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The American College of Gastroenterology offers Medical Student Research Awards for up to $5,000 to students enrolled in medical or doctor of osteopathy degree programs to cover summer projects of 6-10 weeks to support a short-term research experience in gastroenterology and hepatology. This award type is for first or second year internal medicine or pediatric residents in the U.S. or Canada. At least one of the research mentors must be an ACG Member at the time of submission. Awardees will be selected based on feasibility, scientific and clinical significance, originality and anticipated contribution of the research to clinical practice. Applications will also be evaluated on the availability of adequate resources, including personnel and facilities.

*Important! — Please note your primary mentor must be an ACG member in order 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 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) is offering Medical Student Research Awards of up to $5,000 ($500/week) to support short-term research experiences performed by trainees at the medical or osteopathic medicine level. The purpose of these awards is to defray living expenses associated with the research. Funds received by the student are not to be used for supplies or other costs associated with the research. Successful applicants are also eligible for reimbursement for travel expenses for attending the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting consistent with the policies of the College. Registration at ACG Annual Scientific Meeting will be covered by ACG (you must still pre-register). Travel costs of up to $1,500 will be reimbursed after the submission of all requested travel expenses and receipts to the ACG Institute. The ACG Research Committee will determine the number and size of awards.

Objective

The mission of the ACG Medical Student Research Awards is to promote interest in a career in gastroenterology or hepatology in promising students, by funding a mentored research experience in patient-oriented research. Project examples could include case series, quality improvement projects, retrospective cohort studies, meta-analysis, etc. 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, with direct applicability to clinical care. In general, studies involving animals will not be considered unless the work cannot be done in humans.

Eligibility

Applicants eligible for this mechanism must be actively enrolled in their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd year of a medical degree at an accredited school of medicine or college of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. or Canada. While it is anticipated that most applicants will use this mechanism for research funding between their first and second year of medical school, this funding may be used to provide a research experience anywhere the school’s curriculum allows. Students are not eligible to receive this award if they are concurrently receiving other funding supporting their research. Additionally, at least one of the research mentors for this award must be an ACG member at the time of submission of the grant proposal. Successful applicants must agree to acknowledge ACG support in any publications that result from the research and to submit a final report to the ACG Research Committee within 18 months of receipt of funding.

Selection Criteria

In evaluating the merits of an application, 50% of the weight of the score will depend on the scientific merit of the proposal. This 50% will be allocated in the following way: clinical significance (25%), feasibility (including the availability of adequate resources, such as personnel and facilities) (25%), and methods (50%). For purposes of judging the merit of the proposal, the committee will look for a clear annunciation of study design, a demonstration that the research team has adequate power and sample size to address the question and has a plan for statistical analysis of the data. For the remaining 50% of the grant scoring, half (25% of total) will be based on the merit of the applicant (as evidenced by previous academic achievements, excellent training, and previous evidence of intellectual rigor), with the other half (25% of total) allocated to the evaluation of the mentoring team. Criteria for evaluation of the mentoring team include the previous mentoring record of the group, the publishing record of the group, and evidence of ability to support a new investigator.

Review Process

The ACG Research Committee will review the grant proposals, using its standardized process.

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 March, 2020. The award period will begin anytime after May 1, 2020 (project must be completed during the summer).

Travel to ACG Annual Scientific Meeting

The ACG considers attendance at our national meeting a seminal experience for medical students with an interest in gastroenterology and hepatology. For that reason, awardees will be supported to attend this meeting in the year of their award. For those selected for funding this support will include: registration at the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting will be covered by ACG (you must still pre-register), travel costs of up to $1,500 will be reimbursed (e.g. hotel, coach airfare or train, mileage, parking, and/or taxi) after submission of receipts to: research@gi.org. For those selected for funding, further details on travel reimbursement and meeting registration will be provided in the award letter.


Application Overview

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 of each page. FAILURE TO ADHERE TO THESE INSTRUCTIONS WILL CAUSE THE GRANT APPLICATION TO BE RETURNED UNREVIEWED. You will be required to provide the following information through ACG’s online grant system:
  • Membership — You will be required to enter your mentor’s ACG member ID number in the online application form.
  • List the Student Investigator and the Faculty Mentor. The mentor must be a faculty member who agrees to guide the mentee through the project and to be responsible for scientific and administrative oversight of the project. The mentor must be an ACG member at the time of the application. It is expected that for most applications, the mentor will be a fculty member at the home institution of the student.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) status — If available, include the IRB approval letter in the application (see section F below). IRB approval is not required for submission, however if the grant proposal is subsequently approved for funding, funds will not be released until the IRB approval letter is received by the ACG. If human subjects will be reimbursed, a copy of the IRB approved consent form is required prior to funding as well.
  • Conflict of interest — A potential conflict of interest exists when the research involves a device from which any investigator 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 letter of explanation (see section G below).
  • Abstract — You will be asked to submit an abstract of no more than 350 words in the online system. Use the abstract to summarize the proposed research.

Application Components

  1. RESEARCH PROPOSAL — Limit to 3 pages (excluding references and budget).
    • Specific Aims — Provide a clear description of the study objectives. Consider the following questions: What is the hypothesis to be addressed? What are the immediate objectives? What are the ultimate objectives? How does the proposed research fit into an overall research program?
    • 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 — No peliminary data are required. However, if either the mentor or the mentee have prior data pertinent to the present application, it should be briefly presented here. References to published work are preferred to detailed descriptions of published manuscripts.
    • Research Plan — Give the details of the research plan, including the inclusion/exclusion criteria for enrollment, methods to be used, the kinds of data that are to be collected, and how these data will be analyzed. Provide detailed sample size estimates. Grants without a statistical analysis section or sample size justification are unlikely to be successful. Please provide a timeline for the project, which should be completed prior to the applicant’s graduation from the residency program.
    • References — Include a separate section for references (not included in page limit). Be judicious in the use of references.
  2. MENTORSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES — The mentor responsibilities should be acknowledged in the faculty mentor letter of support. These include: statement of support for the applicant, certification the project can be completed in 6-10 weeks, agreement to oversee the IRB approval to ensure it is ready for the start of the project, and that proper HIPAA training is implemented. The mentor must also agree to oversee the student’s required reporting for the project.
  3. LETTERS OF SUPPORT
    • Mentor Letter — A one page letter from the mentor, of no more than two pages in length, should accompany the grant. Include an assessment of the academic potential of the trainee, an acknowledgment of the mentor’s responsibility for the successful completion of the project and the educational experience of the student, and the plan for mentoring the student through successful completion of the project. The letter of support should emphasize those aspects of the applicant’s interest and preparedness that relate to his/her suitability to undertake and complete this project in 6-10 weeks. The mentor must also agree to oversee the student’s required reporting for the project.
  4. MENTOR BIOSKETCH — The mentor should also include his or her NIH Biosketch.
  5. APPLICANT CURRICULUM VITAE — Applicant should include his or her updated curriculum Vitae (C.V.) or NIH biosketch. For sample NIH format see NIH Web page: NIH webpage.
  6. IRB APPROVAL LETTER — Include any available information (see above).
  7. CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT — Include, if applicable (see above).
  8. APPENDICES — Use (if needed) for data collection forms. Do not use to expand Research Proposal (Section A above).

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