Clinician-Researcher Grant Application Guidelines

Clinician-Researcher Awards support hypothesis-driven clinical research projects that have significant potential to advance our understanding of Dravet syndrome; slow or halt the progression of the disease, characteristics, or comorbidities of the disease; and/or reduce mortality. The projects must be patient-oriented, with the investigator directly interacting with human subjects/patients. This includes studies such as therapeutic interventions or support/extension of existing clinical trials.

The clinician-researcher award is meant to aid early-career clinicians in gaining experience in clinical research studies of Dravet syndrome (established clinicians without research experience are also eligible). Applicants are required to identify a clinical research mentor to assist in guiding the studies for the duration of the award.

Details: Award funds of $75,000 for one year are made to the affiliated institution in two payments, the second of which is dependent on IRB approval if not required for the first portion of the funding period. Awards are to be used to support a minimum physician effort (salary and benefits) of 25%; funds may also be used to support a clinical trial specialist’s efforts or similar. Up to $1000 may be set aside to present findings at a national meeting. No indirect costs are permitted. Submission of scientific and financial reports are due no later than 30 days after completion of the project.

Eligibility: Successful applicants hold an MD or DO degree, have a valid US medical license (though US citizenship is not required), work full-time at a US academic or research institution. Clinical residents, fellows, and faculty are eligible. Applicants for this grant award are not required to have expertise in clinical research, but rather must identify a primary mentor with experience in the proposed research area. Residents and fellows are additionally required to submit a letter of support from their program director. With the exception of career development and training awards, Principal Investigators on NIH grants exceeding $225,000 and recipients of other fellowships are not eligible.

Applications are due by Friday, September 10, 2021.

Please email Veronica with any questions.


Applications which do not include the following materials and meet the specified page limitations will be returned unprocessed, or will be deferred until a subsequent granting cycle:

  1. Grant Application, found here
    Fillable PDF form that must be signed by applicant and an institutional grants program official. Includes applicant and mentor information, a lay abstract, and scientific abstract.
  2. Letters of Support
    Two letters of support are required; one letter of support from your direct supervisor/mentor and one letter of support from another senior investigator/clinician familiar with your expertise, experience, and potential.
    **Medical Residents and Fellows must additionally provide a letter of support from their program director indicating support of time dedicated to research activities.
  3. CV/Biosketch-  Not to exceed 3 pages each
    An example can be found here. Please submit a biosketch for the applicant and a biosketch for the direct supervisor/mentor.
  4. Budget Page – 1 page
    Often displayed as a table, the budget page should include a simple numeric breakdown of how grant funds will be utilized, including indirect costs and a final total of the funds being requested. Indirect costs of no more than 10% of the total award are permitted. If the total budget for your project exceeds the amount you are requesting from DSF, your budget page must include a breakdown of how all funds, including those from other sources, will be used.
  5. Budget Justification Page – 1 page
    The budget justification page should provide an explanation and rationale of each line item of the budget including why specific personnel and/or supplies are critical to the proposed study.
  6. Hypothesis and Specific Aims – 1 page
    Please use a single page to lay out the hypothesis and rationale for the proposal including the specific aims to be accomplished.
  7. Research Plan – Not to exceed 5 pages
    This should include background, any preliminary data, experimental approach, methods, expected outcomes and discussion of potential pitfalls.
  8. Bibliography – no page limit
    Please provide citations in NIH format (listing all authors)