Researchers who would like to be considered for an invitation to apply to the Research Awards Program must first submit a brief abstract describing the proposed research project (step 1). If the project outlined in the abstract is deemed to fall within the current scope of the program, the investigator will be invited to submit a full proposal (step 2) for scientific peer review.
Step 1: Abstract Submission
Before applying for funding, researchers must determine which of the following two program tracks they wish to pursue:
- The Clinical Indication Track: Provides funding for preclinical and pilot clinical research projects that promise to lead to the development of a reimbursable clinical indication for focused ultrasound within the next five to seven years. View the evaluation criteria by which proposals submitted through the Clinical Indication Track will be assessed (Word doc).
- The High Risk Track: Provides funding for high-risk, early-stage, proof-of-concept research projects that are unlikely to receive funding from other sources but that, if successful, could have a profound impact on the advancement of the field of focused ultrasound. View a list of the evaluation criteria by which proposals submitted through the High Risk Track will be assessed(Word doc).
After selecting a track, researchers should complete the corresponding abstract form (Clinical Indication Track Abstract Form or High Risk Track Abstract Form) and submit the completed form via the foundation’s online application submission system. Applicants are advised to pay close attention to the instructions provided on the form, as abstract submissions that fail to adhere to the guidelines may be returned for revision.
Abstracts are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified within ten business days following submission of an abstract as to whether or not they have been invited to submit a full proposal.
Step 2: Full Proposal Submission
Investigators who are invited by the Foundation to submit a full proposal should complete the proposal form for the track they have selected (Clinical Indication Track Proposal Form or High Risk Track Proposal Form) and submit the completed form, along with supporting files, via the Foundation’s online application submission system. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the proposal evaluation criteria as a guide in preparing the narrative portions of their proposals. Applicants are also advised to pay close attention to the instructions provided on the proposal form and to note the following in particular:
- The project budget should be in U.S. dollars.
- Biosketches, budgets and images/figures should be uploaded into the submission system as separate files (please do not try to incorporate them into the application form itself).
- If any portion of the proposed research project is to be conducted by a subcontractor, the applicant should include both a detailed budget and a letter of intent to collaborate from the proposed subcontractor.
Full proposals—both original and revised—MUST be submitted on or before the quarterly submission deadline* if they are to be included in the review cycle for that quarter (e.g., applicants who wish to be notified of the Foundation's funding decision in May must submit their proposals by February 1). Proposals received after the submission deadline will be included in the next quarterly review cycle.
*Submission Deadlines - February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1
Proposals are forwarded upon receipt to members (either permanent or ad hoc) of our Research Advisory Committee for scientific peer review. Proposals are evaluated based on:
- scientific merit;
- the speed with which meaningful results will be produced;
- relevance to the External Awards Program goals;
- the applicant’s qualifications; and
- the adequacy of the environment in which the research will be conducted.
For a complete list of the criteria that reviewers are asked to consider in evaluating and scoring proposals, please see the Abstract Submission section above.
Funding decisions are made quarterly and are based on the reviewers' scores, comments, and overall funding recommendations, as well as the availability of funds.
Award Acceptance and Fund Distribution
Upon notification of having been selected for an award, the principal investigator and an authorized official of the affiliated institution will be required to sign an award letter indicating acceptance of the Foundation's terms and conditions. Where applicable, a signed letter of Human Subjects/Animal Care Assurance must be submitted to the Foundation prior to the transfer of funds.
Successful applicants are typically awarded up to $100,000 for projects that can be completed within a year; however, larger awards and longer funding periods may be considered for exceptional proposals. Awards are made contingent upon the availability of funds. Awards are distributed in three or more installments, depending on the structure of the project.
Use of Funds
Award funds may only be used to pay for costs that are directly allocable to the proposed research project. Award funds MAY NOT be used to cover institutional overhead, indirect costs, or tuition. Allowable costs include:
- salary (plus benefits) for the principal investigator as well as any scientific and/or clinical research personnel directly involved in the conduct of the project, limited by the current NIH annual salary cap and pro-rated by percent effort of involved personnel;
- consumable supplies;
- animal and vivarium costs;
- costs associated with data collection and analysis;
- central lab fees;
- IRB review fees; and
- travel costs incurred either as a direct result of conducting the research or for the purpose of presenting the results of the project at scientific or medical meetings.
It is considered advantageous if institutional/departmental support and/or support from other sources—such as the NIH, foundations, or other philanthropic organizations—is available for the research project for which Focused Ultrasound Foundation funding is requested.
Award recipients are required to submit a two- to five-page progress report to the Foundation at both the midpoint and endpoint of the funding period. Progress reports should describe progress made toward achieving project goals and should be written with the understanding that they may be posted on the Foundation's website. A list of publications, abstracts, and follow-on funding received or applied for should be appended to the final progress report.
Award recipients must acknowledge the Foundation as a source of funding in all publications and presentations of the results of their FUSF-funded research projects.