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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 75 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.
- Applicants for this award must hold 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 (U.S., Canada or Mexico) by the start date (i.e., July 2021) 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 2021).
- PhD (or equivalent) applicants are considered “early career” if no more than seven years have elapsed following the conferment of the PhD degree and the start date of this award (July 2021).
- 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@example.com) 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 digestive disorders are eligible to apply.
- AGA membership is required at the time of application submission. Candidates whose AGA membership applications are pending approval may apply for the award. 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.
- AGA membership must be maintained throughout the three-year duration of the award.
- 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.
- Resources allocated through this award are intended to support the career development of the applicant. The applicant must allocate a minimum of 75 percent effort to the proposed project.
- Applicants 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 ensuring timelines and deliverables and will work with the applicant to create a research career development plan.
- The intent of this award is to foster the scientific independence of junior investigators. Applicants 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 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 documentation from the appropriate regulatory committee.
- Recipients must submit scientific and financial progress reports to AGA annually and final reports 60 days after the end date of the award 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 Research Scholar Award.
- Applicants must use AGA’s budget template as provided in the application form.
- 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, equipment 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 allowable:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- At the time of application submission, applicants may not hold, or have held, a 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).
- Applicants who have held a K12 or KL2 in the past are eligible to apply. Applicants 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 an applicant is granted the award and notified of a comparable award from another agency prior to the first payment of this award, 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@example.com) within two weeks of receiving notification of additional funding.
- There must be a strong commitment from the applicant’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 applicant’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 mentor will provide a specific plan for the future development of the applicant via a letter of recommendation detailing how they will contribute to the applicant’s research career development during the award term.
The recipient will be selected based on the following criteria: investigator, career development plan, environment and institutional commitment, research plan, mentors and collaborators and relevance to digestive diseases and AGA’s mission. Applicants 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 their research career.
A panel comprising members of the AGA Institute Research Awards Panel will review applicants for scientific merit and select the award recipients. Funding will commence in July 2021.
The application deadline is Nov. 9, 2020. Applications are only accepted through the AGA Grants Management System. 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 are completed online by selecting the “Apply Now” button.
Funding for this award is provided by the AGA Research Foundation Endowment Fund.