The NASPGHAN Foundation/CDF Celiac Research Young Investigator Development Award is offered in partnership with the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Foundation for Children’s Health and Nutrition. The award is designed to support promising researchers in the early stages of their career, fostering their potential to contribute significantly to independent basic, translational, or clinical research in pediatric celiac disease.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be a NASPGHAN member in good standing for at least two years.
  • Be no more than five years from fellowship completion (fellowship completed between 7/1/2019 – 9/1/2024). Concurrent completion of advanced fellowship training is not allowed for this award.
  • Hold a full-time faculty position not at the rank of Associate or Full Professor in an academic institution within the United States, Mexico, or Canada and hold an MD, DO, PhD, MD/PhD, or equivalent degree at the start of the award by September 1, 2024.
  • Not currently hold or have previously held a position of a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on an NIH mentored grant such as a K08, K23, an NIH RO1, PO1 (or similar), or an or equivalent Canadian or Mexican grant mechanisms. Those with concurrent or previous institutional career development awards (KL2, K12, or similar) or NASPGHAN Foundation grants are eligible to apply if the proposal does not have scientific overlap.
  • Not hold another NASPGHAN Foundation grant at the start of the award (mid-December 2024).

Award Terms and Stipulations

  • The award is $75,000 in direct costs per year for up to two years of support.
  • Institutional indirect costs are not permitted.
  • The supporting institution must provide the applicant with at least 75% protected time to conduct the proposed work and career development.
  • All publications resulting from work supported by the NASPGHAN Foundation and the Celiac Disease Foundation must acknowledge support by the relevant funding mechanism.
  • A complete financial statement and scientific progress report are required annually. The recipient will be required to indicate how the funds were used, the accomplishments achieved during the project, and how the additional training contributed to his/her research career development.
  • The awardee must attend the 2024 NASPGHAN Annual Meeting (November 6-9 in Hollywood, Florida) to accept the award. The awardee must present the results of the research project at the 2026 NASPGHAN Annual Meeting.
  • Funds for grants awarded in 2024 will be disbursed in mid-December 2024.
  • If during the period of the award an independent NIH (R01, P01, or similar) or a CIHR Operating grant is awarded, or a K-series or equivalent grant is awarded, NASPGHAN Foundation monies may be retained but only after official notification to the NASPGHAN Foundation and provision of a plan to address any potential scientific overlap. In cases of significant overlap, the NASPGHAN Foundation may require the funds (or a portion thereof) be relinquished.

Application Requirements

Completed applications must include the following:

  1. A biographical sketch of the principal investigator, key personnel, mentor, and all co-mentors. The current NIH biosketch format is preferred and instructions (non-fellowship) are posted at grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm. The biosketch should list specific aims of all active research funding to permit an assessment of scientific overlap with the investigator’s existing extramural funding.
  2. Candidate information and career development goals. This is a description of the candidate’s background and commitment to a research career. It should include a mentorship/career development plan that will be followed in the context of the proposed research project, and which will help lead the applicant toward an independent research career. This may be structured into the following sub-sections (limit TWO pages).
      1. Applicant’s personal statement outlining interest in a research career.
      2. Proposed research skills development including: a portrayal of goals; a statement of the scientific or clinical underpinnings of the training experience; and detailed role of the mentor/mentorship plan.
      3. Long-term career plans and how the proposed research will facilitate achievement of these plans.
  3. The research plan structured according to the NIH format as outlined below with 1/2-inch margins. Times New Roman or Arial font no less than 11 point are required. Page limitations and style requirements are strictly enforced. (No research plan more than SEVEN single-spaced pages will be reviewed. References and additional criteria are not included in this maximum page count).
      1. Scientific Abstract (1 page) suitable for use in the public domain should succinctly describe the scope of the proposed research, the study hypothesis, its scientific objectives, and the potential for innovation. Relevance of the proposed research to pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition should be emphasized. The names and institutional affiliations of the principal investigator and all co-investigators should be tabulated at the end of this page.
      2. Specific Aims (1 page):
          1. Explain the rationale for the study, overall hypothesis, aims, and significance if successful.
      3. Research Strategy (4 pages) including Significance, Innovation, and Approach
          1. Significance
              1. Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed project addresses.
              2. Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
              3. Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.
              4. Innovation
              5. Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.
              6. Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.
              7. Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.
          2.  Approach
              1. Provide preliminary data (strongly preferred but not required) that supports the premise for the work.
              2. Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Include how the data will be collected, analyzed including statistical plan, and interpreted as well as any resource sharing plans as appropriate.
              3. Discuss expected results, potential problems, alternative strategies, feasibility, timeline, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims. A power calculation is encouraged where relevant to underscore feasibility.
              4. If the project is in the early stages of development, describe strategies both to enhance feasibility and address the management of any high-risk aspects of the proposed work.
  4. Description of Institutional Environment (1 page): Describe your institution’s research and career development opportunities related to this application and your area(s) of interest. Describe how equipment, facilities, and other resources will be made available to you for the research proposed and your career development. Potential areas to address include:
      1. Laboratory
      2. Clinical
      3. Animal
      4. Computer
      5. Office
      6. Major Equipment
      7. Other Resources
  5. References (Not counted toward page limits)
  6. Additional Criteria (1 page limit):
      1. Human subjects research: For studies involving human subjects, explain whether there is an existing IRB-approved protocol in place. If not, please outline your plans to obtain IRB approval, or explain why your protocol may not require this.
      2. Animal studies: For studies involving animals, explain whether an animal protocol is approved or planned.
      3. Inclusion plans: NASPGHAN is committed to decreasing disparities in patient care and outcomes and one way is through actively considering health equity in research study design.
          1. For patient-oriented and other human subjects research, include the following:
              1. Inclusion Across the Pediatric Age Range: Include a brief description of the scientific rationale and plan for the age of participants included in the proposal.
              2. Heath Equity in Research: Include a brief description of the scientific rationale and plan for inclusion of underserved groups.
              3. Describe the composition of the proposed study population in terms of sex/gender and racial/ethnic group, and provide a rationale for selection of such study subjects.
              4. As appropriate, please describe specific efforts undertaken by the program including outreach strategies and activities designed to recruit prospective participants from diverse groups.
          2. For research that does not involve human subjects: If the study does not involve patient recruitment or samples, document if the research planned would have any impact in addressing disparities in care or health outcomes (directly or indirectly).
      4. Safety: Describe any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised.
  7. A detailed budget. There are no a priori restrictions on how the grant is used, with the exception that indirect costs are not allowed.
  8. Letters of Recommendation:
      1. Mentor Letter(s): One letter should be from the individual responsible for the applicant’s research training (mentor) which should describe the applicant’s potential for an independent research career and describe how the environment will ensure the candidate’s success. Letters must be included from all co-mentors. No more than four total pages of mentor/co-mentor letters can be included, and letters can be cosigned by multiple mentors.
      2. Institutional Support Letter: Should be from the applicant’s academic division or department leader (Section Chief or Department Chair). This letter should clearly delineate a commitment of 75% effort dedicated to research, as well as an adequate assignment of space, equipment, and resources for the proposed research.
          1. The following areas should be addressed in the above letters:
              1. Resources for classes, travel, or training
              2. Collegial support, such as career enrichment programs, assistance and guidance in the supervision of trainees involved with the ESI’s project, and availability of organized peer groups
              3. Logistical support, such as administrative management and oversight and best practices training
              4. Financial support, such as protected time for research with salary support
  9. Articles in press not available online can be included as an appendix but should only be included if material is directly relevant to the proposal. Additional articles, such as those already published or in preparation and any other additional documents, should not be included and may detract from the application.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be scored using the National Institutes of Health scoring system. This scoring system uses a 9-point scale for the overall impact score and individual scores for (at least) five scored criteria (significance, innovation, approach, investigator, and environment).

Primary emphasis is given to scientific strength and innovation of the proposed work, qualifications of the applicant, and commitment of the applicant’s Division and Department to career development. Competitive applicants are expected to have potential for a successful career as a physician-scientist. A career development plan should be presented as part of the proposal and will be considered during the review.

Review Process

Members of the NASPGHAN Research Committee and invited ad hoc experts (as invited by the Research Committee Study Section Chair) will review applications and score the proposals.

Members of the review panel will follow strict conflict of interest guidelines. Contact between the applicant or sponsors with committee members regarding applications is strictly prohibited prior to grant review and will lead to potential disqualification.

Application Process

Applications are accepted through the NASPGHAN Foundation Grant Submission Site. The deadline to submit applications is July 1, 2024.


This research award is offered in partnership with the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Foundation for Children’s Health and Nutrition. Learn more at naspghan.org/naspghan-foundation.