Applications for this grant are no longer being accepted.

Fund for Medical Discovery (FMD) Research Fellowship Awards 2021 (21-1)

One-Year MGH ECOR Fellowship Awards

Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 5:00 PM


NEW! The Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) is now accepting applications for the Fund for Medical Discovery Fellowship (FMD) Awards.  We recognize that research at MGH integrates the full translational spectrum of discovery from "bench to bedside to community and population".  To ensure that all areas of research conducted at MGH are included and eligible for FMD fellowship awards, ECOR is now offering 3 types of training awards:

  • FMD Fundamental Research Fellowship Awards

Fundamental [Basic] research is open-ended investigation that seeks to unlock the biological, chemical, molecular and genetic underpinnings of life and typically takes place in a dry or wet lab environment. Examples of this include but are not limited to work involving in vitro analyses, in silico analyses, or involving organoid or animal model systems.


  • FMD Clinical Research Fellowship Awards

Clinical Research includes research involving human subjects. Examples of this include but are not limited to clinical trials, observational studies, physiological studies, behavioral studies, and epidemiologic analyses. IRB approval (not exemption) of the study that includes the applicant as a named study staff is required if applying in this category.  

Please also see the following link for the NIH definition of clinical research:


  • FMD Population Healthcare Sciences Fellowship Awards

Population healthcare research includes research on interpersonal, family, neighborhood, community and societal-level mechanisms and pathways that influence disease risk, resilience, morbidity, and mortality, as well as outcomes and health services research.  Examples of this include, but are not limited to, population healthcare sciences; community health/population research, health disparities/equities research, health outcomes research, and health services and policy research.


These Fellowships are for MD and PhD Research Fellows and Clinical Research Fellows who are in the training phase of their research at MGH and Instructors who are within 5 years total since initiating their research fellowship training.  

Please note: while applications for this call are due March 30, in the future ECOR will have two selections of FMD awards per year with deadlines in February and October. If the deadline falls on a weekend, we will accept applications through the following Monday.   Click here for a summary of the FMD fellowship awards and deadlines.  ECOR will accept only one application per applicant for ECOR FMD Fellowship Awards per calendar year.




  • Awards will begin July 1, 2021
  • The awards are for $52,704 plus applicable fringe benefits and 15% indirect costs. Funds shall be spent during the award's budget period unless their applicant requests and justifies an extension prior to the closing date of the award and the request is approved by ECOR
  • Awards are not transferable to any other institution
  • The funds may be used only for salary and fringe benefits
  • The awards are restricted to clinical research as defined above and by the NIH Grants Policy Statement



  • Previous Tosteson/FMD Award recipients are not eligible.
  • Applicants and their Supervisors/Mentors must both have full-time primary appointments at MGH during the entire award period. 
  • The FMD Fundamental Research Fellowships, FMD Clinical Research Fellowships, and the FMD Population Healthcare Sciences Fellowships are only for MD and PhD Research Fellows and Clinical Research Fellows who are in the training phase of their research at MGH and Instructors who are within 5 years total since initiating their research fellowship training.
  • No more than two fellows from the same laboratory may apply in the same cycle, and no more than one applicant from the same laboratory will be funded in a given cycle.  
  • The awardees salary must be supplemented by the mentor to the appropriate stipend level under the MGH postdoctoral salary guidelines (for further information on the post doc salary  guidelines, click here). This applies to postdoctoral fellows.
  • Internal MGH departmental/sundry funds and other sponsored funds may be used to supplement the stipend.
  • If the applicant already has or subsequently receives other fellowship awards:
    • The applicant's total stipend should not exceed an annual salary appropriate for his/her experience
    • In addition, the receipt of this support must be allowed by the other sponsors
    • Applicants must notify ECOR at if they accept another award during the funding period
    • If the other award duplicates the purpose and funding of the MGH Tosteson/FMD award, the unused MGH Tosteson/FMD funding will be returned to the central ECOR pool for further Tosteson/FMD awards.
  • At Mass General Hospital we believe that because of diversity we excel.  Therefore, women and URM candidates are strongly encouraged to apply


Applicants are reviewed by the ECOR Subcommittee on Review of Research Proposals (SRRP), including a panel of diverse reviewers from across the institution.  The SRRP recommendations are reviewed for final approval by ECOR Leadership. In evaluating applications, SRRP will consider the candidate, the training environment, and the quality and relevance of the proposed study. Candidates will not be provided with critiques for their application.


Applications must include the following 17 items:

1. Research CategorySelect the category below that best fits your area of research (clinical research, fundamental research or population healthcare sciences)

2. Title of the Research Proposal

3. Research Supervisor Contact Details, i.e. name, email address, telephone number

4. Post-doctoral Research Training Information, i.e. applicant's total number of post-doctoral years (everywhere, including MGH) and applicant's total number of post-doctoral years (or months) with current mentor at MGH.  Do not include clinical training, i.e. residency, clinical fellowships.

5. Stipends and Awards

  • Does the applicant have stipend support? If yes, when is the stipend support scheduled to end?
  • List the stipends and awards currently held by the applicant, i.e. T32 training grant, research fellowship, sponsored award, etc. (sponsor name, type, and amount of award)

6. Summary of Research Project (500 word limit)

7. Does the research involve human subjects and is therefore eligible for the FMD Clinical Research Fellowship Award? 

  • Do you directly interact with human subjects?
  • Is this research project subject to IRB review? If no, please explain.
  • Does the research require you (the applicant) to be listed on the approved IRB protocol?

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

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

9. Applicant’s Description of Long-Term Career Plans (1 page limit).  Include a statement of why/how this award will contribute to the applicant’s achievement of these goals. 

10. Applicant's Biosketches must be in the NIH General Biographical Sketch Format found here.  You can also find the NIH Biosketch FAQ page here.  

11. Complete Publications List

12. Applicant's Other Support, a list of other current and pending support sources, with dollar amounts, in the NIH format.  This includes both external and internal support. If the applicant does not have other current or pending support sources, please indicate “none” when applicable.  Click here for a sample Other Support list in the NIH format.

13. Fellowship Supervisor's Biosketch, must be in the NIH General Biographical Sketch Format found here. You can also find the NIH Biosketch FAQ page here.

14. Fellowship Supervisor's Other Support, a list of other current and pending support sources, with dollar amounts in the NIH format. This includes both external and internal support. If the Fellowship Supervisor does not have other current or pending support sources, please indicate "none" when applicable. Click here for a sample Other Support list in the NIH format.

15. Two Letters of Support, one from each category, (address letters to ECOR Review Committee and include with grant application):

i) Research Supervisor.  This letter should specify the contributions of the applicant to the hypotheses, preliminary data, and research plans described in the proposal and indicate the respective roles of the supervisor and applicant in preparing the  application.  Include a statement of why this candidate should receive this award. 

 ii) Previous supervisor or colleague  preferably someone who is familiar with the applicant’s prior research.  This individual must be from outside the applicant’s current laboratory.

The above letters can be submitted as confidential files, however, submitting the letter confidentially is not required.  For more information on confidential uploads, please see section 3 of the “How to apply” section below.

   16.   Training Plan, Environment, Research Facilities 

The training plan should be closely coordinated between the applicant and the mentor, and the mentor must clearly show commitment to the individualized training plan outlined by the applicant.   This may be based on the NRSA application guidelines (SF424) paraphrased below:

  • Training Plan, Environment, Research Facilities (4 page limit)

Please describe the research training plan that you have developed specifically for the Fellowship applicant. Include items such as classes, seminars, and opportunities for interaction with other groups and scientists. Indicate the relationship of the proposed research training to the applicant's career goals. Describe the skills and techniques that the applicant will learn. Relate these to the applicant's career goals.

  • Sponsor's/Co-Sponsor’s Previous Fellows and Trainees (2 page limit)


Give the total number of predoctoral and postdoctoral individuals previously sponsored. Select up to five that are representative and, for those five, provide their present employing organizations and position titles or occupations.

17. Unit, Service/Department Chief Signed Statement. Please click here to obtain the form.



  • Use margins of 1.0 inch or greater and 12pt font size or greater for the Summary of Research Project, Research Plan, Description of Long-term Career Plans and Complete Publications List, and the Training Plan.
  • 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.

For a guide to help make your application more competitive, click here.


ECOR is now accepting 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
  • 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.Confidential submission process: The MGRI Online Grant Management Portal has the means of incorporating confidential files.  (optional)

In section eleven of the online application - check the box labeled “Will be uploaded confidentially” only if files are being submitted confidentially by someone other than the applicant.   Do not check this box if the applicant is uploading files themselves to this section. 

4. When "Will be uploaded confidentially" is checked, a new field will appear for you to provide the Supervisor's name and email address.  Once you "save" or "submit" your application, the supervisor(s) listed will receive an email from "MGH ECOR" with a link that will allow him/her to upload the letter. If you choose to "save" (and not "submit"), you will have a choice of sending the email requesting the letter from your supervisor(s) immediately or waiting until you are ready to submit the full application. However once your application is "submitted", an email will be sent automatically to the Supervisor(s). 


Please allow time for the supervisor(s) to submit the letters of support by the March 30th deadline. 

5. 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



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

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