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Annual grants fund fresh ideas for advancing children's health

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Children's Hospital Foundation Research Grant Program is entering its fourth year. The program is funded through a generous and visionary annual grant from the Children's Hospital Foundation and its Board, and is one of few in the country aimed at very early stage research and researchers working to advance children?s health. It addresses the problem of how people with new ideas can develop the experience and data that provide sufficient justification for major research sponsors, such as the National Institutes of Health, to invest in their research. The program strives to provide as many small ($2500 - $10000) grants as possible to proposals that meet its three criteria - a good idea, a project that is feasible in the one-year grant period and the potential to attract further funding.

In its first three years, the Children's Hospital Foundation Research Grant Program received 45 applications from faculty at CHoR, pediatricians, surgeons, physical therapists and bench researchers. The 21 awarded grants added up to $142,209.85. Awardees have gone on to get larger grants from Virginia Commonwealth University and the NIH. The more recent awardees are in the process of applying for similar grants. This year, there are 11 applications and decisions regarding which will be awarded funds are anticipated in mid-April.

This year, a new program from the Children's Hospital Foundation is expected to name the first CHF Research Scholar. This will be a young CHoR faculty member, up to five years from their first appointment, who has a Research Grant. Under this two-year program, the Foundation will provide $25,000 per year, and the home department an additional $10,000 per year, to allow the scholar to devote at least 20% of their work effort toward their research. This will permit a young researcher with an excellent opportunity to prepare themselves and their research work for larger external grant support, and to launch a successful career in children's health research. There are six applicants and the plan is to announce the 2017-19 CHF Research Scholar by May 1.

These programs, together with clinical trials and the clinical, translational and bench studies initiated by CHoR investigators and the research networks to which we contribute data and personnel, advance our knowledge and the care we provide for children.

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