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Career-Enhancement Awards and Training Programs

ASH Restart Award

The goal of this effort is to reduce the impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic response has had on the progression of research and careers for early career investigators in hematology. This program provides resources to support resumption of paused research and career stability in an uncertain environment.

Important Information

It is anticipated that interest in this award will be very high and that the need is acute. As a result and out of respect for applicant time, the award includes a competitively reviewed letter of intent (LOI) and a limited number of invitations to submit a full application. Further, timelines are accelerated and deadlines are absolute. Finally, ASH will not be providing critiques to applicants as a part of this program.

This program is intended to be a needs-based program and well-funded investigators are asked to forgo applying to this award as ASH resources are limited.

If you would like to support this program, please consider a gift to the ASH Foundation COVID-19 Fund: apps.hematology.org/Donation.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is evaluated as of the date of the letter of intent (LOI) deadline.

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to qualify:

  • Be an ASH member in good standing at the time of the letter of intent deadline and plan to maintain membership for the duration of the award term. Membership cannot be pending at the LOI deadline.
  • Have confirmation from the applicant’s institution that at least 50% of the applicant’s full-time professional effort is devoted to research.
  • Have an MD/DO, PhD, or MD/DO-PhD or equivalent and have completed their training but do not yet hold independent faculty level positions as of the LOI deadline.
    • The applicant must be beyond residency (for MDs and MD-PhDs) or a post-doc (for PhDs) but does not yet have the title of assistant professor or equivalent. The experience for RTAF and the first two levels of the Scholar Award (fellow and fellow to faculty) can help determine the level of experience needed we are looking for (please ignore any financial restrictions in Scholar fellow to faculty).
    • The following individuals are considered ineligible: individuals who hold independent faculty level positions (Assistant Professor, or equivalent – which may be indicated by having achieved the appointment after an external search and/or if the individual has voting rights as a member of the faculty). This does not include individuals serving as an ‘acting’ faculty member.
  • Individuals currently holding another ASH award (e.g. ASH Scholar Award, TRTH participant) are eligible for this award program.
  • Open to applicants worldwide.
  • There are no restrictions on how many LOIs a mentor can support, but ASH will limit invitations to apply to one per mentor.
  • A member of your mentoring team should be an ASH member. If your primary mentor is not an ASH member, in the institutional support letter, please have the institution list who on your mentorship team is an ASH member.
  • If you receive an Emergency Administrative Supplements for Research and Training Continuity of Postdoctoral Fellows during COVID-19 grant from the NIH, you cannot accept the ASH Restart Award.

Application Process

Letter of Intent

The letter of intent (LOI) and the supporting documents outlined below must be submitted through the ASH online awards system. The LOI is mandatory and will be competitively reviewed to be considered for one of the limited invitations to submit a full proposal. In addition to the letter of intent, the applicant must submit the following:

  • Completed online form.
  • Description of a research project (200 words).
  • Description of the impact the response to the pandemic has had on your career or research (200 words).

The letter of intent is competitive and not everyone will be invited to submit a full application. LOIs that address key ASH priorities would be given an 0.1 improvement on their merit-based study section score for each priority (not more than a .3 improvement in total possible). Details on ASH Priorities can be found below.

Eligible applicants will be invited in early September to submit the full application.

Application

NOTE: The application requirements may be adjusted as ASH gains knowledge through the LOI review process. The following information is provided as preliminary expectations for the application process and is provided to assist potential applicants prepare for a very brief application period.

Budget & Justification. You can request up to $50,000 based on need. Amounts requested may be adjusted to accommodate more awards. Allowable items include salary, supplies, training, staffing support, research expenses, and publication fees. No indirect costs may be taken.

Proof of detrimental impact from the pandemic response (e.g. rescinded offer, reduction of funding, loss of funding, reduction in salary).

Institutional commitment letter (not more than 1.5 pages) signed by department chair or division chief that:

  • Discusses institutional commitment to applicant and value of applicant to institution.
  • Discusses support plan for applicant’s transition (if supporting as they navigate rescinded offers).
  • Discusses resources provided in support of the attainment of the project goal (e.g. space, protected research time or position retention after the conclusion of the award).

A narrative (not more than three pages) that includes:

  • Specific losses due to COVID-19 and how the funding will be used to restart work.
  • Description of the approach, the level of intended effort and project plan.
  • Description of the scientific focus, significance, and anticipated impact, including precise description of expected results.
  • Description of how this project is independent of their mentor’s research and demonstrates a progression towards an independent research/career.
  • Career development plan assessing the impact of the award on career progression.
  • Attestation of compliance with ethical and legal requirements.

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Evaluation, Selection, and Notification

The review of the applications will consider:

  • The specific losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the funding will be used to restart work.
  • The approach, the level of intended effort, and project plan.
  • The scientific focus, significance, and anticipated impact, including expected results.
  • Description of how this project is independent of a mentor’s research and demonstrates a progression towards an independent research/career.

ASH Priorities

LOIs and applications that address key ASH priorities will be given an 0.1 improvement on their merit-based study section score for each priority (not more than a .3 improvement in total possible).

Priorities include:

  1. Applicant is a member of one of the following groups disadvantaged or underrepresented in academic medicine (as defined in the US):
    1. Women.
    2. Racial/Ethnic minority scientists.
    3. Members of the disability community.
    4. Members of the LGBTQ community.
  2. Research is focused on:
    1. Health disparities related to disadvantaged communities (e.g. women, racial/ethnic minority patients, disability community, LGBTQ community) including the study of the underlying genetics or biology that leads to different responses to treatment, different initiation or progression rates or differences in certain populations.
    2. A gap identified by ASH guidelines.
      1. Consolidated listing of identified gaps.
    3. A priority as indicated by the ASH Agenda for Hematology Research  or ASH COVID-19 Research Agenda for Hematology.
      1. Consolidated listing of priorities.
    4. Sickle cell disease.
  3. The applicant has a documented detrimental impact on career progression (e.g. rescinded offer letter, postponed appointment, cancelled contract, cancelled interview, reduction in salary).

There are no explicit limits on the number of awards per institution. However, in fairness to programmatic balance, institutional diversity will be considered in selecting the program recipients.

Individuals selected to receive this award will be notified in early November with a start date in November. Critiques will not be provided.

Terms and Conditions

Given the unprecedented times, ASH understands that program participants may need to adjust their projects from the originally envisioned proposal. We invite creativity and will offer flexibility. Please email questions or concerns to awards@hematology.org.

Transfers

In the event the recipient transfers to another institution during the funding period, continuation of the funding at the new institution may be allowed with prior approval from ASH. To obtain permission, the recipient must make a request in writing to the Society before the transfer occurs.

Reallocation

Recipients may request a reallocation of funds from one expense category to another by submitting the request in writing. This written request must specify the dollar amount, which categories are impacted, and a justification as to why this change is necessary.
All transfer and/or reallocation requests must be sent to awards@hematology.org.

Final Reports

A final written report (not to exceed three pages) and a final financial report detailing how the funds were used over the year are expected within 60 days of the end of the award period. Both final reports must be sent to awards@hematology.org.

Questions?

For questions about the award, please contact awards@hematology.org.