Jeanne Marie Lusher Diversity Research Fellowship
The National Hemophilia Foundation’s (NHF) newest research fellowship program is named in honor of Dr. Jeanne Marie Lusher, whose tremendous impact on the bleeding disorders community began in 1961 when she helped to diagnose a young girl with a rare instance of female hemophilia.
Beginning 2021, the Jeanne Marie Lusher (JML) Diversity Research Fellowship will provide support for researchers pursuing pre-clinical or basic science research on the biochemical, genetic, or hematologic aspects of inherited blood disorders (IBD), as well as health inequities faced by the IBD community, joint disease/orthopedics, women’s health, pain management, or other therapeutics modalities pertaining to blood disorders.
Open only to clinicians from communities of color and/or nationally underrepresented communities, the JML Fellowship aims to increase diversity among benign hematologists by fostering a careerlong interest in IBD.
The JML Fellowship is open to ethnically and racially underrepresented research applicants interested in the field of inherited blood disorders. The scope of this Fellowship would be broad to include a range of topics from pre-clinical or basic science research on the biochemical, genetic, or hematologic aspects of inherited blood disorders including but not limited to hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, sickle cell disease, thalassemia, or hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia to health inequities faced by the inherited blood disorders community, joint disease/orthopedics, women’s health, pain management, or other therapeutics modalities pertaining to blood disorders. Fellows will receive $52,000 per year for three years.
2. Eligibility Requirements
JML Fellowship candidates will be 1) members of communities of color or nationally underrepresented communities and 2) enrolled in a doctoral program (MD/PhD) or a fellowship program (MD or MD/PhD) in a biomedical research field relevant to bleeding disorders. MD/PhD candidate students may apply in their 2nd year of the PhD portion of their program or beyond, and MD or MD/PhD hematology fellows may apply in their 1st year of fellowship if actively engaged in a bleeding disorders related research project. Established investigators or faculty members are ineligible.
The JML Fellowship recipient will be expected to spend at least 80% of their working time on the funded research project.
Candidates must submit a letter of intent (LOI) as part of the application process; CVs for both the applicant and his/her mentor; and letters of support by appropriate officials (e.g. department chairs). LOIs should be: addressed to “Members of NHF’s Research Review Committee,” be 1 to 1.5 pages in length, include a brief introduction of the candidate/researcher and ability to meet eligibility criteria, information about his/her mentor, and a brief description of the proposed research project. Letters must be accompanied by an NIH biosketch for both the candidate and his/her mentor and submitted as a single PDF.
• The NHF Research Department, with counsel from scientific and lay leaders, is responsible for the administration of the Grants program.
• All NHF Grants are awarded to the individual applicant, not the mentor or their institution.
• Grantees are not employees of NHF but of their own Institution and are subject to the administrative policies and regulations of their Institution.
• Only non-commercial Institutions and investigators based in the United States and associated with a non-commercial Institution are eligible for NHF funding. It is understood that some nonprofit universities with innovation centers intend to commercialize research outcomes to some degree.
• NHF is a nonprofit 501c3 organization and as such, Grant funding is based upon fundraising efforts; therefore, all awards, Grants and fellowships are contingent on available funds.
• U.S. citizenship is not required, but prospective candidates must be affiliated with a U.S. based organization (such as a university, college, hospital, government agency and/or lab).
• Grantees may not hold multiple NHF Grants simultaneously. If one NHF Grant ends before another begins, the applicant may apply but there can be no overlap. The only exception would be a Bridge Grantee who could also hold either a Career Development Award or Clinical Fellowship.
4. Application and Review Process
All applications must be submitted electronically utilizing NHF’s selected platform
All NHF Grant applications are subjected to a rigorous peer review process. Letters of Intent (LOIs) are only required for select Grants/fellowships. Refer to specific Grant documents located in appendix section of this document. LOIs and applications which are late, incomplete or do not follow instructions are not accepted for review.
It is expected that the Grantee will commit sufficient time to permit him/her to focus on the research project being funded. Letters of support by appropriate officials (department chair and others) indicating Institutional support of required time commitment should be submitted with the application.
Applications are reviewed by NHF’s Research Review Committee in a fashion similar to NIH research reviews with a panel comprised of select and confidential volunteer physicians, clinicians, researchers and other experts in the field of bleeding disorders. Applications are assigned, at a minimum, a primary and a secondary reviewer. Each reviewer is given a pre-scoring sheet for each application and time to carefully analyze, score and rate the assigned applications.
Each application is assessed on overall impact, scientific merit, and relevance to NHF’s mission and research priorities. In addition, each is reviewed and scored on the following NIH criteria:
• Significance: Does this project address an important facing the bleeding disorders community? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge of bleeding disorders and/or quality of life be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?
• Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
• Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
• Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience of the researchers?
• Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of Institutional support?
Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.
Once all pre-scoring sheets are received by NHF’s Research Department, a conference call is scheduled with the department and all the reviewers to evaluate each application. At the time of the conference call, each of the applications is described by its primary and secondary reviewers, discussed in depth by all and scored by each member of the committee on the post-scoring sheet. A member of NHF’s Research Department keeps minutes of the conversation to record the process and provide feedback to all applicants at the time of the award announcement.
The Research Review Committee provides recommendations; however, final funding approval is ultimately Granted by NHF.
After recommendation of the Research Review Committee, and final approval by NHF, the selected applicant will receive official notification of his/her award. The recipient will be required to send an official acceptance letter (on their Institutions letterhead or from their Institution’s email) and enter a mutually acceptable agreement with NHF and their Institution outlining the specific terms and obligations of the Grant. The first payment will be sent to the Grantee’s Institution after completion of all appropriate contracts and agreements.
6. Initial Agreements, Progress Reports, and Continuation Applications
A schedule with payment disbursement, progress reports and Continuation Applications deadlines will be provided by NHF as part of the initial agreement.
• Initial Agreement
Upon acceptance, the Grantee will have approximately 2- 3 months to submit required documents including the signed Grant Agreement. Once reviewed, NHF will submit the first payment of $26,000 (or 50% of the first year).
• Progress Reports
Six months after the Grant is initially awarded and after each Continuation Application, NHF’s Research Department will send the Grantee an email inquiring if there have been any changes to the aims, budget, Institutional status (employer), financial officer and project’s mentor (as applicable).
If changes are reported, a formal update addressing changes will be requested.
• Continuation Applications
A Continuation Application (CA) will need to be submitted ever year as stipulated in the schedule submitted within the initial agreement. Four to 6 weeks before the CA is due, the Grantee will receive an email from NHF’s Research Department with instructions and an individual link to their electronic CA.
Once the application is started, it be may closed and resumed at a later time as long as the same computer is used. To expedite the process, NHF encourages Grantees to have all the necessary information and forms completed before starting the application. A guide detailing the CA requirements will also be included in the email.
7. Final Reports
A final financial report and final summary of the funded scientific project must be provided according to the schedule in the Initial Agreement. The summary should describe the entire project from beginning to end and should include:
• Name of the Grantee, title of project and contact information
• Comprehensive description of the project from beginning to end, including:
o Research aims accomplished, including any adjustment throughout the project timeline
o Explanation of significant findings and how they have contributed to the body of knowledge
o A list of all related presentations given, posters and/or publications submitted and published. Please include their citations and a PDF copy, if available
o Final budget describing actual expenses and variances to budget -any residual monies must be returned to NHF.
• Number of extramural Grants applied for and obtained during the Grant period
• Number of patents submitted and awarded during the Grant period or planned for submission
The final payment will not be processed until this report is received and reviewed by NHF. Failure to submit the report in a timely fashion will render the Grantee ineligible for the final installment
8. Use of Grant Funds
• Funds awarded shall be used solely for the purposes specified in the budget annexed to any application submitted and resulting from an agreement executed by the candidate, the Institution receiving the Grant, and NHF.
• Applicants must submit information on all current and pending funding sources to NHF. It is permissible for an applicant's project to receive additional funding from another source. If a “change in status” would impact a pending application, applicants are required to notify the NHF Research Department
• If a previously submitted budget needs to be revised, it should be sent together with a detailed explanation to NHF for approval. NHF reserves the right to approve or deny the request.
• All Grants shall be activated no later than December 31 of the year awarded. Unless specific permission is Granted by NHF’s Finance Department, if not activated by this date, the application must be resubmitted and will need to compete on an equal basis with the new Grant applications when they are subsequently reviewed.
• For those Grants that extend beyond one year, a Continuation Application (CA) will be required on a yearly basis. The continuation of a Grant for a second or third year (as applicable) requires the approval of NHF’s Research Department.
• Payments will be sent to the designated Institutional Grants or financial officer as indicated on the initial agreement. The Grantee’s Institution will be responsible for disbursing funds during the term of the Grant in accordance with the NHF approved budget. Upon award selection, the Grantee and designated Institutional assignee’s will need to review and sign a detailed NHF policy agreement with an attached schedule of reports due dates. Payments will be made upon receipt of agreed upon reports.
• Funding policies differ by Grant. Refer to specific Grant documents located in appendix section of this document.
9. Authorized Expenses
The following expenses are, when the National Hemophilia Foundation deems them justified by the research, permitted under the Institutional overhead:
• Reasonable salary to support the Grantee.
• Fringe benefits not to exceed 20% of the requested salary.
• Indirect costs not to exceed 8% of total Grant
• Equipment necessary to fulfill the project’s specific aims, not exceed $3,000 in any given year without prior approval from NHF. If purchased solely with NHF funds, equipment should reside with the project for which it is funded.
• Research supply expenses necessary to fulfill the project's specific aims, limited to 30% of the yearly Grant- unless a previously agreed upon exception is approved.
• Travel expenses:
o Directly related to the implementation of the research;
o Expressly and solely for the purpose of reporting the results of NHF-supported research at suitable scientific or medical meetings;
o Limited to $2,000 maximum per year.
• Costs associated with publication of the funded research.
• Costs associated with making the products of the research (i.e., cell lines, DNA, protein, and other biological substances) available to others for research.
• Certain patient care costs. Funds requested for hospitalization and/or professional medical services for study subjects may be Granted if justification is presented in the application to show that such charges are needed for the research proposed and that the usual sources available for these costs are not adequate. All third-party payments received by the Grantee Institution for such services are to be used to offset the funds awarded in the Grant for this purpose.
11. Unauthorized Expenses
The following expenses are not permitted under any research Grant program:
• Salary or fringe benefits for anyone other than those expressly designated in the application.
• Salaries, travel and/or housing related to sabbatical leaves.
• Purchase or rental of office equipment (i.e., desktop computers, furniture, filing cabinets or copy machines).
• Consultant costs.
• Fees for tuition.
• Membership dues, subscriptions, books, or journals.
Dollar Amount: $50,000
Majors Targeted: :Medicine:
Scholarship/Grant Sponsor: The National Hemophilia Foundation