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1 Award

3 Year Term


1 Award

3 Year Term

This award provides $100,000 per year for three years (totaling $300,000) to early career faculty (i.e., investigator, instructor, research associate or equivalent) working toward an independent career in gastric cancer research. Research involving precancerous lesions will be considered if relevance to gastric cancer is explicitly outlined.


Next Awards Cycle in 2025


Next Awards Cycle in 2025


The objective of the AGA Research Foundation Research Scholar Award (RSA) is to support early-career investigators working toward independent and productive research careers in digestive diseases by ensuring that a major proportion of their time is protected for research (i.e., a minimum of 50 percent effort dedicated to the proposed project). The award will support junior faculty (not fellows) who have demonstrated exceptional promise and have some record of accomplishment in research pertaining to upper GI (gastric) cancer.

Review all of the benefits AGA Research Scholar Award recipients are entitled to on the award policies page.

Applicant eligibility

  • Candidates for this award must hold an MD, PhD and/or equivalent degree (e.g., MB, ChB, MBBS, DO) and a full-time faculty position at an institution in North America (United States, Canada or Mexico) by the start date (i.e., July 2023) of this award.
  • Applicants must classify as “early career” according to the following criteria:
    • MD (or equivalent) applicants are considered “early career” if no more than seven years have elapsed following the completion of clinical training (GI fellowship or its equivalent) and the start date of this award (July 2023).
    • PhD (or equivalent) applicants are considered “early career” if no more than seven years have elapsed following conferment of the PhD degree and the start date of this award (July 2023).
    • An appropriately documented leave of absence, such as parental or medical leave, will not be counted toward the above seven-year eligibility criteria. Exceptional circumstances may also be considered. Exemption requests must be submitted to AGA via email ([email protected]) at least three weeks prior to the application deadline and be clearly indicated in the submitted application documents.
  • Applicants performing any type of research (basic, translational, clinical) relevant to gastric cancer are eligible to apply. Applicants will be asked to self-assign their proposal to one of the following categories:
    • Clinical: Research involving direct contact with human subjects or using clinical data to address problems related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or outcome of human diseases (e.g., clinical epidemiology). This category also includes research related to health care delivery (e.g., health services, health IT).
    • Basic/Translational: Research with a primary goal of understanding basic biology or disease mechanisms. This category can involve animal subjects, cell culture, human biospecimens or human data as resources for laboratory- or informatics-based investigation.
  • AGA membership is required at the time of application submission. Please visit the AGA membership page or call 301-654-2055 for membership information.
  • Applicants who are physician-scientists, female or from racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application requirements

  • AGA membership must be maintained throughout the three-year duration of the award.
  • Resources allocated through this award are intended to support the career development of the applicant. The applicant must allocate a minimum of 50 percent effort to the proposed project.
  • Candidates are required to have a sponsor and mentor for the award; one individual may serve in the capacity of both positions. A sponsor (typically a division chief or department chair) is an individual who takes responsibility for the quality assessment of the proposed research project, the quality of the research environment within which the project will be undertaken, and the experience and expertise of the principal investigator and other key researchers involved. A mentor will supervise the principal investigator’s research activities and will serve as a mentor.
  • The intent of this award is to foster the scientific independence of junior investigators. Candidates whose research activities become incorporated into a grant application from a senior mentor will need to clearly delineate the scientific and experimental distinctions between their respective programs. This requirement applies both to pending applications submitted prior to review of this award and to applications submitted during the term of the RSA. It must also be clearly stated how the work submitted by the applicant is that of the applicant and not that of the senior mentor(s).
  • A complete research facilities and resources form must be submitted.
  • Biographical sketches for the applicant, mentor and other key personnel must be submitted.
  • Upon notification of receipt of this award, the recipient must provide institutional approval from the appropriate committee(s) for use of human subjects or animals. If approval is not necessary, then the recipient must provide an explanation.
  • Scientific and financial progress reports must be submitted to AGA annually and final reports 60 days after the end date of the grant period. Report templates and instructions are provided to awardees at the time of acceptance. Second- and third-year funding are contingent upon the submission and accuracy of this documentation.
  • All publications, presentations and abstracts arising from work funded by this program must acknowledge support of the AGA-Gastric Cancer Foundation Ben Feinstein Memorial Research Scholar Award in Gastric Cancer.

Budget guidelines

  • Applicants must use AGA’s budget template, as provided in the application form. All expenses must be explained and justified in a budget narrative submitted with the budget template.
  • The following expenses are allowable:
    • Salary and benefits of the principal investigator.
    • Salary and benefits of research assistants, laboratory technicians and/or other key personnel.
    • Biostatistics support.
    • Supplies, animals or other materials necessary for the proposed research.
    • Equipment, not to exceed $5,000 per year.
    • Travel, not to exceed $1,500 per year.
  • The following expenses are not allowed:
    • Salary, benefits or other support for the mentor.
    • Indirect costs.
  • Any deviation from these budget guidelines must be clearly addressed in the budget justification and other relevant supporting documents. Questions regarding the guidelines should be submitted in advance of the application deadline to [email protected].

Award overlap

  • At the time of application submission, candidates may not hold, or have held, an NIH K01, K08, K23, K99, R00, R01, R21, R29, Veterans Affairs Career Development Award or any award with similar objectives from non-federal sources (e.g., American Liver Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
  • Candidates who have held a K12 or KL2 in the past are eligible to apply. Candidates with an active K12 or KL2 may apply in the final year of their active K12 or KL2 so long as the award will end before the Research Scholar Award term begins.
  • If a candidate is granted the award and notified of a comparable award from another agency prior to the first payment of this award, then the recipient must select one of the two awards (i.e., the recipient may not retain both awards).
  • If the recipient is notified that a comparable award has been granted after the first payment of this award, the recipient may retain up to 50 percent of the remainder of his or her AGA award. AGA must be notified by the recipient via email ([email protected]) within two weeks of receiving notification of additional funding.

Institutional Commitment

  • There must be a strong commitment from the candidate’s institution to support the required protected time for research and adequate laboratory space and/or other supporting facilities. These commitments must be outlined in a letter from the candidate’s sponsor (e.g., division chief or department chair). The letter must certify that the award is being used to provide protected time in accord with the terms of the award. The institution must commit to ensuring timely and accurate reporting of the awardee’s current and future research activities at the institution to include verifying the funding status, grants submitted and pending, and all publications at regular intervals via progress reports required annually by AGA.
  • In addition, it is expected that the scientific mentor will provide a specific plan for the future development of the candidate via a letter of recommendation detailing how they will contribute to the candidate’s research career development during the award term.

Selection criteria

The recipient will be selected based on the following criteria: significance, investigator, innovation, approach, environment, evidence of institutional commitment and relevance to AGA’s mission. The candidate should state their career goals and objectives, plan for career development/training activities during the award period and clearly state how the additional training will benefit his or her research career.

Review process

Scientific merit will be reviewed by a panel comprising members of the AGA Institute Research Awards Panel. The AGA Institute Research Scholar Award Oversight Council will finalize selection of award recipients. Funding will commence July 2023.

Application process

The application deadline is Nov. 9, 2022. Applications must be submitted through the AGA Grants Management System and will not be accepted via mail, fax or email. Click the “Apply Now” button to create an account and/or submit an application. Applicants may preview the application as it will appear in the AGA Grants Management System. Please note that this template is for reference only; all applications must be completed online by selecting the “Apply Now” button.


Please direct all questions to the AGA Awards Program at [email protected].


Funding for this award is provided by a gift from the Gastric Cancer Foundation to the AGA Research Foundation Endowment Fund.

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Past recipients

2023, Martina Molgora, PhD, Impact of TREM2 on gastric cancer

2020, Samuel J. Klempner, MD, Deep Characterization of Gastric Cancer Ascites to Inform Peritoneal Therapies

2017, Jose Saenz, MD, PhD, Alterations in the Gastric Landscape and the Effects on Helicobacter pylori Pathogenesis

2014, Mohamad El-Zaatari, PhD, Role of Myeloid Cells in the Transition from Chronic Inflammation to Gastric Pre-neoplasia