Click Here for PDF Version of RFA

The ACG Junior Faculty Development Grant supports a junior faculty member at $100,000 per year for three years, for a total of $300,000. The primary goal of this career development award of $300,000 ($100,000 per year for each of three years) is to assist promising clinical researchers to develop research and careers that have a direct bearing on clinical gastrointestinal practice. This includes assistance to a junior faculty investigator to ensure that a major portion of the investigator’s time is protected for clinical research. The Junior Faculty award provides support for junior investigators working toward independent careers in clinical research related to gastroenterology or hepatology.

To be eligible for the Junior Faculty award, applicants must be physicians who hold full-time faculty positions at a North American (U.S. or Canada) university, medical school, or other health care institution at the time of funding of the application, should it be approved. Applicants also must be members of the ACG at the time of application*. This award is not intended for fellows, but for junior faculty who have demonstrated unusual promise and have some record of accomplishment in research. Established investigators are not eligible. Candidates must devote at least 50% of their effort to clinical research related to gastroenterology or hepatology.

*Important! — Please note you must be an ACG member to apply for this grant. All member applications must be submitted by September 27, 2019 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 (note: Resident and Trainee applications are reviewed biweekly). To Join ACG, click here. For questions on ACG membership, please email: info@gi.org or call: 301-263-9000.

Description

The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Junior Faculty Development Award provides support for junior investigators working toward independent careers in clinical research in gastroenterology or hepatology.

Objective

To assist promising clinical researchers in developing research careers that have a direct bearing on clinical gastrointestinal practice. This includes assistance to a junior faculty investigator to ensure that a major portion of the investigator’s time is protected for research. A key mission of the ACG and its Institute for Clinical Research & Education is to fund innovative research awards that are patient-oriented. 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, and (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. In general, studies involving animals will not be considered unless the work cannot be done in humans. 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 the email below.

Eligibility

Applicants must be physicians who hold full-time faculty positions at a North American (U.S. or Canada) university, medical school, or other health care institution at the time of funding of the application, should it be approved. Applicants must be members of the ACG at the time of application. This award is not intended for fellows, but for junior faculty who have demonstrated unusual promise and have some record of accomplishment in research. Established investigators are not eligible. Individuals who hold an NIH grant (e.g., R01, R29, K08, K23), a VA HSR&D Career Development Award, or who have been granted a career development award by another organization are not eligible. Those who are above the assistant professor level or those who have held an academic position for greater than 7 years are not eligible. This award is not intended to support laboratory or animal research projects. Candidates must devote at least 50% of their effort to clinical research related to gastroenterology or hepatology, and must have a preceptor who can provide mentorship. A letter from the department chair and division chief must certify that the award will provide 50% protected time to the recipient in accordance with the terms of the award.

Awards and Requirements

Awards consist of $100,000 per year for three years and are to be used for related expenses of the proposed research, including salary, supplies and equipment, but excluding travel. University overhead costs (i.e., indirect costs) are not allowed. Awardees must file a progress report, including division chief certification, on completion of the first and second years. A final progress report, that includes a financial statement, is required on completion of the third year. All publications arising from work funded by this award must acknowledge support of an ACG Junior Faculty Development Award. Awardees are required to report to the Research Committee in person after Year 1 of the grant, and up to $1,500 of the award is reserved for travel costs related to attending the ACG Annual Meeting to make this report. Awardees are required to submit their work for presentation at the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting during the final year of the award.

International 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, computers. These commitments must be clearly outlined in the letter from the candidate’s division chief. The letter must certify that the award is being used to provide protected time to the recipient in accord with the terms of the award (see below). In addition, the candidate must have a letter of support from his/her preceptor, who will mentor him/her in the research (see below).

Selection Criteria

Awardees will be selected based on 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 general, the proposed research should be a series of linked projects developed around a common theme. The description of proposed projects should provide enough detail to assess the scientific merit, feasibility and analytic strategy. The same project should not be submitted for multiple grant types, and will not be considered if this occurs.

Deadline

Submit the application through ACG’s online grant application system, which will open in September, by the DEADLINE: Friday, December 6, 2019. Applicants will be notified by April 1, 2020. The award period will begin July 1, 2020.


Application Overview

Scoring: 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. The Project Merit component includes scientific and clinical significance (25%), feasibility (including availability of adequate resources, including personnel and facilities) (25%), and methods (50%). Methods includes the availability of preliminary data (25%), study design (50%), and power, sample size and statistical analysis (25%). The remaining 50% of the Committee’s assessment is based upon the Applicant’s Credentials, Institutional Environment, Mentor Credentials and Commitment, and Career Development Plan for the award period.

Requirements: You will be required to enter your ACG member ID number, investigator information, abstract, conflict of interest, and indicate if this is a re-submission in the grant system. Applicants are required to submit a single Adobe PDF document comprising the complete grant submission. The single PDF document must be uploaded through the online application portal. This includes all required sections of the grant, in the order listed below. Format all pages with 1″ margins and a font no smaller than 11 point. Type your name (last name, first name) and the name of the award in the upper right hand corner of each page, and the page number in the upper left hand corner.


Conflicts of Interest

A potential conflict of interest exists when the research involves a device from which any investigator(s) or a company may benefit. It also exists when the 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 share-holder 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 COI.


Application Components

  1. RE-SUBMISSIONS — For re-submissions, in addition to selecting “Yes” in the re-submission field of the online application, you must submit a cover letter responding to the reviewers 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 2 pages.
  2. 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. Please include:
    • Specific Aims — Provide a clear description of each project’s objectives. What are the hypotheses to be addressed? What are the immediate and long-term objectives? How will the proposed research help the candidate reach his/her overall career goals?
    • Background/Significance — State how the proposed work bears on prior work and indicate how it will extend the boundaries of current knowledge.
    • Pilot Data/Previous Work — Provide a summary of pilot data/previous work.
    • Research Plan — Provide a detailed research plan for each project, including the inclusion/exclusion criteria for enrollment, detailed methods, and how data will be analyzed. Provide detailed sample size estimates.
    • References — Include a separate section for references. Be judicious in the use of references.
    • Budget and Justification— Include a separate section for the budget. Include a table of expenses for each year of the award. Indicate how the funds will be allocated and justify each budget item. Salary support for the candidate will be provided. Salary support will be provided for other personnel (research nurse, computer programmer) if adequately justified. Support will also be provided for supplies and equipment. In general, major equipment acquisitions are not supported. Travel and manuscript preparation costs are not supported. Indirect costs (i.e., university overhead) are not provided.
    • Curriculum Vitae — Provide these for the candidate, division chief, and preceptor. Use NIH format and adhere to the NIH 5-page limit. For sample format see the NIH webpage
    • 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
  3. 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.
  4. LETTER OF COMMITMENT FROM DIVISION CHIEF — This letter should indicate strong commitment from the division to support the candidate by protecting time for research and for providing adequate research facilities. The letter must certify that the award will provide 50% protected time to the recipient in accordance with the terms of the award. The letter should summarize the candidate’s attributes and assess the impact of the training program on his/her career development. This letter should also indicate that the requirements of the sponsoring institution in applying for and receiving such funds have been met. Limit to 2 pages.
  5. LETTER FROM PRECEPTOR — The preceptor is the individual who will mentor the candidate in his/her research and assist in career development. This letter should provide an overview of plans for the career development of the candidate. It should also state that the preceptor is prepared to devote the necessary time and effort to training and supervising the candidate. Limit to 2 pages.

Applications Must Be Submitted Electronically
DEADLINE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2019
QUESTIONS: Phone: 301-263-9000 or email