Research Scholar Awards

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Awards are made to support promising junior faculty by protecting research time.

At A Glance

Eligibility: Junior Faculty
Total Amount: $270,000
Amount per year: $90,000
Duration: Three years
Deadline: Sept. 25, 2015
Start Date: July 1, 2016


This award provides $90,000 per year for three years (total $270,000) to young investigators, instructors, research associates or equivalents working toward independent careers in gastroenterology, hepatology or related areas. The award recipients will be acknowledged at the Research Recognition Celebration at Digestive Disease Week®.


The overall objective of the Research Scholar Award (RSA) is to enable young investigators, instructors, research associates or equivalents to develop independent and productive research careers in digestive diseases by ensuring that a major proportion of their time is protected for research.


  • Candidates for this award must hold an MD, PhD or equivalent degree (e.g. MB, ChB, MBBS, DO) and a full-time faculty position at a North American institution by July 1, 2016.
  • Candidates research must be conducted at a North American institution.
  • AGA Membership is required at the time of application submission. Please visit the membership page or call 301-654-2055, extension 651, for membership information.
  • The award will support young faculty (not fellows) who have demonstrated exceptional promise and have some record of accomplishment in research. Candidates should be in the beginning years of their careers; therefore, established investigators are not appropriate candidates.
  • MD applicants: no more than seven years shall have elapsed following the completion of clinical training (GI fellowship or its equivalent) and the start date of this award.
  • PhD applicants: no more than seven years shall have elapsed following the awarding of your PhD and the start date of this award.
  • An appropriately documented parental leave of absence will not be counted toward the above noted seven-year eligibility criteria. Exceptional circumstances may also be considered.
  • Women, minorities and physician/scientist investigators are strongly encouraged to apply.

Award Overlap

  • At the time of application submission, candidates may not hold or have held an NIH K01, K08, K23  K99, R00, R01, R21, R29,Veterans Affairs Career Development Award or any award with similar objectives from non-federal sources (such as the American Liver Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Candidates with an active K12 may apply. If a candidate is granted the award and notified of a comparable award from another agency prior to the first payment of this award, the recipient must select one of the two awards (i.e. the recipient may not retain both awards). If the recipient is notified that a comparable award has been granted after the first payment of this award, the recipient may retain 50 percent of the AGA award.
  • The intent of this award is to foster the scientific independence of junior investigators. Candidates whose research activities become incorporated into a grant application from a senior mentor will need to delineate clearly the scientific and experimental distinctions between their respective programs. This requirement applies both to pending applications submitted prior to review of this award and to applications submitted during the term of the RSA. It also must be clearly stated that the work submitted by the applicant is that of the applicant and not other senior mentors.


  • Resources allocated through this award are intended to support the career development of the applicant. Accordingly, requests for salary, fringe benefits or other support for the mentor are not allowed. Indirect costs are not allowed. Upon notification of receipt of this award, the recipient must provide institutional approval from the appropriate committee for use of human subjects or animals. If approval is not necessary, the recipient must provide an explanation. Evidence for developing independence in research initiatives should be provided.
  • Candidates are required to have a sponsor and preceptor for the award; however, one individual may serve in the capacity of both positions. A sponsor is an individual who takes responsibility for the quality assessment of the proposed research project, the quality of the research environment within which the project will be undertaken, and the experience and expertise of the principal investigator and other key researchers involved. A preceptor will supervise the principal investigator’s research activities and will serve as a mentor.
  • Annually, a one-page plain-language progress report, a scientific progress report, a financial statement, a list of publications based on the research and a letter of certification from the division chief or department chair, must be submitted by the award recipient by July 30. Second and third year funding are contingent upon submission of this documentation. All publications, presentations and abstracts arising from work funded by this program must acknowledge support of the AGA Research Foundation Research Scholar Award.
  • The recipients of this award will be recognized at the Researcher Recognition Celebration during DDW. The recipients and their sponsors are strongly encouraged to attend.

Institutional Commitment

There must be a strong commitment from the candidate’s institution to support the required protected time for research and adequate laboratory space and/or other supporting facilities. These commitments must be outlined in a letter from the candidate’s division chief or department chair. The letter must certify that the award is being used to provide protected time, in accord with the terms of the award. In addition, it is expected that the sponsor will outline specific plans for the future development of the candidate’s research career. The institution must commit to ensuring timely and accurate reporting of the awardee’s current and future research activities at the institution; this is to include an annual report of the funding status, grants submitted and pending, and all publications.

Selection Criteria

The recipient will be selected based on the following criteria: significance, investigator, innovation, approach, environment, relevance to AGA’s mission and evidence of institutional commitment. The candidate should state clearly how the additional training will benefit his/her research career.

Review Process

A selection committee comprised of members of the AGA Research Awards Panel will review the proposals and select the award recipients. Funding will commence July 2016.

Application Process

The application deadline is Sep. 25, 2015. The completed application, letters of support or commitment, and other documents, as applicable, must be combined into and submitted as one PDF document. The document must be titled by the applicant’s last name and first initial only. Hard copies are not accepted; please submit by email. In the submission email, include your full name and project title. Please direct all questions to the research awards manager via telephone at 301-222-4012 or email.