AGA Research Grants FAQ

Review these commonly asked questions about applying for an AGA research grant. Download the FAQ as a PDF.

Do I need to be an AGA member to apply?

Yes. Applicants must be AGA members in good standing at the time of submission. Please visit AGA’s membership page or call 301-654-2055 for membership information.

Am I eligible for an AGA research award?

All AGA research awards require that applicants have an MD, PhD and/or equivalent degree (e.g., MBChB, MBBS, DO) and a full-time faculty or equivalent position at an institution in North America (United States, Canada or Mexico).

Examples of faculty-equivalent positions include research associate, research scientist, and research investigator. Please email to verify that your faculty-equivalent position is eligible.

How does AGA define “Early Career Investigator”?

If you are an MD (or equivalent), no more than seven years shall have elapsed following the completion of clinical training (GI fellowship or its equivalent) and the start date of the award you are applying to.

If you are a PhD (or equivalent), no more than seven years shall have elapsed following the awarding of the PhD degree and the start date of the award you are applying to.

What type of research does AGA accept?

Proposals must be relevant to digestive or liver diseases. AGA accepts applications across the research spectrum, including basic, translational and clinical research. AGA defines these research categories as follows:

  • 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 the 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. 

How do I apply?

When you are ready to apply, you can access the award application on AGA’s Research Award page. Select the award you are interested in to read the specific requirements and limitations. If the award is accepting applications, it will have a blue “Apply Now” button at the top of the page. All submissions are completed online through AGA’s grants management system; hard copies and email attachments are not accepted.

Can I see a copy of the application without logging into the grants management system?

Yes. Within each award on the Apply for Awards page, you will see a “Preview Application” link to access a PDF version of the application.

What is the difference between a preceptor and a sponsor?

A sponsor takes responsibility for the quality assessment of the proposed research, the quality of the research environment the project will be conducted in, and the credentials of the principal investigator and other key researchers/staff involved in the project. A mentor supervises the principal investigator’s research activities. In the Personal Statement section of their biosketch, the mentor should note their relationship with the principal investigator and the proposed research project.

What should be included in the research plan?

The research plan should include three distinct sections: Significance, Innovation and Approach (including preliminary data). The research plan should include sufficient information needed for evaluation of the project independent of any other document.  Be specific, informative and succinct.

Are there formatting requirements for application materials?

Yes. The specific aims, research plan, references, career development plan (if applicable), biosketches and budget justification should all follow these guidelines:
  • All supporting materials uploaded with your application must be in PDF format.
  • Uploaded documents must be standard letter size, measuring 8.5 by 11 inches (21.59  x 27.94 cm), and in portrait orientation.
  • Margins must be 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) or larger.
  • Avoid use of footers and page numbers. Avoid use of headers except for labeling separate application uploads with their category and your last name (e.g., LastName_Specific_Aims, LastName_Research_Plan).
  • Use Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman or Helvetica fonts.
  • Font size must be 11 points or larger in the main text. Smaller font sizes are allowable in tables, figures, diagrams or other supporting information, but must be no smaller than 8 points. Any smaller fonts must be legible when the page is viewed at 100 percent zoom.
  • Use the Gastroenterology citation style for in-text referencing and to format citations in the bibliography.
  • Full instructions are available from the Instructions to Authors.

Do you have page limits?

Yes. These vary by award mechanism:
Research Scholar Awards Pilot Research Awards Digestive Cancer Awards (e.g., Funderburg Augustyn) Travel Awards
Specific aims 1 page 1 page 1 page n/a
Research plan 6 pages 3 pages 3 pages n/a
References No page limits n/a
Career development plan 2 pages n/a n/a n/a
Biosketch (template & sample) 5 pages per biosketch n/a
Budget (template ) No page limits, but you must use the AGA template n/a
Budget justification No page limits n/a
Facilities and resources (template) No page limits, but you must use the AGA template n/a
Research mentor letter of support 3 pages 1 page 1 page 1 page
Division/department letter of support 1 page Refer to award description n/a
Other letters of support (if applicable) 1 page per letter n/a

Are letters of support required?

Yes. If you are an early-career investigator at the instructor or assistant professor level (or equivalent), a letter of recommendation from your division chief or department chair is required for Research Scholar Awards, Pilot Research Awards, and other specialty awards. Please see the Requirements section within the criterion for your specific award of interest for additional guidelines.

Do you have a budget template?

Yes, it is available on the Award Resources page, along with templates for your NIH biosketch and facilities and resources information.

Do you have budget limitations?

Yes. For all awards, indirect costs and costs for preceptors/sponsors are not allowed. Please see the Requirements section within the criterion for your specific award of interest for any additional budget limitations.

Can I save my progress in AGA’s grants management system?

Yes. You may enter the information all at once or enter it in stages and save your progress.

Can I change the contents of my application after it is submitted?

No. Once an application is submitted, you cannot alter its contents. Please thoroughly review your application materials to ensure it is correct before submitting. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, any incorrect or incomplete submissions are automatically removed from consideration.

Who reviews the applications?

Members of the AGA Institute Research Awards Panel are charged with scientific review of all applications and selecting award recipients for pilot awards, digest cancer awards and travel awards. The AGA Research Scholar Award Oversight Council selects recipients for this award. Applications are matched with reviewers based on their areas of expertise. The full roster can be viewed in the Award Policies & Grantee Resources section of our webpage. 

When should I expect to hear a decision on funding?

For all research awards, including Research Scholar Awards and Pilot Research Awards, up to five months after the application deadline. For abstract and travel awards, up to two months after the application deadline.

How will I be notified about funding?

All applicants will receive an email from whether or not they have been chosen to receive funding.

If you have additional questions, please contact the AGA Awards Program via email at You will receive a response within 48 hours.