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Charles H. Hood Foundation 2017 Major Grants Initiative to Advance Child Health

MGH Internal Preliminary Application Deadline
Friday, March 4, 2016 – 3:00 PM



The Charles H. Hood Foundation 2017 Major Grants Initiative to Advance Child Health supports outstanding investigators conducting innovative and transformative research in child health. The overall goal of the Program remains the funding of translational or clinical research that will improve child health clinical outcomes, or improve health care access, affordability, and quality. For the 2017 grant cycle, the Hood Foundation requests applications related to either of two areas of child health research: Neonatology or Brain Science and Child Development. 

The Major Grants Initiative is a component of the Hood Foundation’s research funding portfolio. Since 1942, the Foundation has supported investigators at New England research institutions to improve the health and quality of life for children. The Hood Foundation Child Health Research Awards Program has launched the careers of close to 600 junior faculty whose discoveries have contributed to significant improvements in child health. Since 1989, the Foundation has also supported 45 Postdoctoral Fellows conducting projects spanning the continuum from basic laboratory research to clinical and health services research.

MGH is eligible to nominate one candidate. Preliminary applications will be reviewed and assessed by a panel of senior MGH faculty members.  The selected MGH nominee must complete the Hood Foundation's online Letter of Intent by Tuesday, April 12, 2016. If invited to submit a full proposal, he/she must submit a full proposal by Tuesday, September 13, 2016.


This award will be a total of $450,000 over two years ($225,000 per year,inclusive of 10% indirect costs). The award period is from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018.


MGH Internal Preliminary Application Deadline:  Friday, March 4, 2016 - 3:00 p.m.
Notification to MGH Candidate: The week of April 4, 2016
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 3:00 p.m.
Invited Full Proposal Deadline: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 3:00p.m. 
  • Applicants must have a faculty appointment at MGH.
Two areas of focus will be considered for the 2017 Major Grants Program: Neonatology and Brain Science and Child Development.

Although the incidence of prematurity has been declining, recent data shows that 10% of babies born in Massachusetts are premature, 7.7% weigh less than 2.5 kg, and 1.3% weigh less than 1.5 kg. These infants require complex and expensive medical care after birth and are at high risk for pulmonary disease, neurological conditions, developmental delay and other issues. Thus, improvements in neonatal care are likely to result in better health outcomes for the infants, and lower initial and lifetime health care costs. Please note that research projects that focus on pregnant women and their fetuses will not be considered responsive to this RFA.

New England has long been a leader in neonatology research. Through the funding of the Major Grants Program in this area, the Hood Foundation hopes to continue this tradition of excellence.

Brain Science and Child Development
Groundbreaking work, beginning in the late 1990s, has demonstrated that childhood experiences determine important aspects of brain growth and development. There are at least two critical periods of rapid brain growth during childhood: the first three years of life and, again, during adolescence. In parallel with the rapid advance of brain science, a new pediatric subspecialty, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, has begun to carve out its own research agenda.

Recent clinical and scientific advances in understanding children’s normal and abnormal development have arisen through a variety of approaches: from a basic science understanding of neural development to the epidemiology of the long-term health effects of children’s experiences. New England researchers have led many of these advances in knowledge. Therefore, this focus of the Major Grants Program will support 3 continued innovations that will further the scientific understanding of child development and behavior that may inform improvements in the treatment of children’s physical and mental health.

The Major Grants are intended to fund innovative work that may be difficult to fund with traditional grant mechanisms. For example, relatively few child health researchers make use of advanced statistical and computational techniques, ranging from computational biology to health services research to geographic information systems. In addition to traditional project-related costs, all projects funded under this Program may include the use of funds to bring new techniques or novel collaborations into child health research. Note that if the Hood Major Grant funds are intended to augment existing funded research programs, the Letter of Intent must clearly describe the additional research to be conducted with Hood funding.


  • Qualifications of the Principal Investigator and evidence of exceptional creativity
  • Research Project is highly innovative and addresses either of the challenges in child health as previously defined.
  • Successful proposals must describe research that would likely lead to improvements in child health clinical outcomes or health care access, affordability, and quality.


The MGH internal preliminary application must include the following 4 items:  

  1. Project Title
  2. NIH Biosketch. Use the current NIH biosketch format. Click here for a sample NIH biosketch.  
  3. Research Project (maximum of 3 pages, excluding the Bibliography)Please include the following sections: Background, Methods, Innovation, Implications for Child Health and a Lay Summary. The Lay Summary (up to 300 words) should be a non-technical summary that addresses its relevance to one of the Foundation’s areas of focus, and its potential for a significant impact on improving clinical outcomes, health care access, affordability and quality.
  4. Justification (up to 200 words): Please briefly describe why you are uniquely suited to be selected as the MGH Nominee for this award.


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ECOR accepts all applications online via the ECOR Online Grant Management Portal.  The system has been designed to allow users to:

  • Create a personal profile, which will auto-populate your future ECOR applications
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  • View current calls and apply to open opportunities 
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Instructions for Applying Online:

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  3. Submit your application: Once you have completed the application click on the “submit” button at the bottom of the page. Once you submit it, you will not be able to make further changes unless you send a request to ECOR (note that once the deadline passes, requests to make changes will not be accepted).

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Click 'Apply' below to begin the application.

If you have any questions, please email ECOR.