New Investigator Award

2021 New Investigator Awards


Purpose
The ASTCT New Investigator Awards are designed to encourage clinical or laboratory research by young investigators in the field of blood and marrow transplantation. The award cannot exceed $50,000 per year, and may be used for direct payment of research costs or salary. (The award should not be used for institutional overhead.)

Eligibility

  • By the award start date of July 1, 2021, the applicant must have completed at least two years of postdoctoral training.  For applicants who are full-time junior faculty (Instructor, Assisant Professor, or equivalent) at an academic institution, that appointment or promotion must have occurred on or after July 1, 2018 (i.e., no more than three years before the award start date of July 1, 2021). This date should be very clear in the application and the applicant’s NIH-style biosketch. 
  • Applicants may submit only one application per cycle.
  • Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to be an ASTCT member. An applicant must have a sponsor who is an ASTCT member.  The sponsor serves as a mentor for the applicant’s research and career development.

Submission

Applicants are required to submit the New Investigator Award application, a curriculum vitae that adheres to the NIH Biographical Sketch format, a list of Other Support that also adheres to the NIH format, a letter of recommendation from the sponsor/mentor (maximum two pages), and a description of the proposed research that must not exceed 5 pages, including legible tables, figures, and legends.  Applicants should be mindful of not squeezing so much into these 5 pages that legibility, especially of figures and legends, is compromised for the reviewers.

Judging and Evaluation Criteria

The review committee is headed by a member of ASTCT, appointed by the ASTCT President with Board approval. The chair then appoints review committee members based on the expertise required to review the topics covered by the applications.

  • Submitted applications will be reviewed by the standing core study section. The study section is chaired by a member of ASTCT, appointed by the ASTCT President with Board approval. As needed, the chair can appoint ad hoc reviewers based on specific expertise required to review the topics covered by the submitted applications.
  • New Investigator Award applications will be evaluated for (a) scientific merit within the field of blood and marrow transplantation, (b) significance and anticipated overall impact of the potential findings, (c) institutional environment, (d) the mentoring record of the sponsor/mentor, and (e) the potential contribution of the proposed research to the field of blood and marrow transplantation. As these are “new” investigator awards, less emphasis is placed on preliminary data. 
  • Applicants with other significant new investigator funding from peer-reviewed and/or extramural sources, including funding for projects with different scopes and aims, may be viewed as less competitive by the review committee. Institutional startup funds for junior faculty need not be disclosed, as these are neither peer-reviewed nor extramural.
  • ASTCT commits to award at least five New Investigator Awards annually, with the potential for additional awards based on available funding from sponsors.
  • Significant scientific or budgetary overlap is not allowed with other funded projects of the applicant or mentor.

Due to the additional work that would be required of reviewers and the Chair, as well as the short turnaround times involved, applicants will not receive written critiques after review.  

New Investigator Award applications will be evaluated for:

  • Scientific merit within the BMT and cellular therapy field
  • Significance and anticipated overall impact of the potential findings to the BMT and cellular therapy fields
  • Institutional environment
  • Training record of the sponsor/mentor

As these are “new” investigator awards, less emphasis is placed on preliminary data.

The number of awards varies from year to year, depending on available funding.

Timing

  • Applicants will be notified of their award status (awardee, alternate, or not fundable) before the end of 2020.
  • The review committee always selects and rank orders alternates, as successful awardees sometimes receive and accept grants from other sources for the same or similar project. Significant scientific or budgetary overlap is not allowed.
  • The awards will be publicly announced at the 2021 Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR, February 10-14, 2021 in Honolulu, HI. ASTCT hopes that awardees will attend this meeting to accept their award in person. Attendance at the TCT Meetings is not a requirement for receiving a New Investigator Award, however, because ASTCT is unable to provide financial support for awardees’ travel and attendance. 

Funding

The award is $50,000 and is renewable for a second year, contingent on a report of satisfactory progress and continued funding by the award sponsor.

Please submit your application on or before Tuesday, September 8, 2020 to Olivia Gunn (ogunn@astct.org) at ASTCT Headquarters.

Past ASTCT New Investigator Awards have been made possible with the generous support of the following:

  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Sanofi Genzyme
  • Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Amgen
  • Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company and Janssen Biotech, Inc.