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Research Pilot Funding Program

The Menopause Society Research Pilot Funding Program
Applications Due by Noon EDT on April 30, 2024

The Menopause Society Research Pilot Funding Program (MSR Fund) is designed to foster innovative research and support the career development of investigators in the field of women’s health during the midlife years. The MSR Fund will support up to two new independent pilot projects.

Eligibility
To be considered for the MSR Fund award, the applicant must be a member of The Menopause Society at the time of application. Additionally, the applicant must be a researcher with a full-time faculty appointment or a clinical faculty member within 10 years of their primary faculty appointment who has not previously received National Institutes of Health (NIH), Tri-Council (eg, Canadian Institutes of Health Research), Department of Defense, or similar federal funding.

Critical Criteria for Review
The application must include:

  • An explicit focus on women’s health during midlife, with a particular emphasis on the menopause transition or early postmenopause biology, treatment, and life implications.
  • Discussion of ways in which the proposed pilot project would lead to larger research efforts or proposals.
  • If the proposed project is related to an existing project or collaboration, an explanation of how the proposed project constitutes a new area of exploration distinct from the primary work.
Examples of projects that would be appropriate for the MSR Fund award include secondary data analyses from large cohort or randomized, controlled trials and feasibility pilots.

Budget Limitations

Funds are available to support up to two awards at a level of $25,000 USD each. The funding period will be from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. No extensions of this award period will be made. Please note that funds cannot be expended for any part of the research that are governed by a required protocol until that protocol has been approved by the relevant Institutional Review Board.

Application Format

Cover page: The first page of the application must include the name, degree(s), academic title, primary departmental affiliation, and contact information (address, telephone number, and email address) of the principal investigator and any coinvestigators.

If salary support is not requested for these investigators, effort must be cost-shared by the respective department/institution. The principal investigator, the coinvestigator, and their respective department chairs or appropriate center directors (eg, division/department chief or institute director) who can authorize cost-sharing must sign the cover page. These signatures certify agreement to provide the investigator’s cost-shared effort and acknowledgement that no indirect costs will be provided by this grant.

The rest of the application must consist of the following sections, single-spaced, and in 11 pt Arial font with one-inch page margins.
  • Abstract (no more than 350 words, which should clearly specify how the project is relevant to women’s health during midlife)
  • Research plan (no more than six single-sided pages)
    —Specific aims
    —Background, significance, and novelty
    —Preliminary studies (optional)
    —Design and methods
    —Relevance to women’s health during midlife
    —Timeline
  • Bibliography
  • Resources and environment, including experience of the principal investigator, research teams, and mentorship (two-page maximum)
  • Letter of support from mentor (two-page maximum)
  • Path from the pilot project to future larger research efforts (no more than 250 words)
  • Human participant protection (if applicable, two-page maximum)
  • Budget and justification (one-page maximum, instructions below)
  • NIH format biographical sketches and other support (instructions below)

Budget and Budget Justification

The NIH-format budget page should be used for the principal investigator and all coinvestigators (PHS 398 Form, page 4.)

An additional page should be included for the budget justification; all pieces of equipment, including any type of computer or related device must be explicitly justified as critical to the performance of the proposed research. Funds may not be requested for publication or travel expenses. As indicated above, the intent of this program is to support the career development of investigators in the field of women’s health during midlife. Thus, funds may not be used to support clinical work or recruitment of participants for an ongoing larger research project. Any salary requested (eg, salary support for a student, research assistant, statistician, analyst, or principal investigator) should include federal fringe benefit rates.

Biographical Sketches and Support Pages

The NIH-format biographical sketch and the NIH-format other support documents must be included for the principal investigator and for any other investigator whose expertise will be critical for successful completion of the project. The personal statement in any biographical sketch should be appropriate for the research proposed in the MSR Fund application.

Acknowledgments and Final Report

Recipients of the awards should acknowledge that the funding source is The Menopause Society in any publication/abstract resulted from the funded projects. The findings/ abstracts should be submitted for presentation at future meetings of The Menopause Society. A final one to two page report describing the milestones achieved during the funding period is required and should be submitted by September 1, 2025, to Mary Nance (mary@menopause.org). This final report will be shared with the Panel and the Research Fund Task Force (the Task Force). The Task Force will provide a report to the Board.

Application Due Date

Applications are to be submitted electronically as a PDF file to Mary Nance (mary@menopause.org) by noon EDT on April 30, 2024. No exceptions will be made to this date. Applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their application within 1 week of application submission. If an applicant does not receive such notification, they should contact Mary Nance (mary@menopause.org).

MSR Fund Oversight, Application Review Process, and Announcement of Awardees

The Menopause Society Board will appoint the Research Fund Task Force from its membership. The Task Force will oversee the of the MSR Fund application process and report to the Board on all funding activities. The Task Force will select the members of the Scientific Review Panel.

A Scientific Review Panel of five to six researchers from The Menopause Society will be chosen by the Task Force to review all applications.

The following will be considered in evaluating applications and will be judged using a scoring system from 1 to 9 (1 = exceptional; 9 = poor):

  • Soundness of scientific principles
  • Novelty of scientific approach
  • Background and experience of the principal investigator
  • Adequacy of resources and environment–including research teams and mentorship
  • Appropriateness of the budget for the proposed work
  • A well-defined path from the pilot project to future larger research efforts
  • All applicants will be provided with scores from their application review and will receive an email notifying them whether their application was awarded funding by June 30, 2024.

    Questions about the program should be directed to Mary Nance (mary@menopause.org).

     

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