The Smith Family Awards for Excellence in Biomedical Research 2016 call for applications is closed. The previous call is below for your reference only.  This call for applications is scheduled to be upated in the Spring of 2017.  Please check the ECOR website and your emails from MGH Research News for updates. Click here to sign up to receive MGH Research News.

Smith Family Awards for Excellence in Biomedical Research 2016



MGH Internal Call for Preliminary Applications

Internal Deadline: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 – 5:00 PM



The mission of the Awards Program is to launch the careers of newly independent biomedical researchers with the ultimate goal of achieving medical breakthroughs. The three-year Award supports newly independent faculty engaged in basic biomedical research. Investigators in the physical sciences (physics, chemistry and engineering) whose projects focus on biomedical science are also encouraged to apply. Clinical trials are outside of the scope of this program however, basic research using human specimens is eligible.  In recognition of the importance of research collaboration by the scientific community, collaboration is an additional, but not required, positive ancillary factor. These projects may involve researchers within and/or outside MGH.

MGH is eligible to nominate two candidates. Preliminary Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the ECOR Subcommittee on Review of Research Proposals (SRRP). Nominees will be asked to prepare an online application directly to the Medical Foundation.


MGH internal preliminary applications: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Foundation deadline: Thursday, August 25, 2016 12pm (noon) (EST)



Up to five $300,000 three-year awards inclusive of 5% institutional overhead will be awarded. It is paid as $100,000 per year, effective December 1, 2016.



  • Applications will be accepted from investigators who have completed no more than two years of their first independent faculty appointment as of July 1, 2016. Eligible applicants will have received this appointment on or between July 1, 2014 and December 1, 2016. Recognizing that position titles vary among institutions, the level of experience and independence of the applicant, as detailed in the Department or Division Chair’s Letter and accompanying “Applicant Independence / Institutional Commitment Form,” will be given serious consideration.
  • Applicants must have a full-time faculty appointment at MGH at the time of application.
  • Applicants must have completed postdoctoral training by the funding start of December 1, 2016 and not be receiving salary support from training funds at the time of application.
  • The awards are targeted towards investigators who have held limited independent federal grants.
  • Applicants with concurrent federal and nonā€federal funding support totaling $500,000 or more in direct costs at any time during the first two years (12/1/16 through 11/30/18) of the three-year Smith Award are not eligible.
  • Applicants who were previously or are currently a Principal Investigator or Co-P.I. on an R01, P01, Pioneer Award, New Innovator Award or equivalents from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) or Department of Defense (DOD) are not eligible.
  • Applicants who have pending R01s or other large applications to the NIH and other agencies are encouraged to submit proposals. If applicants are notified on or prior to October 1, 2016 that they have been successful in securing a federal or non-federal grant support with a combined total of $500,000 or more in direct costs at any time within the first two years of the Smith Award, their applications will not be eligible for review.


The MGH preliminary application must include the following 4 items:

1. Statement of Independence including:  

  • A description of the Institution’s level of commitment to the Applicant, including all department support, and the long-term plan that is in place for his/her independent, professional development. 
  • Number of applications received in response to the national search for this position.  For candidates promoted internally, please clarify why a national search was not conducted.
  • Date (month, day, year) of the first independent faculty appointment,
  • Size of the Applicant’s start-up package including any salary support.
  • Amount of lab space under the applicant’s control 

 2. Research Proposal (A maximum of 10 pages is permitted, inclusive of references. PDF documents only) including:

  • Specific aims
  • Background and significance
  • Preliminary data (if available)
  • Research design and methods
  • Potential Limitations
  • Project timelines
  • Future Direction of Laboratory over Next Five Years

3. Biosketch of applicant in NIH format (not to exceed 4 pages. PDF documents only.) and list of current and pending support of applicant in NIH format.  Please include dates, funding amounts and describe any scientific or budgetary overlap.

4. Letters of Recommendation: one from each category (address letters to Smith Family Scientific Review Committee. PDF documents only):

  • Recommendation Letter from the Unit, Service, or Department ChiefThis letter is required.
  • Recommendation Letter from the Applicant's Postdoctoral MentorThis letter is required. 
  • Letter(s) of Collaboration/Confirmation of Outside Resources: The letter(s) should confirm the availability of resources outside the Applicant's institution or confirm any significant collaboration. Each letter must be up to one page and only address the issues above. This letter(s) is optional. 

The font size in the Research Proposal must be Arial 11 and the margins must be one inch or larger.  Figures, legends and tables may use a smaller font size.


ECOR accepts all applications online via the ECOR Online Grant Management Portal. This user-friendly system will allow MGH researchers to submit electronic applications to ECOR. The system has been designed to allow users to:

  • Create a personal profile, which will auto-populate your future ECOR applications
  • Assign a delegate to submit an application to ECOR on behalf of the applicant (optional)
  • View current calls and apply to open opportunities
  • Save and edit current applications in progress
  • Submit completed applications to ECOR
  • View all your ECOR applications that have been submitted via the online grants system

Instructions for Applying Online

1. Create your account: Login using your Partners credentials and fill out the profile information.

2. Complete the application: Once your profile is complete, you will automatically progress through the online application. If you cannot complete the application at one time, “save” the application and return to it at a later time to finish. Before submitting your application, you will have the ability to make changes to the application.

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, request to make changes will not be accepted).

Useful tips:

  • To avoid losing your work, remember to save frequently
  • You can only upload PDF documents
  • If you previously created a profile, please ensure your information is current

Click 'Apply' below to begin the application.