The Smith Family Awards for Excellence in Biomedical Research 2017 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 2018.  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 2017



MGH Internal Call for Pre-Proposals

Internal Deadline: Monday, May 15, 2017 – 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. Pre-proposals 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 Pre-Proposal: Monday, May 15, 2017

Foundation Deadline: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 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, 2017.

This funding opportunity is not exempt from the 15% indirect cost (IDC) floor minimum. Please be aware that any grant that brings in less than 15% (IDC) will need to be supplemented up to the 15% equivalent by existing investigator or departmental sundry funds. Resolution of this issue must occur prior to submission of the application. 



  • Applications will be accepted from investigators who have completed no more than two years of their first independent faculty appointment as of July 1, 2017. Eligible applicants will have received this appointment on or between July 1, 2015 and December 1, 2017. 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, 2017 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 (12/1/17 through 11/30/19) 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 September 1, 2017 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 pre-proposal must include the following 7 items (PDF documents only):

1. Project Title

2. Status of Previous Application(s). Indicate whether you have previously applied for this award. If yes, were you the selected nominee and when did you apply?

3. Statement of Independence (500 words) 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 

4. Research Proposal (A maximum of 3 pages is permitted, exclusive of references. PDF documents only) including:

  • Specific aims
  • Background and significance
  • Preliminary data (if available)
  • Research design and methods
  • Potential limitations

Please also include a paragraph on the future direction of your laboratory over the next five years, which is included in the 3 page limit.

5. A Current Biosketch in the NIH Format. Please include the month and year of all faculty appointment(s) and completion of post doc training. Click here for the NIH format.

6. Funding Support including all current and pending support with dates and dollar amounts.  The NIH formatted Other Support is required. Click here for the NIH Format.  

7. One Letter of Support from Unit, Service or Department Chief. This letter should include details regarding the department’s commitment to the applicant's independent research career.


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, requests 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.