Women in Transplantation Fellowship Grant
for Research in Gender and Sex in Transplantation

Overview

Women in Transplantation (WIT) initiative of The Transplantation Society will provide funding to an Early Career Researcher to support research focusing on sex and gender issues relevant to solid organ transplantation.

This initiative was made possible with support with One Lambda, a Thermo Fisher Scientific brand, and Sanofi, with each supporting one award.

The spectrum of studies includes basic, clinical and translational. This individual should have spent two years or less performing research relevant to solid organ transplantation since obtaining their last degree (PhD, MD, MSc, PharmD, or equivalent). This work may represent a continuation of current research or a novel aspect of work. The mentor should have expertise in transplantation or immunology but need not be an investigator with known expertise in gender or sex.

General Information
  1. Each of the two research grants provide $25,000 USD per year for two years ($50,000 USDtotal per grant). Research must commence on July 1, 2021 and conclude by June 20, 2023.
  2. The research start date cannot be deferred for any reason.
  3. Applications must be submitted in full by April 1, 2021 in order to be reviewed.
  4. The recipient will sign a letter of agreement with WIT. Payments will be issued to the recipient’s institution by WIT, and the recipient will report to the WIT Pillar 2.
Research Focus
The 2021 Women in Transplantation Fellowship Grant for Research in Gender and Sex in Transplantation. will fund research that contributes to our understanding of the impact of sex and/or gender in transplantation. Such work includes, but is not limited to: studies of the impact of sex on transplant outcomes, sex differences in the immune response in organ transplantation, the influence of sex hormones on inflammatory responses, sex differences in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of immunosuppressive medications, disparities in access to transplantation based on gender or sex, the complex challenge of HLA sensitization in women following pregnancy, and the influence of gender on organ donation. Epidemiologic, clinical, translational, and basic studies are all necessary to advancing the field and all will be considered.
Eligibility
    1. The Applicant
      1. The applicant (MD, PhD, MSc, PharmD, or equivalent degree) must be within the first two years of research relevant to solid organ transplantation by the grant application deadline. Applicants who have worked in other fields or taken a leave of absence are eligible beyond this two-year period, but this must be directly addressed in the sponsor's letter.
      2. Throughout the period of the grant, the applicant must be considered a trainee and may not hold an independent faculty level position or a salaried senior staff position (or equivalent). WIT defines an independent faculty level position as: a) Assistant Professor or equivalent; or b) regardless of title, institutional support that includes independent lab space and/or start-up funds to allow independent research.
      3. The applicant’s fellowship must commence prior to or on the start of the grant term (July 1, 2021).
      4. The minimum protected research time is 50%.
    2. Applicant’s Sponsor and Institutional Support
      1. The applicant must have a sponsor/mentor who agrees to support the applicant in their research, meet with them on a regular basis (minimum 4x/year), and provide critical feedback on manuscripts and grant applications during the tenure of the award
      2. Applicants who have a substantial relationship with One Lambda and/or Sanofi that would present a real or perceived conflict of interest if awarded this grant should review this concern with WIT to declare the conflict before applying.
      3. Two WIT fellowship grants will be awarded per year, each being supported by either with One Lambda or Sanofi.  If more than one grant from a given faculty member is submitted and deemed competitive, WIT will make the final determination of which grant to fund.
      4. If the applicant’s sponsor departs or is planning to depart the institution prior to the commencement of the grant ((July 1, 2021), the following applies:
        1. If the departure occurs after the submission deadline, the applicant will not be eligible for funding and their grant withdrawn, as an evaluation of the sponsor is part of the scoring procedure.
        2. If the departure occurs after a grant has been awarded and the grant has commenced, funding will be suspended. Reinstitution of the grant will be at the discretion of the WIT, contingent upon satisfactory replacement of the sponsor and other factors. Awardee will be responsible for notifying WIT of these circumstances as soon as they are aware.
      5. The applicant’s sponsor must be an active member of TTS or have submitted a completed membership by the application deadline.
    3. Previous Funding/Funding from Other Sources
        1. The applicant may be a past or current recipient of other foundation fellowship research grants.
        2. The applicant may currently hold career development awards, or mentored scientist award.
        3. If the applicant is currently receiving funding for a project similar to the topics described in this RFA, the applicant should explain how the funds of the WIT grant would not overlap with the funds of the other research support.
    4. Miscellaneous
      1. Citizenship: There is no restriction on citizenship.
      2. Laboratory: there is no restriction on laboratory location/country.
Specific Application Requirements

Applications that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned without review.

    1. Completion of WIT RFA Cover page, to include name, title, and institution of principle investigator, co-investigator, and/or key co- collaborator(s), institution and contact information.
    2. Abstract of the proposed research plan: This document should concisely summarize the project in 300 words or less. The abstract should introduce the project and note its relevance to transplantation. It should describe the long-term objectives and specific aims, research design, and methods for achieving these goals.
    3. Applicant’s NIH biosketch (five-page format) to include all usual and pertinent information, particularly describing other past and current research funding and prior published work.
    4. The biosketch of the mentor and any co-investigators
    5. Complete proposed research plan: This document is limited to five single spaced pages. Font should be no smaller than 11 point (Arial, Helvetic or Calibri), with minimum 0.5” margins. The page limit does not include references. The following sections must be included:
      1. Specific aims: include the key questions posed or hypotheses to be tested
      2. Introduction: provide the rationale for the research
      3. Preliminary Results (if any): show preliminary results supporting the research plan
      4. Impact of the research
      5. Significance of the research
      6. Research Plan: explain how the questions or hypothesis will be studied, with emphasis on experimental design over the details of the specific methods to be used. Anticipated results and potential pitfalls and alternative approaches should be briefly discussed. Specific research (and, if applicable, training) goals to be reached at the end of the grant should also be provided.
      7. The research plan should include a description of relevant facilities/capabilities
    6. Mentor narrative: should not exceed three pages with same requirements as noted above, and should include:
      1. A concise description of the overall research plan.
      2. A description of the training program in addition to research project itself.
      3. A description of the mentor's background in supervising the research and training of students and postdoctoral fellows.
      4. The role of the applicant in the project.
      5. A description of the role of the applicant in preparing the application. A significant role in writing the application is highly encouraged, although input from the mentor is expected. For international applicants not yet in the lab, it is understood that the PI will play a large role in writing the application.
      6. The mentor’s evaluation of the applicant's experience and performance, future potential, and the degree of previous interaction with the applicant.
      7. An explanation of any mitigating or additional factors that need to be considered in terms of eligibility (e.g. account of extra years or a change in research field).
      8. The mentor must specify whether he/she is a recipient or sponsor of another WIT fellowship grant
      9. A guarantee of minimum protected time of 75% from clinical duties when applicable.
    7. Budget
      1. The grant is intended to provide salary support for the researcher and supplies/materials. No other costs are permitted, including institutional overhead or travel.
    8. Completed application packages should be sent in PDF format to Katie Tait at TTS (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Review Process and Notification
    1. Letter of intent is due on March 1, 2021.
    2. Completed Proposals are due by April 1, 2021. Completed application packages should be sent in PDF format to Katie Tait at TTS (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
    3. Funding decisions will be made by an expert review committee from the WIT peer members. Grants will be scored based on novelty, research approach, feasibility of obtaining relevant data, prior work, and the qualifications of the mentor, including prior productivity and mentoring experience
    4. All applicants will be notified of final decision by May 15, 2021.

The Transplantation Society

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