Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) seeks applications to support groundbreaking research in reproductive sciences and women’s health. A one-million-dollar research prize will be awarded over 2-3 years to one group of two or more collaborating investigators that embark on innovative transdisciplinary investigation to improve women’s health and consequently, the health and wellness of humankind.
As a leader in women’s health research, MWRI has embarked on this new initiative to inspire the global agenda on reproductive biology and women’s health issues. With this, we deliver our vision of the future of women’s health and wellness to the world. As a part of this initiative, MWRI will host the Magee-Womens Research Summit, an international conference of global research scientists focused on women’s health. The event will take place on October 9-10, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
The centerpiece of the event will be the awarding of a $1 million prize for collaborative, bold and transformative research in an area of inquiry within the reproductive sciences. The funding for the Magee Prize is provided by the generosity and forward-thinking leaders at the Richard King Mellon Foundation who, inspired by MWRI’s focus on women’s health and its impact on population health, wish to bolster discovery and innovation in this understudied area of human health. This prize emphasizes the 9 months of pregnancy and early human development, and its impact on 90+ years of health and wellness. To qualify, proposals should include a component of early human development, and/or a longitudinal, lifespan approach to any project within the reproductive sciences and women’s health. Applications are encouraged in any relevant biological discipline, from basic or translational biology to clinical and health services research. The research must be collaborative and transdisciplinary, and include one or more research groups from anywhere in the world working with an MWRI team. Novelty may be conceptual or methodological, involve new models or drugs, and ideally based on high-risk and high-reward approach. Preliminary data are encouraged but not required. The application must be distinct from projects currently pursued by the investigators, designed to lead to innovative investigations that may not fit a traditional NIH funding mechanism.
Applications must be submitted by a collaborative team, of which one researcher is a faculty member of MWRI in Pittsburgh and at least one researcher who is a faculty member of a higher education, public, private, or government research institution outside of Pittsburgh, anywhere in the world. A collaborative partner may also include a for-profit, business partner of the MWRI researcher that partners in the joint research pursuit. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Each applicant may only submit one proposal.
The letter of intent should be submitted electronically as a PDF via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full applications will be invited based on the review of the letters of intent. Inclusion will be determined based on concordance with the intent of the prize, quality and innovation of the proposal, and originality of the project for the applicants. This letter of intent is limited to 2 pages and includes:
- Project title, names and institutions of collaborating investigators.
- The hypothesis to be tested.
- Justification of the innovative nature of the research (conceptual or methodological).
- A statement of how this differs from investigators’ currently funded investigations.
The application should include the following (please see checklist):
- Completed title page (download here)
- NIH style biosketch and “other support” document
- Detailed budget and budget justification
- Description of relevant institutional resources,
- Supporting letter from the collaborating PIs.
- A 250-word summary that describes the proposed work and is suitable for comprehension by a lay person.
- A research plan, not to exceed 7 pages, that includes 1 page of hypothesis and aims and 6 pages discussing the significance, innovation, research plan and a timeline. The plan should explain the collaboration, and the contribution of each investigative team.
- References are not included in the 6 pages, and appendices are not allowed.
- Documentation of approvals from the Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects) and, if applicable, from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee must be provided for selected projects prior to the awarding of funds, following NIH “just in time” procedures.
The application should be composed using Arial 11-point font, with 12 point or single line spacing, on USA letter-sized pages with 0.5 inch margins in each direction. A single PDF should be submitted, and generated to preserve document formatting and a consistent reading experience for reviewers and staff. Scanned PDFs should be limited to pages which have original signatures; digital signatures are acceptable. Budget documents should be submitted as a separate excel file.
The award is administered by the MWRIF Award Committee and the MWRIF Board of Directors. The initial award is for one year and is renewable annually for a total of 2-3 consecutive years, based on satisfactory annual progress as provided in a written annual report.
The maximum research program budget is $972,000 total costs over 2-3 years, to be equally divided between the collaborating PIs. Funding requests must be submitted in US Dollars.
Allowable direct costs include PI effort, key and other personnel, consumables and reagents, equipment >$5,000, services, animal costs (if applicable), travel (including at least one annual meeting by the collaborating PIs), and publications costs. This award follows US National Institutes of Health (NIH) salary guidelines (currently capped at $187,000).
Indirect costs must be specified on the budget page and are capped at 8% of the direct costs (direct costs do not include equipment costs >5,000, patient care costs, or subcontract costs).
An additional $28,000 will be disbursed during the Magee Summit as personal awards to the PIs of the best proposals as follows: $18,000 equally divided among 1st place PIs; $6,000 equally divided among 2nd place PIs; and $4,000 equally divided among 3rd place PIs.
All applications submitted will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit through a peer review system composed of non-MWRI reviewers from the University of Pittsburgh and other institutions. Every application will be reviewed by the following criteria, using the NIH scoring system (1-9, where 1 is best): Overall impact and relevance to the defined priorities; significance; investigators and quality of the collaboration; innovation; approach and analysis; and environment. These will be defined using standard NIH guidelines. Other criteria will be reviewed separately and include the budget, protections for human subjects, inclusion of women, minorities, and children, use of vertebrate animals, biohazards, all as defined by the standard NIH grant guidelines. No more than three research groups will be invited to present their research at the MWRI Summit in October 2018, where the final selection will be made on the basis of the overall quality of the application and the presentation at the Magee-Womens Research Summit.
For questions, email Lori Rideout, assistant to Yoel Sadovsky, MD, Executive Director, MWRI.
Submission and Review Timeline
- Letter of intent: May 11, 2018
- Application due date: June 15, 2018
- Selection of 3 applications for presentation at the October summit: August 1, 2018
- Final selection: At the summit on October 10, 2018
- Funding expected by December 1, 2018