The ASH Research Training Award for Fellows (RTAF) is designed to encourage junior researchers in hematology, hematology/oncology, and other hematology-related training programs to pursue careers in academic hematology. The RTAF awards $70,000 to fellows in training to provide protected time for clinical, basic, or translational research. In addition, the funds give trainees more time to generate sufficient expertise to be competitive when applying for future funding.
Beginning in 2017, RTAF recipients may apply for a second year of funding.
Awards are targeted to two separate groups of researchers with or without a biomedical PhD:
- Junior Investigator RTAF: for researchers in their second or third year of fellowship
- Senior Investigator RTAF: for researchers in their fourth or fifth year of fellowship
Ideal candidates for the RTAF are individuals with promise for future academic research careers who need more research experience. The expectation is that RTAF awardees will become candidates for awards such as the Scholar Award, which targets applicants with more extensive research experience and a record of past research success (e.g., publications).
The RTAF will grant up to six awards to MD fellows without a biomedical PhD and up to six awards to MD fellows with a biomedical PhD. Each recipient will receive $70,000 for a one-year period to be used primarily for salary support for the applicant. Salary includes benefits provided by the applicant's institution for up to 15 percent of the total award amount.
Additionally, up to $5,000 of the award money may be allocated for research supplies and reagents, and up to $1,000 may be allocated for travel to the ASH annual meeting. Recipients will receive an additional $1,000 to support attendance at the ASH annual meeting for the year following their award term. Each of the non-salary support portions of the proposed budget must be accompanied by a clear justification.
Awards will be activated on July 1 and conclude on June 30 of the following year. Monies cannot be used toward salary/benefits for the mentor or toward an institution's overhead or indirect costs. Payments will be made to the appropriate financial officer of the institution.
Funding is available for up to four recipients for a second year of RTAF support.back to top
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|Application Deadline for MD/PhD applicants||February 1, 2017, at 11:59 p.m., PST|
|Finalists Interviewed in Washington, DC||April 2017|
|Award Winners Notified||May 2017|
|Award Activation||July 1, 2017|
Eligibility for the award begins on the first day of fellowship and goes until five years from that date, with exceptions made for leaves of absence. Eligible applicants must propose research focused on a hematologic condition (solid tumor projects are not eligible).
At the time of application, the applicant must:
- Posses an MD, DO, DO/PhD, or MD/PhD
- Plan to pursue an investigative career in hematology research
- Have clear and documented support of an established mentor. This person should have funding (e.g., NIH, federal, foundation, or private) or be recognized through national clinical leadership (if the project is clinical). The mentor must remain funded during the award period.
- Have a mentor who is an ASH member at the time the application is submitted. The mentor must remain a member of ASH for the duration of the award term. If the mentor is not in a hematology-related field, a supporting letter from an ASH member is required. (Additional mentors can be recommended by members of the RTAF study section.)
- Provide documented support from the program director for dedicated research time during the award period
- Secure a document from an institutional leader(s) who has the authority to ensure that at least 75 percent of the applicant's full-time professional efforts will be devoted to research during the funded period
- Be a member of ASH in good standing (and maintain membership for the duration of the award term). If your 2017 dues have not been paid by 11:59 p.m., PST, February 1, 2017, your application will be deemed ineligible. If you are not currently an ASH member, your membership application must be pending at the time of the application date. If you are currently not a member of ASH, you may apply for the ASH Associate Membership before completing your application.
The following individuals are not eligible to apply:
Please note: the RTAF is to be the recipient's main source of salary support. In the event that the recipient's salary is not fully covered by the RTAF, supplementary funding from non-career development awards or grants may be used to pay the balance of the recipient's salary.
Junior Investigator RTAF
The junior investigator award is for individuals whose research has been initiated but no preliminary data has been collected. In addition to the requirements outlined above, at the time of application, the applicant must be a first- or second-year fellow in an ACGME or RCPSC accredited hematology, hematology/oncology, or hematology-related fellowship program in the United States or Canada.
Additionally, at the time the award is activated, the applicant must:
- Have less than five years of research experience
- Have completed one year of clinical training within a hematology, hematology/oncology, or hematology-related training program in the United States or Canada
- Be a second- or third-year fellow in an ACGME or RCPSC accredited hematology, hematology/oncology, or hematology-related training program in the United States or Canada
- Not have any other career-development funding during the award period, including but not limited to foundation and NIH career development awards (e.g., K12, K23, K01 K08, T32)
Senior Investigator RTAF
The senior investigator award is for individuals whose project has been initiated and has data. In addition to the requirements outlined above, at the time of application, the applicant must be in the third or fourth year of a hematology, hematology/oncology, or hematology-related fellowship in the United States or Canada.
Additionally, at the time the award is activated, the applicant must:
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- Have completed two years of training within a hematology, hematology/oncology, or hematology-related training program in the United States or Canada
- Be a fourth- or fifth-year trainee in a hematology, hematology/oncology, or hematology-related training program in the United States or Canada.
- Not have any other career-development funding during the award period, including but not limited to foundation and NIH career development awards (e.g., K12, K23, K01, K08, T32)
Second Year of RTAF Support
Funding is now available for up to four RTAF recipients to apply for a second year of support for the year following their initial award. The request for a second year of funding must be submitted in writing nine months into the funded award period as a joint letter from the awardee and his/her mentor. The letter should address the following:
- Aims of the original grant application
- Progress made on these aims
- What will be performed during an additional year
- How an additional year of funding is necessary from a career development perspective
- Why continuing funding is needed, and why the awardee was denied other funding (if applicable)
- Plans for future funding applications
- Provide evidence of publications or publications under review
- Provide comment from the institutional leader justifying the need for a second year of funding
The request will be reviewed by the RTAF study section chair. Pending his/her approval, the recipient will be invited to resubmit an application.back to top
All applications and supporting documents must be submitted through the ASH online awards module.
An email from ASH will be sent to the applicant within one business day of receiving the application to confirm receipt. If an email is not received, the applicant should notify ASH staff immediately by contacting the ASH Training Coordinator at email@example.com or at 202-552-4928. Failure to notify ASH could result in the application not being reviewed.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Completed Application Form
- Project Narrative (four-page limit including references)
The project narrative should include a detailed description of the proposed research study, including information on the significance, originality, hypothesis, feasibility, and methodology of the project. It should also include a project timeline that contains specific details stating how the project can be completed within the award period.
- Career Development Plan (four-page limit)
On institution letterhead, the document is a letter co-authored by the applicant and his/her research mentor detailing the applicant's career development plan; current and future academic and research career plans; plans for degree and non-degree earning courses, including attendance at workshops; plans for external grant submissions; and the mentor's plan for mentor-applicant interactions. Statements that address the following should also be included: description of the applicant's job and title during the award period; description of the applicant's ideal job after fellowship; where the proposed project is anticipated to lead; description of the applicant’s career path to date; and future career path and goals.
- Applicant NIH Biographical Sketch
The applicant’s bio sketch should be in the standard NIH format and must contain a list of all grants that provide salary support. Grant dollar amounts and the associated percent of salary covered (active and pending) must be included.
- Research Mentor NIH Biographical Sketch
The applicant’s mentor must submit a bio sketch containing a list of all grants that provide salary support. Grant dollar amounts and the associated percent of salary covered (active and pending) must be included. If the applicant's project has co-mentors, each mentor must submit a bio sketch.
- Research Mentor Letter of Support (four-page limit)
This letter must be on institutional letterhead and should include statements detailing what the mentor(s) will do to support the applicant and the project and why the proposed project should be funded. If the applicant's project has co-mentors, only one statement of support should be included; however, the statement must be written and signed by both mentors.
- ASH Member Letter of Support (only necessary if research mentor is not a hematologist and not an ASH member; one-page limit)
If the applicant's research mentor is not a hematologist and not an ASH member, the applicant must submit an additional letter of support from a current ASH member who is familiar with both the applicant's and mentor's work.
- Institutional Commitment Letter from Training Program Director (two-page limit)
This letter must be separate from the research mentor letter of support (even if the research mentor and training program director are the same person). The letter must be on institutional letterhead and must confirm the availability of institutional resources to support the proposed project. In addition, the training program director must indicate that at least 75 percent of the applicant's time will be dedicated to research. The letter should also include a statement of anticipated clinical responsibilities for the applicant during the award period. Additionally, the letter should describe the salary support resources for all of the program's trainees (to include institutional funding, NIH training grants, etc.) and identify the source(s) of the applicant's other salary support if he/she is a recipient of this award. Finally, the letter should document the institution's financial need for this award.
- Company Letter (optional; one-page limit)
If the applicant has a project that involves drugs, reagents, etc. from an individual company, a letter will need to be submitted from the drug company. This letter will indicate that the company is supplying the drugs, reagents, etc. to the applicant.
Please note: Any application which does not follow the stated requirements, includes additional documents outside of the required documents, is not formatted correctly, is lacking information, has incorrect information, or is lacking required documents as outlined, will be deemed ineligible and will not be reviewed by the study section.
There are no appeals, or consideration for additional or further review once an application has been determined to be ineligible.back to top
Evaluation, Selection, and Notification
Applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by the RTAF study section. Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- A focus on hematology research
- The qualifications and experiences of the applicant (factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the potential for future independent investigation and commitment to a career in hematology research)
- Quality of the mentor and the plan for mentor-applicant interaction and career development
- The significance, feasibility, and originality of the proposed hypothesis, research, and methodology
- Availability of institutional resources to support the proposed project
Ten to twelve finalists will be selected to be interviewed by the RTAF study section for each category of the RTAF application – those with PhD degrees and those without PhD degrees. All finalists for the award must be available for interviews with the RTAF study section. The interviews will focus on determining the applicants' commitment to hematology and potential for success.
Applicants doing research in the same department of an institution are eligible to apply; however, no more than one applicant from any one department at any one institution will be selected. In this context, different departments include Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, etc.back to top
Terms and Conditions
All awards will be activated on July 1, 2017. The award concludes on June 30, 2018. Payment will be made to the appropriate financial officer for the institution as indicated on the proposed budget form. The institution will be responsible for distributing the funds to the institution's financial official in accordance with the budget submitted with the application.
Research award funds cannot be deferred and are non-transferable.
As a condition of acceptance of the ASH Research Training Award for Fellows, it is required that:
- The funds awarded must be used for the research project specified in the application submitted to ASH in strict compliance with the budget included with the application or any subsequent budget approved by the Society
- The RTAF is to be the recipient's main source of salary support. In the event that the recipient's salary is not fully covered by the RTAF, supplementary funding from non-career development awards or grants may be used to pay the balance of the recipients' salary. Monies cannot be used toward salary/benefits for the mentor or toward an institution's overhead or indirect costs.
- RTAF recipients cite support from the American Society of Hematology in any publication describing research conducted during the period of the award
In the event the awardee transfers to another institution during the funding period, continuation of the funding at the new institution may be allowed with the prior approval of the Society. To obtain permission, the awardee must make a request in writing to the Society 90 days before the transfer occurs.
The Research Training Award for Fellows is primarily for salary support; however, up to $5,000 may be used for supplies and $1,000 for travel to the ASH annual meeting. Any requests to reallocate monies from the original budget must fall into these funding categories. All transfer requests must be sent to the attention of the ASH Training Manager.
Requests for budget reallocation will be reviewed by the chair of the RTAF study section, the chair of the Committee on Training, and, if needed, the ASH Treasurer. The budget reallocation will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- completeness of request
- reasons for request
- assurance that progress is being made in the research project
- submission of request in advance of the change
RTAF recipients are required to submit a final written report (not to exceed four pages) and to complete an ASH survey within 30 days of the end of the award period. The report must detail how the funds were used over the award period and should include a summary of the work performed and reprints of publications written by the fellow during the award term. The report must be sent to ASH Headquarters to the attention of the Training Manager.
All final reports will be evaluated by the ASH Awards Subcommittee. It may be necessary for the committee to follow up with a recipient after the final report has been submitted; RTAF recipients must be responsive to these requests.
Please note:Failure to submit the final report will render the applicant ineligible for the $1,000 travel award (applied to the ASH annual meeting for the year following the award period) as well as other future ASH funding.
All RTAF funding that is not spent by the end of the award term must be returned to the Society within 90 days of submitting the final report. A check made out to “American Society of Hematology” must be sent to the ASH Training Manager along with a copy of the final report.
Program Evaluationback to top
In order to measure the effectiveness of the ASH Research Training Award for Fellows program, the Society will conduct an annual, comprehensive review of the program and its participants. This cannot be done without the assistance of all award recipients. Therefore, all current recipients are required to respond to surveys sent at the end of each year and all past recipients are required to respond to the Society's requests for information on their career progress following the active award.
For questions regarding the ASH Research Training Award for Fellows, contact the ASH Training Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
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