ASBMR FIRST (First Independent Research Support & Transition) Awards
ASBMR is dedicated to providing support for the research careers of our early career investigators. As such, we are pleased to announce a new research grant program aimed to assist early career investigators transition from a trainee position to establishing their own independent research career in bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal research. Four research grants of $60,000 USD each will be given to senior postdoctoral fellows or faculty-level investigators who have not yet achieved an NIH K/R01 award or major first career research grant equivalent. Two award are reserved for US members and two awards are reserved for international members. Learn more about this award process below.
The purpose of the ASBMR FIRST (First Independent Research Support & Transition Awards) is to assist early career investigators transition from a trainee to establishing their own independent research career in bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal research. It is primarily aimed to be used to assist in funding for senior postdoctoral fellow or faculty-level investigators who have not yet achieved an NIH K/R01 award or a major first career research grant.
Amount of Each Grant:
One-time award of $60,000 (direct costs, U.S. dollars). No indirect costs to institution.
Duration of Grant:
Three years (non-renewable)
Number of Awards:
Up to four awards will be given per award cycle (two awards reserved for U.S. members and two awards reserved for international members).
Applicants eligible for the FIRST Awards must meet the following criteria:
- Be a current ASBMR member
- Must not have more than $150,000 USD in external funding, not including the applicant's salary/fringe or funding within their institution
- Must be within 15 years from earning their terminal degree*
- Must not have been awarded a K, R01, or other major externally-funded first career research grant
*ASBMR recognizes some early stage investigators will experience a lapse in their research or research training or they will experience periods of less than full-time effort during the 15 year period from earning their terminal degree. In order to accommodate such lapses, ASBMR will consider requests to extend the ESI period for reasons that include medical concerns, disability, family care responsibilities, natural disasters, and active duty military service. In general, ASBMR will extend the period of ESI status for a period equivalent to the time away from research or research training. It will be incumbent upon investigators to provide an explanation with their application materials to explain the lapse in their training (no more than one page).
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All applications must include the following items:
- Summary of research project (maximum 3 pages)
- Justification of need statement for additional funding through the ASBMR FIRST Award (One page)
- Summary of intended career goals (maximum 3 pages)
- A full budget detailing intended expenses to be covered by the award (maximum 3 pages) and list of any current external funding support already received for the project (meaning a list of all current extramural support from public and private sources, including governments and industry). Applicant should ensure there are no funding overlaps in their budget.
- CV or NIH style biosketch
- Letter of support from applicant's institution (maximum 2 pages)
All materials should be prepared with font type Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, Georgia, or Times New Roman and a font size of 11 points or larger. Single line spacing is acceptable, with a 0.5 inch margin. Figures, charts, tables, and figure legends may be smaller in size (10-pt font minimum) but must be clear and legible.
All materials must be in English.
All recipients of the FIRST Award must agree to the following:
- Maintain their ASBMR membership during the duration of the award
- Attend the ASBMR Annual Meeting during the duration of their award (Award funds may be used to offset these costs and should be accounted for in the budget)
- Publications, including abstracts of presentations at scientific meetings, resulting from a project supported by a FIRST Award, must carry the following acknowledgement: "Funding for this project was received from the ASBMR FIRST Award."
- Provide an annual progress report to the ASBMR Business Office for the research project during the duration of the award
Funds for the FIRST Award will be sent to the recipient’s current institution as one payment of $60,000 at the time the award is granted and necessary paperwork submitted to ASBMR from the recipient. If a recipient changes institution during the course of the three years of the grant duration, the remainder of the funding can be transferred to the recipient’s new institution for the completion of the research project. It is incumbent upon the recipient to organize the transfer of funds from one institution to the other.
The review committee of the ASBMR FIRST Awards will consist of two award chairs (one US and one international) and a review committee of current Full or Emerging Country ASBMR members. Each application will be reviewed by three reviewers and provided an overall averaged score. Scores for the applications will range from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most meritorious and 5 the least.
- 1 = Very high quality research project and defined career goals, should be funded
- 2 = High quality research project and defined career goals, should be supported if funds allow
- 3 = Good quality research project with potential and well-stated career goals, could be supported
- 4 = Fair quality research project and nebulous career goals indicated important flaws that prevent funding
- 5 = Poorly designed study with nebulous career goals and significant flaws, do not fund
Reviewers will be asked to score and provide written comments on the following categories:
- Merit of the Candidate's Career Goals: Candidate's career goals are well-stated and attainable
- Written comments highlight strengths and weaknesses of Candidate's contributions to science and research goals
- Merit of the Research Plan: The qualityof the research plan as proposed in the research project summary and Justification of Need statement; the significance of the topic and the potential impact of the research on the bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal field
- Written comments highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the Candidate's research goals, plans, and likelihood for success
- Merit of the Justification of Need and Budget Proposal: Rationale for the use of the FIRST Award funds and how it will impact the investigator's likelihood of successfully implementing their programs, staying in the field and transitioning to independent investigators. Budget is clear in how the funds will be used and also includes any additional funding already received for the project (meaning a list of all current extramural support from public and private sources, including government and industry).
- Written comments highlight strengths and weaknesses of Candidate's plan for the use of the FIRST Award funds and assess whether the planned use for the FIRST Award funds is justified.
Reviewers will have 30 days to complete their reviews from the time applications are distributed to the committee from the ASBMR Business Office.
The review committee will hold no more than two review calls to discuss the applicants’ scores and finalize the recipients of the FIRST Award. Recipients chosen by the review committee for the FIRST Award will be ratified by the ASBMR Executive Committee before funding is disbursed.
Applicants who are not awarded a FIRST Award will be provided the written comments from the reviewers.
Overall Award Process Timeline:
The award cycle from initial announcement to final ratification will take approximately four to five months.
- Call for Applications (45 Days)
- Applications Compiled and Sent to Review Committee (30 Days)
- Reviewers score and provide written comments to ASBMR Business Office (30 Days)
- Review Committee calls (30 Days)
- All applicants notified (7 Days)
- Funds disbursed to awardees' institutions (Up to 30 Days after receipt of all required paperwork)