Resources for professionals seeking FSHD research projects or clinical trials

For Scientists

FSHD Training Opportunities through the FSH Society and Elsewhere

Please contact the FSH Society with training opportunities you would like to post.

U.S. NIH Extramural Training and Career Development Grants for FSHD Available from the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Career development awards provide salary and laboratory support for individuals who have completed their postdoctoral training, or who need “protected time” at critical periods of their research careers.  These awards usually have a K activity code.

Training awards are designed to support the research training of scientists for careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, and to help professional schools to establish, expand, or improve programs of continuing professional education.  Training awards can be individual fellowships (F) or institutional training grants (T).

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

NIAMS Fellowship Programs ( F )
NIAMS Research Career Awards ( K )
NIAMS Training Programs ( T )

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

NICHD Fellowship Programs ( F )
NICHD Research Career Awards ( K )
NICHD Training Programs ( T )

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

NINDS Fellowship Programs ( F )
NINDS Research Career Awards ( K )
NINDSTraining Programs ( T )

U.S. NIH Grants for Training and Career Development in FSHD and MD

At the seventh Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee (MDCC) meeting recently held in Washington, DC on June 23, 2008 the topics of “Therapy Development and Living with Muscular Dystrophy MDCC” were covered. Dr. Glen Nuckolls, Director, Muscle Disorders and Therapies Program, DHHS NIH NIAMS presented on “MDCC Partnering Opportunity—Muscular Dystrophy Workforce Needs.”

Dr. Nuckolls presented data on the training programs of the various federal and volunteer health agencies and the utilization of these programs e.g. opportunities for support of training and career development and organizations providing special funding opportunities for the training or career development of students, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows or junior faculty, or awards to independent faculty specifically to support their mentoring activities.

There is a very real concern from all perspectives about increasing the number of professionals choosing muscular dystrophy as a research, clinical research or clinical career. As part of this discussion Dr. Nuckolls presented on the patient oriented career development award mechanisms that NIH supports – known as K23 and K24 awards and that theses programs are severely under-utilized by the muscular dystrophy field.

Below are three programs that might be considered in training for careers in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and muscular dystrophy: 1. Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23); 2. Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24); and 3. NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00).

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)

• The purpose of the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Career Development Award (K23) is to support the career development of investigators who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on patient-oriented research. This mechanism provides support for three to five years of supervised study and research for clinically trained professionals who have the potential to develop into productive, clinical investigators focusing on patient-oriented research.

• Candidates must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence, who hold a health-professional doctoral degree or its equivalent and can commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort conducting patient-oriented research and relevant career development activities. Receipt of prior support may impact eligibility.

• Clinically trained professionals or individuals with a clinical degree who are interested in further career development in biomedical research that is not patient-oriented should refer to the Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development (K08) Award (see on the NIH web site for details).

Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)

The purpose of the Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research is to provide support to mid-career health-professional doctorates or equivalent who are typically at the Associate Professor level or the equivalent (see Section III. Eligible Individuals) for protected time to devote to patient-oriented research (POR) and to act as research mentors primarily for clinical residents, clinical fellows and/or junior clinical faculty.

• The intent of this award is two-fold: 1) to enable mid-career clinician scientists to devote more time and to augment their capabilities in patient-oriented research; and 2) to enable mid-career clinical scientists to mentor new clinical investigators in the conduct of patient-oriented research. An award recipient who continues to have an independent peer-reviewed patient-oriented research program and continues to provide mentoring to new investigators can continue to contribute to the overall goals of the program after being promoted to Full professor.

• Mechanism of Support: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will utilize the NIH Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) grant mechanism. Candidates must commit 3-6 person months (equivalent to 25 to 50% effort) to conducting patient-oriented research and mentoring.

• Eligible Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI): Only U.S. citizens or noncitizen nationals, or an individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence who possesses an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551), or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident, are eligible to receive this award. In addition to these requirements, the K24 applicant must have a health-professional doctoral degree or its equivalent. Applicants should typically be at the Associate Professor level or equivalent non-academic setting and must have an established record of independent, peer-reviewed patient-oriented research grant funding including at the time of application for this award, and record of publications.

NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00)

The primary, long-term goal of the Pathway to Independence (PI) Award program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented NIH-supported independent investigators. The PI award program is designed to facilitate a timely transition from a mentored postdoctoral research position to a stable independent research position with independent NIH or other independent research support at an earlier stage than is currently the norm.

• The PI award will provide up to 5 years of support consisting of two phases. The initial phase will provide 1-2 years of mentored support for highly promising, postdoctoral research scientists. This phase will be followed by up to 3 years of independent support contingent on securing an independent tenure-track or equivalent research position. The PI award is limited to postdoctoral trainees who propose research relevant to the mission of one or more of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs).

• The initial application for the mentored phase may be submitted on behalf of the candidate (principal investigator) by any domestic for-profit or non-profit institution/organization such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories, and eligible agencies of the Federal government, including NIH intramural laboratories. Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

• Eligible Principal Investigators include outstanding postdoctoral candidates who have a clinical or research doctorate (including Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.C., N.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., Sc.D., D.N.S., Pharm.D. or equivalent doctoral degrees) and who have no more than 5 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of application.

Program Staff to Talk to (in addition to other relevant institutes listed) About Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy and Muscular Dystrophy:

Glen H. Nuckolls, Ph.D.
Director, Muscle Disorders and Therapies Program
Musculoskeletal Diseases Branch
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20892-4872
Telephone: (301) 594-4974

John Porter, Ph.D.
Program Director, Neuromuscular Disease
Channels, Synapses, and Circuits Cluster
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2142, MSC 9523
Bethesda, MD 20892-9523
Telephone: (301) 496-1917
FAX: (301) 402-1501

James Hanson, M.D.
National Institute of Child Health and Development
Center for Developmental Biology and Perinatal Medicine (CDBPM)
Office of the CDBPM Director
6100 Executive Boulevard
Room 4A05, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Phone: (301) 496-8535
Fax: (301) 480-4520

Jonathan R. Kaltman, M.D.
National Institutes of Health
NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
RKL2 - Two Rockledge Ctr, 8222
Mail Stop:  7940
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892 USA
Phone: (301) 435-0528
Fax: (301) 480-1454


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