The MGH Physician and/or Scientist Devlopment Award 2021 call for applications is closed. The previous call is below for your reference only.  This call for applications is scheduled to be updated in early 2022 and the deadline is anticipated to be in March/April of 2022.  Please check the ECOR website and your emails from MGH Research News for updates. Click here to sign up to receive MGH Research News.

MGH Physician and/or Scientist Development Award 2021

Four Year Award for Investigators

who are Underrepresented in Academic Medicine*

Deadline: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 5:00pm

*Fundamental, Clinical, Translational, and Health Services investigators are all eligible



Applications for grants are invited by the MGH Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), and the Executive Committee on Research (ECOR).  Four applicants will be selected to receive Physician/Scientist Development Awards.  As approved by the MGH Chiefs of Service, the four awards will be funded via a 50% cost share between ECOR and the applicant's department*. Up to $180,000 plus 15% indirect costs will be awarded to be spent over a three or four-year period, with a maximum of $60,000 plus indirect costs per year for 3 year awards and a maximum of $45,000 plus indirect costs per year for 4 year awards.

The MGH Physician/Scientist Development Award (PSDA) is designed for MD and/or PhD investigators at MGH who are considered underrepresented in academic medicine (UIM). This Award is intended to provide transitional funding for support in the development of physicians and scientists underrepresented in academic medicine, and thereby increase opportunities for UIM researchers to advance to senior positions in academic medicine at MGH. This award is a key faculty initiative of the CDI. We encourage applicants to engage with the Center and learn more about our programs and other initiatives: The CDI will evaluate the need for this Award on a regular basis.  

AM I UIM (Underrepresented in Medicine)?

The National Institute of Health (NIH) released a diversity statement encouraging institutions to prioritize opportunities in biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences for individuals from groups identified as underrepresented.  Based on national data analyzed by the National Science Foundation, the following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research and health-related sciences: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

For the purposes of the PSDA, MGH follows the definition of underrepresented in medicine and biomedical research (UIM) of the NIH and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  UIM groups may include Latino/ Hispanic (including Brazilian), African-American/Black, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaskan Natives, among others. Please note that Asians are not considered UIM, UNLESS they are underrepresented relative to the population MGH serves, e.g., Cambodian or Laotian.

Sources: AAMC ( and National Science Foundation (

Despite some improvement in the number of UIMs entering U.S. medical schools, the number of UIM physicians entering training programs in academic medicine has not kept pace with this available pool.  This fact is particularly manifested in the low number of UIMs occupying academic research faculty positions in the United States.  The reasons for this disparity are multifaceted and complex, but two factors - a lack of carefully structured, effective mentoring, and the large level of indebtedness facing many UIM physicians - are often cited.  The dearth of UIM physicians in academic hospital programs creates a critical void: It dilutes the effort to break new ground in fundamental and clinical investigation of disease and is an impediment to the delivery of innovative, culturally competent care to our patients.

Please see the CDI website for a list of past PSDA recipients and to learn about their consultation service. This service is designed to help applicants develop a strong application for the Physician Scientist Development Award and the Clinician-Teacher Award. Through this service, you can speak with an award alumna for advice on your application including your research plan, personal statement, and letters.  



  • The Award cycle will commence on July 1, 2021.  
  • Up to $180,000 plus 15% indirect costs will be awarded to be spent over a three or four-year period, with a maximum of $60,000 plus indirect costs per year for 3 year awards and a maximum of $45,000 plus indirect costs per year for 4 year awards as detailed below:

 °Grant funds of up to $60,000 plus 15% indirect costs per year, which can be used only for laboratory assistance, research endeavors and non-capital equipment, may also be used for Awardee salary only with specific advance approval.  

 °Funds can also be used for loan repayment up to a maximum of $15,000 per year. Loan repayment funds must be used to repay qualified educational loans, and must be based on documented need.  Any funds awarded to repay outstanding loans are taxable.   

  • The Award is non-transferable.  If the Awardee leaves MGH during the duration period of the Award, the Awardee must notify the CDI and will forfeit any remaining funding or loan forgiveness of the Award.
  • If applicable, approved human or animal use protocols must be current prior to award of funds.
  • The Awardee will be required to submit a yearly progress report and budget to the CDI, which must provide details of how the Award funding is being used. The progress report must include a letter from the Awardee's mentor. A letter from the Chief and/or Center Director is not required.
  • The Awardee must present a talk at least once during the tenure of their award to the Chester Pierce Research Society, an interdepartmental forum for UIM researchers at MGH; and a poster at the CDI’s annual Fall Welcoming and Recognition Reception each year, with the exception of the award year. The Awardee must also comply with all CDI requests pertaining to this Award.
  • Failure to comply with the above requirements may result in the rescission of this Award.


  • The CDI’s Physician/Scientist Development Award provides funding for physicians, physician-scientists and researchers who are considered to be underrepresented in medicine.
  • Fundamental, clinical, translational and health services research investigators are encouraged to apply.
  • MD and/or PhD required.  The only exception to this is that clinical psychologists in their final PhD training year are eligible.
  • At the time of application, applicant must be within 10 years of completion of fellowship training.
  • Must have a primary appointment at the MGH at the time of the application and throughout the full period of the Award. The funds must be relinquished if the awardee is no longer at MGH and does not have a primary appointment at MGH. 
  • Must hold an appointment at the level of assistant professor, instructor, or research fellow at Harvard Medical School. (If Award recipient is a research fellow, the person must receive a faculty appointment at HMS & MGH within 1 year of commencement of the Award for the award to continue).
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.



Proposals will be evaluated and ranked for funding priority by the Subcommittee on Review of Research Proposals (SRRP), whose recommendations will be submitted to ECOR and the CDI for final approval.  As approved by ECOR leadership, awardees will be selected on a needs blind basis and cost sharing exceptions will be considered if departmental resources are an issue.  All applicants will be notified of the results by e-mail.



The following  thirteen items must be included:

1. Title of Research Project

2. Previous PSDA Application(s).  Have you previously applied for a Physician/Scientist Development Award?  If yes, please indicate when and provide the title of each research project.

3. Layman's Description of your work (200 words only)

4. Research Plan (5-page limit, excluding references), including:

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

5. Personal Statement (1-page maximum) - in which the candidate states the importance of this Award to furthering his/her career development and advancement in academic medicine.

6. Statement of Contribution to Diversity (1-page maximum) - in which the candidate states his/her potential to contribute to diversity and inclusion within the MGH community through research, teaching and mentorship.

7. NIH Biosketch of the applicant. Please click here to see an example of an NIH Biosketch.  

8. Other Support (if applicable). Include the following:

9. Grant Proposal budget per year for up to 4 years. (The total budget for grant and debt repayment cannot exceed $180,000 with a maximum of $60,000 plus indirect costs per year for 3 year awards and a maximum of $45,000 plus indirect costs per year for 4 year awards). Up to $15,000/ year can be allocated to the loan repayment component of this Award).

10. Debt information for which you are requesting loan repayment. Please provide appropriate documentation from the loan repayment agency.  If you are not requesting loan repayment, please state this in the uploaded document.

11. Three or Four Year Project Timeline, ie Gannt chart - List your project timeline and goals for each year during the duration of the project.  Click here to see an example of a Project Timeline.

12. Two Letters of support:

  1. Department Chair.  This letter must include:
    • Commitment to hire this individual on faculty, if not already an MGH faculty member, within 1 year of Award commencement.
    • Commitment to continue to support this individual in their career development over time.
    • Potential role this individual will play in the department/division over time.
    • Statement explaining how the funds supplied by this Award (up to $180,000 over 3-4 years, plus indirect costs) will alter the Awardee’s activities and relate to his/her career goals.
    • Agreement to meet with this individual bi-annually for career planning meetings.
  2.   Mentor.  This letter must include:
    • Description of the mentor’s role in the project.
    • Commitment from mentor to support the Awardee for a minimum of the 3-4 year grant period.

13.  Personal Demographics:  Please provide your demographic information below:

  • Citizenship Status:
    • US Citizen
    • Permanent Resident
  • Gender
    • Female
    • Male
    • Other ________
  • Race  (check all that apply)*
    • Black/African
    • American Indian/Alaskan Native/Hawaiian Native
    • Asian or Pacific Islander
    • White
    • Other ____________________
  • Ethnicity**
    • Hispanic
    • Non-Hispanic
    • Other _________________


  • *Race: BLACK (Persons having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa - not of Hispanic origin.) ASIAN OR PACIFIC ISLANDER (Persons with origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.)  AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKAN NATIVE (Persons with origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.)
  • **Ethnicity: HISPANIC  (Persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.)



  • Use margins of 0.5 inches or greater and 11 pt font size or greater for the Research Plan, NIH Biosketch, Other Support, Debt Information, Personal Statement and Three or Four Year Project Timeline.
  • Upload PDF documents only.  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.



ECOR accepts applications online via the MGRI 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 applications on your behalf (optional)
  • View current calls and apply to open opportunities
  • 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
  • If you previously created a profile, please ensure your information is current

Click "Apply" below to begin the application.


Click here for the MGH Physician-Scientist Development Award FAQ page.

To view a list of past recipients, click here.

For further information regarding the application process, please email All other questions may be addressed to Elena Olson, Executive Director, CDI, at 617-724-3831 or


*cost sharing exceptions will be considered if departmental resources are an issue.