Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards 2020

Two-Year Awards for Junior Faculty Women Investigators in Research

Deadline – Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 5:00pm



Applications are now being accepted for the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards from the Executive Committee On Research (ECOR) and the Office for Women’s Careers.  Each award includes funding of $50,000 per year in direct costs, plus 15% for indirect costs.  Funds may be used to support a technician, postdoctoral fellow or graduate student and supplies.  Funds cannot be used for support of the investigator’s salary, except with specific approval of ECOR.  Eligibility and other award information are provided below. 



Although women scientists are recruited to Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) programs, their advancement to senior faculty positions is still far less frequent than that of their male counterparts.  In 1993, The Women in Academic Medicine Committee, originally chaired by Mrs. Jane D. Claflin, Honorary Trustee, was established to facilitate the academic careers of women in science at MGH.  Recognizing that a significant obstacle to career advancement is the difficulty of maintaining research productivity during the child-rearing years, this Committee, with the sponsorship of the Executive Committee on Research (ECOR), established the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards.  It is intended that this funding will increase opportunities for women to advance to senior positions in academic medicine.



Awards are effective July 1, 2020 and will be for two years.  The awards are $50,000 in direct costs, plus 15% indirect costs per year.  Funds may be used for support of a technician, postdoctoral fellow or graduate student and supplies. Funds cannot be used for support of the investigator's salary.  All applicants will be notified of the results of the review process by e-mail. 




  • The MGH ECOR Claflin Awards provide funding for junior faculty women to sustain research productivity during their child-rearing years
  • All MGH primary investigators are eligible to apply
  • While current recipients of the Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship offered through HMS are not eligible to apply for this award, the Claflin review committee will consider applications from prior Shore recipients. The award period for the Shore Fellowship cannot overlap with the Claflin award period.  
  • MD, PhD, or equivalent advanced degree
  • Candidate must be within 10 years of her first full-time faculty appointment at the time the award is initiated, cumulative of all institutions, inside or outside the United States
  • Candidates must have an academic appointment at the level of Instructor or Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. If the applicant's academic appointment or promotion is pending, a signed letter from the applicant's Chief must be included with the application. The letter should explain the status of the applicant's academic appointment. The Instructor or Assistant Professor appointment must be finalized before the Claflin review committee meeting. 
  • Primary full-time appointment at MGH
  • Conducting research at MGH
  • Evidence of salary support from a grant or other research funding source; for example, the applicant may be a principal investigator or co-investigator with active federal or non-federal funding salary support, such as a K award, R award, or a foundation grant
  • Submission of a project description which clearly states that the applicant is the principal investigator and that their academic progress would benefit from such funding support
  • Evidence of strong research training, productivity, and a commitment to a career in fundamental (basic) and/or clinical research
  • Upon application, the candidate must be responsible for the care of children 




The Office for Women’s Careers and Office for Research Career Development will present a seminar for eligible applicants on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm (MGH Main Campus, details provided upon registration). Please click here to register.

This discussion will cover:

  • Information about how the award can help advance your career
  • Advice from recent Claflin Scholars
  • Tips on putting together your best application
  • Resources to help you apply


Nancy A. Rigotti, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine; Director, Office for Women’s Careers



Laura Ditchel, MD, MHS, Instructor, Department of Medicine; 2018 Claflin Award Winner

Emily Hyle, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine; 2018 Claflin Award Winner

Karen Miller, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine; Co-Chair ECOR review committee; 1999 Claflin Award Winner




If you are applying for a Claflin Award, and would like help preparing your application, the Office for Women’s Careers (OWC) encourages you to take advantage of the pre-award Claflin Consultation Initiative (CCI) for applicants.

The CCI is designed to help eligible faculty prepare their best application for the 2020 Claflin Distinguished Scholar Awards. Many prior Claflin winners have volunteered their time to answer questions and offer guidance and encouragement to potential applicants. Coaches may give advice on all aspects of the application, including the research plan, budget, description of child-rearing responsibilities, and advice for repeat applicants.


Please click here to enroll in the CCI by Friday, October 4th. 




Applications will be evaluated and ranked for funding priority by the Subcommittee on Review of Research Proposals (SRRP), whose recommendations will be submitted to ECOR for final approval.  Applicants will be notified in January 2020.



The application process requires the following ten items to be submitted:

1. Title of Research Project

2. Month and year of the applicant's first faculty appointment.

3. Indicate if you have applied for a Claflin Distinguished Scholars Award previously and if so, the year of the application(s).

4. Statement of independence:  the applicant should write a brief statement (no more than 3 paragraphs) which provides clear evidence of how the applicant’s research project is independent of their mentor.

5. Research plan (3-page limit, excluding references). The research plan should address the significance of the project.  This section should be readily understood by reviewers who may be outside of the research field of the applicant.  This section should include:    

  • Specific aims
  • Background and significance
  • Preliminary data
  • Experimental design and methods
  • References    

6. NIH Biosketch of the applicant (not a CV). Please click here for a sample NIH Biosketch. If the candidate's Instructor or Assistant Professor appointment is pending, include a signed letter from the Department Chief explaining the status of the appointment. The Instructor or Assistant Professor appointment must be finalized before the Claflin review committee meeting.

7. NIH formatted Other Support. Be sure to list all current and pending research support including dollar amountsList any sundry accounts as well as any limitations on these sundry funds. If you are still in a period of a startup package please list any funds remaining.  Include the project start date, initial balance and current balance. Please click here for a sample NIH formatted Other Support.

8. Proposed Budget ($50,000 direct costs per year for 2 years maximum, plus 15% for indirect costs)

9. Letters of support (one from each category, include with application):

  • Unit, Service, or Department Chief.  This letter should include a clear statement of the applicant’s trajectory towards an independent research career.
  • Research Colleague or Former Mentor.  This letter should be from an individual outside the applicant’s current department whenever possible. In the absence of training outside of MGH, this letter may be from a mentor within her department.

10. Briefly describe child-rearing responsibilities – no longer than 2 paragraphs.  Please note that the degree of “need” is not a primary criterion for selecting awardees.  



ECOR is now accepting applications online via the MGRI Online Grant Management Portal.

This user-friendly system allows 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
  • View current calls and apply to open opportunities
  • Assign a delegate to submit an application to ECOR on behalf of the applicant (optional)
  • Save and edit current applications in progress
  • Submit completed applications
  • 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. Limit characters to A-Z, a-z and 0-9 when naming PDF documents. Do not use periods, commas, or dashes in the file name.  
  • If you previously created a profile, please ensure your information is current

 Click "Apply" below to begin the application.




Please visit the ECOR website and specifically the FAQ page for the Claflin awards under the Awards and Grants tab of the site. 

Click here to register for the Claflin seminar through the Office for Women's Careers.

Please click here to enroll in the Claflin Consultation Initiative.

Click here to view a list of previous Claflin awardees.

If you still have questions remaining, please submit them via e-mail to