Research and Training Scholarships
ABOG/AAOGF • Foundation for SMFM/AAOGF • GOG Foundation/AAOGF/Clovis Oncology
Deadline: July 1, 2021
The AAOGF and the Foundations of ABOG and SMFM seek to identify future academic physician leaders in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and to stimulate their scholarly development, through the support of advanced scientific training. The Scholarship Award is to be used in an academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the United States or Canada to provide research training and experience for a candidate of proven ability who exhibits significant talent, original thought and evidence of dedication to an academic career. Research training may focus on basic or translational research, disease pathogenesis, clinical diagnostics, interventions and prevention, or epidemiology.
The total annual funding for each scholar is $120,000. Sufficient funds to support travel to the annual fellows’ retreat are included, and must be set aside. The balance of funds may be used for salary, technical support, and supplies. The award that is co-sponsored by ABOG and the GOG Foundation is made under the direction of the AAOGF Scholar Committee. The co-sponsored SMFM award is under the direction of the Foundation for SMFM Scholarly Activities Committee. The GOG Foundation/AAOGF Scholar Award 2022-2025 is co-sponsored by Clovis Oncology.
The award is intended to fund three consecutive years of research training. The initial award is for one year and is renewable annually for two additional consecutive years of research training, based on satisfactory progress of the scholar in meeting programmatic requirements and on the availability of funds. Only one year of the three funded years may be part of a subspecialty fellowship-training program. Indirect costs are not provided.
Recipients must agree to provide career development reports and follow-up after the conclusion of the scholarship on an annual basis and as requested.
It is expected that the scholarship training will be conducted at the same institution for the entire period of funding. Transfer of institutions or change of mentors during the period of funding must receive the prior approval of AAOGF and, in the case of a jointly sponsored award, the Foundation for SMFM or GOG Foundation. Unexpended funds must be returned to the sponsoring organization unless approval is granted for an extension of the training period.
Candidates must have been awarded an M.D. degree and must be eligible for the certification process of ABOG at the time of the award. This award is not intended to fund clinical training leading to specialty or subspecialty certification. However, applicants who are in their second year of an ABOG-approved fellowship can apply for funding through this mechanism to start their training in the 3rd year of fellowship, as long as that year is devoted to research for at least 75% of the year. In any case, applicants who have completed or are undertaking subspecialty training must have completed such training or be in the second or third year of an ABOG approved training program at the time application is made. In addition, candidates for the AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM scholarship must be members or associate members of the SMFM. While candidates for the AAOGF/GOG Foundation scholarship must be candidate members or members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO). Eligible applicants may use the same application in order to be considered for both the AAOGF/ABOG and either the AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM or AAOGF/GOG Foundation awards, and should state in a cover letter their desire to be considered for either the AAOGF/ABOG or AAOGF/Foundation awards. Because of the desirability of early training in scientific principles, residency programs possessing the necessary flexibility and resources are urged to notify their residents of the availability of these scholarships.
At least 75% of the candidate’s efforts should be spent in research training and the conduct of research, which may occur in facilities either within or outside of the sponsoring Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Collaborative efforts with other departments e.g., Pharmacology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Biochemistry, or Epidemiology would be a desirable part of the program.
Applications for the subsequent academic year will be accepted only if the application is received electronically. There is no application form; however, an application format is provided at the end of this announcement. The application must be countersigned by both the candidate and the Chair of the sponsoring department. The following materials must be submitted for the application to be considered complete and be reviewed for funding:
- A description of the candidate’s qualifications, including a curriculum vita (complete, not merely-NIH biosketch style), bibliography, prior training, past research experience, evidence of completion of residency training in obstetrics and gynecology or expectation of completion of residency training in obstetrics and gynecology prior to the start of the award. The basis for the sponsoring department’s selection of the candidate should be clear, including any future plans for development and faculty appointment or placement. Short and long-term career development plans should be specified.
- A comprehensive description of the proposed training program, including planned didactic experience, and formal didactic courses. The latter should include at least two formal graduate level courses in areas relevant to the scholar’s area of interest. Applicants who have completed Master’s degree or Ph.D. coursework have fulfilled this requirement and are not required to enroll in formal didactic courses, but are recommended to do so in order to advance their knowledge. Classes must include an exam and a passing grade documented by a letter signed by the course director. Additional components can include: structured conferences, specific laboratory responsibilities, and the extent of non-research related clinical responsibilities. This didactic plan should be consistent with the career development plan.
- The research project should be described in detail using an NIH grant format but should not exceed 6 pages (with 0.5-inch margin), using number 11 Arial font, including all figures and tables but not bibliography. The goals of the training program and the means of evaluation of productivity and success in meeting these goals must be clearly stated.
- A description of departmental resources appropriate to the training, including the full-time faculty member responsible for serving as the training mentor must be provided. The mentor’s NIH-style biosketch (which should include a list of current NIH grants), a list of past trainees, and a letter of commitment are required.
- The proposed mentor must provide a detailed mentoring plan that includes methods of assessment, expected milestones, and remediation plans if training targets are not met. In addition, a list of any other faculty members with whom the trainee will work, with particular emphasis of their past experience in mentoring and their time commitment to this undertaking, should be included. Finally, make note of available research space, equipment and general resources as well as an account of prior training experience within the unit, and the existence of other departmental support resources.
- A list of other research grants, training grants, or scholarships previously or currently held by the applicant. Please include a list of all applications by the candidate that are currently pending review. Prior or current R01 grant recipients are ineligible for AAOGF-ABOG-Foundation for SMFM- GOG Foundation funding. Candidates who have had no more than 3 years of prior K-award training (e.g., institutional K12, K08) are eligible to apply. but candidates who currently hold BIRWCH, WRHR, RSDP or other K12 awards are not eligible. AAOGF-ABOG-Foundation for SMFM- GOG Foundation scholarship awards do not preclude applying for additional research funding from other sources (e.g., an NIH R03, R21, T32, or the like) the acceptance of which would not jeopardize continued funding or renewal of this award, as long as the minimum of 75% effort is protected. Such applications are encouraged and plans for pursuing such subsequent research funding should be addressed in the application. We also highly encourage our scholars to apply for an R01 grant (or the like) as PIs. Once the R01 is funded, the support from the AAOGF-ABOG-Foundation for SMFM- GOG Foundation scholarship training program will end. If the applicant has questions regarding their eligibility, they should contact the Scholar’s Committee Chair.
- A budget should be provided. As noted, the award may be used for salary support of the scholar, purchase of equipment and supplies, technician salaries and/or services and travel expenses related to research training. Planned expenditures should be listed under the following headings: salaries (by individual), supplies, equipment, services, and travel. Please note that no indirect costs will be paid.
- Documentation of approvals from the Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects) and if applicable, from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee can follow NIH “just in time” approval rules. However, following granting of the award no funding will be released until full documentation of the necessary approvals is received by AAOGF and the Foundation for SMFM, if applicable.
- Additional requirements for the AAOGF/GOG Foundation award: The objective of this scholarship is to enhance the development of future academic physician-scientist leaders in the field of gynecologic oncology who have a specific interest in career development in clinical trials. As such, awardees must include an academic training plan focused on principles of clinical trial research.
Evaluation of Applications
The evaluation of applications will be conducted by committee(s) and will be based on:
- The scholarly, clinical and research qualifications/promise of the candidate, including evidence of the candidate’s commitment to an investigative career in academic obstetrics and gynecology in the United States or Canada.
- Qualifications of the sponsoring department and mentor(s) with respect to research experience, grant track record, prior research mentoring, adequacy of opportunity for appropriate collaborative relationships, facilities and other appropriate resources.
- The overall quality of the mentoring plan.
- Ascertainment that 75% of time and effort of the candidate will be dedicated to the research training and the conduct of research.
- The quality of the research project, including evidence that the applicant is either performing an originally conceived project or taking on an area of interest of the mentor that represents a significantly new direction.
- The accuracy and completeness of the application.
- A personal interview will be required as part of the evaluation process, with half of the cost to be borne by the sponsoring department. After an initial review, the most competitive applicants may be invited for the interview. The Committee may also elect to interview the mentor via a telephone conference.
- Underrepresented individuals in medicine candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Applications for the AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM award should focus on an area of relevance to the discipline of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics or pregnancy-related fields.
- Applications for the AAOGF/GOG Foundation should focus on an area of relevance to the discipline of Gynecologic Oncology with an emphasis on career development in clinical trials. The research proposal for this grant may focus on translational research (application of basic research discoveries toward management, treatment and prevention of gynecologic cancer) involving human subjects (or material from human origin), therapeutic interventions, computational biology and/or patient-reported outcomes.
- The Committee reserves the right not to make a selection if none of the applications meet the standards of the Committee for acceptance.
Monitoring of Scholars
The recipient of the award must submit an interim progress report by May 1 of the first and second years of award, and a final report by May 1 of the third year of award. All three reports should be countersigned by the faculty mentor and should include a monetary accounting of the funds awarded. The first and second year reports should detail the candidate’s achievements and the projected plans for the succeeding year(s). The reports should include any significant changes in departmental resources, which might affect the program, such as change of mentor or collaborators, altered funding, change of chairman, etc. Changes in the program that deviate from the original application require the approval of the AAOGF Scholar’s Committee and the Foundation for SMFM or GOG Foundation if applicable. The recipient of the AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM award must send reports to both the Foundation for SMFM board and AAOGF. While, the recipient of the AAOGF/GOG Foundation award must send reports to both the Foundation for SMFM board and GOG Foundation.
In the spring or early summer following receipt of the award, a member of the AAOGF/ABOG Scholar’s Committee or either the AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM or AAOGF/GOG Foundation will schedule a structured site visit for the respective scholar. The scholar must provide site visitors with a progress report prior to the visit. The scholar will receive specific metrics that must be addressed during the time of the site visit. The AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM Scholar will also meet with representatives of the Scholarly Activities Committee at the annual SMFM Pregnancy Meeting to discuss progress.
The AAOGF/ABOG, AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM, and AAOGF/GOG Foundation grants are separated into stages with a rigorous evaluation process between the stages. Stage I will conclude at the completion of the first site visit and review of the first progress report. The progress report and site visit must demonstrate that the scholar is meeting the specific research aims as outlined in the grant application, as well as meeting the mentor’s milestones defined at the outset of the award. If the scholar has not made sufficient progress, funding may be continued for a limited period (e.g. 6 months) and the scholar given notice that improvements must be made. A scholar given a limited extension for remediation will be asked to submit an interim progress report and a repeat site visit may be required before authorization is given for additional funding. Stage II will consist of continuation of funding in year two and year three based on annual progress reports demonstrating sufficient progress toward completing the remaining project objectives. Recipients of the AAOGF/GOG Foundation award must also submit annual progress reports to the GOG Foundation.
Scholars are expected to attend an annual retreat in all grant years and the retreat following the completion of the year 3 award to present the progress of their work. Funds must be set aside from the award to support attendance at the retreat. Failure to attend the retreat may jeopardize renewal of funding.
Preparation and submission of an extramural grant request with the assistance of the scholar’s mentor is viewed as an essential element of the training experience and is an expected outcome of the scholarship.
Following completion of the scholarship, the awardees will be invited to the annual meeting of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society (AGOS) to present a paper about the work accomplished during the award period. This presentation is a requirement for successful completion of the scholarship. The AAOGF/Foundation for SMFM Scholars are expected to submit abstracts concerning the work accomplished during the period of the award for peer review by the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine. The AAOGF/GOG Foundation awardees are expected to submit abstracts concerning the work accomplished during the period of the award for peer review by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO).
All submissions and inquiries regarding the scholarship should be directed to:
Angeles Alvarez Secord
Chair, AAOGF Scholar’s Committee
Phone: (919) 684-3765
Fax: (919) 684-8719
Tim McKenna, CAE
Administrative Director, AAOGF
Phone: (443) 640-1051 x1147
Fax: (443) 640-1031
All applications must be received electronically. Send the application, recommendation letter, and mentor letter via e-mail to the appropriate individuals listed above. Deadline July 1, 2021.
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