACG grant previously.

Technical support questions about the online submission system: Contact CadmiumCD Technical Support using the Technical Support link on the upper right corner of the submission site’s screen, via email at
Help@ConferenceAbstracts.com, or via phone at (877) 426-6323.

For any questions not answered in the RFA or FAQs, or reporting questions, contact us via email at research@gi.org.


Important Dates

September, 2020 Application submission period opens
September 25, 2020 ACG Membership application deadline (only for applications who are not ACG members—see the Eligibility Section for further details)
Friday, December 4, 2020 Application submission period closes (11:59 pm Eastern time)
By/before April 1, 2021 Award notifications are sent
July 1, 2021 Year 1 of award period begins / disbursement check provided, once report approved.
June 30, 2022 Year 1 progress report due (upon completion of first year)
July 1, 2022 Year 2 of award period begins / disbursement check provided, once report approved.
October, 2022 Attend the ACG Annual Meeting to deliver in-person progress report to the ACG Research Committee
June 30, 2023 Year 2 progress report due (upon completion of second year)
July 1, 2023 Year 3 of award period begins / disbursement check provided
June 30, 2024 Final report with financial statement due (upon completion of final year)
Spring, 2024 During the final year of the award, awardees are required to submit their work