Funding for Researchers

The Dermatology Foundation invests in early career researchers with innovative ideas and the potential to achieve scientific breakthroughs that lead to new treatments and cures. Identifying those exemplary ideas and researchers is the role of the Medical and Scientific Committee and its Clinical / Medical / Surgical / Dermatopathology Panel, made up of 18 specialty leaders whose expertise spans the field. The committees review proposals following a rigorous process based on the National Institutes of Health study sections. Only scientifically meritorious proposals are identified for funding.

Portrait of young Middle-Eastern scientist looking in microscope while working on medical research in science laboratory, copy space

The Dermatology Foundation is essential to progress. It provides funding to junior investigators doing skin research at a critical time in their careers. The support helps junior investigators establish an independent career because the DF funding comes at a time when few options for support exist. Research dollars typically are used to generate preliminary data important for applying for NIH grants that are necessary for a successful research career in cutaneous research." 

George Cotsarelis, M.D.

Executive Committee Research Award Program Liaison
Chair of the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Cotsarelis

Award Selection Process

 Announcement of Award Offerings

The DF's Research Award Program (RAP) offers a variety of research awards intended to further the specialty and enable advancements in patient care. An emphasis is placed on supporting research that benefits the dermatology community at large and has significant potential to advance patient care.  Applications for career development awards, fellowships, and grants are accepted annually in the fall.

Medical and Scientific Review

Identifying the most exemplary ideas and researchers is the role of the Medical and Scientific Committee and its Clinical / Medical / Surgical / Dermatopathology Panel, made up of 18 specialty leaders whose expertise spans the field. The committees review proposals following a rigorous process based on the National Institutes of Health study sections.

Recipients Announced and Funding Begins

Once the most meritorious applications are ranked, funds are allocated and approved by the DF Board of Trustees. Award recipients are announced in the spring at the DF Annual Meeting of Membership and online. Funding begins July 1.    

The impact of DF funding is profound. As a physician-scientist, I can say that not every specialty has this. It’s a real boon to dermatology to be able to provide our pipeline of physician-scientists with the support that allows them to keep making the choice to deepen our knowledge of skin disease. These basic observations are then translated into great tools — such as those we now have for psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other diseases.”

Tiffany C. Scharschmidt, M.D.

Associate Professor, UCSF Department of Dermatology
Sun-Pharma-Tiffany-Scharschmidt

Research Award Program FAQs

The DF’s Research Award Program offers a variety of research awards intended to further the specialty and enable advancements in patient care. An emphasis is placed on supporting research that benefits the dermatology community at large and has significant potential to advance patient care. It is the expectation that the recipients of Foundation awards will be tomorrow’s expert teachers, innovative investigators, and master clinicians in dermatology.

Am I eligible?

All DF-funded research must be conducted in the U.S. under the sponsorship of a department/division of dermatology that is ACGME-approved for training in dermatology. A project to be performed as a part of the U.S. government research program (except Veterans Administration), or to be performed at a private foundation without an academic affiliation to dermatology, is not eligible for funding. A project involving human subjects must have IRB approval at the time funding commences, i.e., July 1, and throughout the term of the award.

An individual who is a prior or current principal investigator (PI) on a federal grant is not eligible to receive a DF career development award, fellowship or grant.

The following two exceptions apply:

  1. CDA awardees may have an effort on an NIH grant as long as he/she is not the senior PI who initiated the application and he/she does not have direct reporting responsibilities for this or prior federal awards. Total support from all federal grants must be less than 20% of their total effort during the term of the DF award. OR
  2. The individual is the recipient of an NIH training grant or an equivalent grant from another granting agency.

Upon receipt as the PI of a federal grant, a DF CDA or grant will be withdrawn. Note, an individual who receives a federal grant that eliminates their status as a "new investigator" is not eligible to maintain/receive a DF CDA.

Fellowship recipients may receive NIH training grants or an equivalent grant from another granting agency.

Important Note: The Foundation utilizes the NIH definitions of “principal investigator” and “co-investigator” to administer this policy, as found in the Glossary of NIH Terms

How do I apply for a Research Award?

The DF offers Career Development Awards, Fellowships, Research Grants, and Diversity Awards. The PDF application instructions provide essential information potential applicants need to know to evaluate the various award opportunities and develop a successful application and research proposal. Interested individuals are strongly encouraged to read sections II and III before beginning any paperwork. Use the dropdown below to find out which type of award best fits your career track.

Application deadline: October 15, 2021

Career Development Awards
Investing in our specialty’s most promising researchers helps them to establish the track records and data needed to secure major federal awards. Each award recipient receives $55,000 in annual salary support for up to three years.

Research Fellowship
Our specialty’s newest investigators are its future leaders. Investing in them early in their careers makes future innovation possible. This award provides a one-year salary stipend of $30,000 to the most promising physician-scientists who have recently completed their dermatology residency training.

 

I'm a current award recipient. Where do I find reporting forms? How do I request funding renewal?

Attention Department Chairs and Program Directors

The Chair's Comments of Support form [Word] must be completed by the Dermatology Department/Division Chair/Chief for all career development award and fellowship applicants. Please be sure to respond to each question thoroughly. Keep in mind, the applicant’s potential to contribute to dermatology, mentor, training environment, and the institution’s support of the applicant are key criteria in the DF’s application review process.