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Junior Investigator Research Award

Grants to Newly Independent Investigators to Support
A Wide Range of Epilepsy-Related Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Epilepsy Society (AES), Epilepsy Foundation (EF), NORSE Institute, and FamilieSCN2A Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $50,000 to recently independent researchers with an M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., PharmD, RN, or equivalent degree to support research in an area related to epilepsy. Funding is intended for basic, translational, or clinical research studies of disease mechanisms or treatments, epidemiologic or behavioral studies, the development of new technologies, and health services and outcomes research. The award is meant to facilitate successful competition for subsequent longer-term support from the NIH or other sources.

Allowable use of the grant includes: salary for the principal investigator and for scientific personnel directly engaged in the research project; consumable supplies, disposables, and animals necessary to fulfill the project’s specific aims; and travel related to the conduct of the research or for the purpose of presenting the results of the research at appropriate scientific or medical meetings. Travel must be conducted during the funding period. Evaluation Criteria include:


  • Does the proposed project address an important problem or crucial barrier in the epilepsy field, for example
    as framed by the 2014 NINDS Benchmarks for Epilepsy Research or the Institute of Medicine 2012 research
    recommendations around public health for epilepsy research?
  • If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical
    practice be improved?


  • Does the applicant have appropriate experience and training and potential for further success as an
    independent researcher?
  • Are the collaborators and other researchers well suited to the project?
  • Does the applicant hold an academic appointment of Assistant Professor or equivalent? If the applicant has
    another early faculty appointment (e.g. Instructor, Adjunct, etc.), is there clear indication that they have the
    support of their institution for an independent research program?


Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing
novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
• What is the strength of the scientific premise, i.e. the quality and strength of the prior research used as a
basis for the proposed research question? Please refer to NIH guidelines for more clarification.


  • Is the research project well-conceived, with clear hypotheses, potential alternative outcomes, and a strong
    scientific premise, as defined by the NIH guidelines on rigor & transparency?
  • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the
    specific aims of the project? 
  • Is a plan outlined for data-sharing? This is not a requirement but can sometimes provide added value


  • Are the institutional support, equipment, and other physical resources available to the applicant adequate
    for the proposed project as an independent primary investigator rather than a mentee in another
  • Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or
    collaborative arrangements?


Reviewers may comment on overlap and budgetary issues.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184887

Number of Grants:

The number of awards granted each year is contingent upon available funds.

Estimated Size of Grant:

This award provides up to $50,000 for one year to support the direct costs of research, as well as complimentary membership and registration to the AES Annual Meeting for one year.

Term of Contract:

One year

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must:
1. Hold a M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., PharmD, RN, or equivalent degree.
2. Have an academic appointment at the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent at a university, medical school, research institution, or medical center. Researchers with other early faculty appointments (such as Instructor, Adjunct Track, etc.) may apply but are strongly encouraged to provide a letter of support from their department chair. Postdoctoral associates, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and researchers appointed to the position of associate professor or higher are not eligible. Clinicians with faculty appointments who desire a mentored research experience should instead apply for the AES Research and Training Fellowship for Clinicians.
3. Not currently hold or have previously received a larger, multi-year award for independent research, such as an NIH R01 grant.
4. Have a defined research plan and access to institutional resources to conduct the proposed project.
5. Have not previously been awarded an American Epilepsy Society or an Epilepsy Foundation Junior Investigator Award or Research Grant.
6. Not be listed as the primary mentor on a proposal for a mentored research award by AES. The policy for AES awards is to allow only one proposal to be considered each year from any given laboratory.

In addition:
7. Physician applicants whose research will involve patient care or direct involvement with patients must have completed all residency training and be licensed to practice medicine at their institution.
8. U.S. citizenship is not required; however, all research must be conducted in the U.S.
9. Applications are encouraged from women, members of minority groups, and people with disabilities.

Grant funds may not be used for: indirect costs or institutional overhead; purchase of permanent equipment that exceeds 10% of the budget; payment of salaries of collaborators at other institutions; or membership dues, subscriptions, books, or journals.

Pre-Application Information:

2019-2020 Application Deadlines and Award Dates:
- November 1, 2019: Application submission opens through proposalCENTRAL
- January 8, 2020: Full proposals due
- May 2020: Award notifications sent out
- July 1, 2020: Earliest award start date (may be delayed up to 3 months)

Prior unfunded applicants may reapply, but all applications will be treated as new submissions.

An individual may only serve as the primary mentor for one application across all mentored award programs including the Predoctoral Fellowship, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Research & Training Fellowship for Clinicians, and Epilepsy Study Consortium Mini-Grants. Similarly, an individual may not apply for a Junior Investigator Research Award and also be listed as the primary mentor on a proposal for a mentored award.

More than one application may be submitted from a single institution, but final funding decisions will take into account a preference to limit multiple awards to one institution.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

If you have questions on eligibility, contact:
Jennifer Brummet PhD

For technical difficulties with proposalCENTRAL, please contact their help desk at
or 1-800-875-2562 (toll-free US & Canada).

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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