The National Palliative Care Research Center

Curing suffering through palliative care research.

How To Apply

General Eligibility

Submit a Letter of Intent online

The NPCRC has a two-step application process.

STEP 1: Eligible applicants interested in applying for funding from the NPCRC are required to first submit a letter of intent (LOI) along with their biosketch in the NIH 5 page format. The NPCRC will accept LOIs online for its Pilot/Exploratory Project Support Grants and its Junior Faculty Career Development Awards September 1st through November 7th .

STEP 2: Full proposals are accepted by invitation only. Applicants selected for further consideration will receive an email from the NPCRC within two weeks of the LOI deadline inviting them to submit full proposals online. Full proposals must be received by the posted deadline. Only one proposal per applicant will be accepted. 

The following eligibility requirements pertain to all applicants to the NPCRC Grants Program. However, interested applicants should review the additional eligibility requirements specified under each of the four different types of NPCRC Funding Opportunities before applying.

  • Applicants must hold a doctorate degree (M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent);
  • Applicants must have a full-time faculty position or equivalent at a college, university, medical school, nursing school or other fiscally responsible organization within the United States by the time of the award start date.
  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. If the applicant is not a U.S. citizen, then he/she must submit proof of his/her permanent resident status (e.g. a copy the applicant's Permanent Resident card or a letter from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services).
  • Applicants may only apply for one award per deadline. Investigators who are receiving an active NPCRC grant may apply for another award in the last year of their grant if that last year concludes by the time the new funding year begins.
  • Junior Faculty Career Development awardees cannot hold a Pilot/Exploratory Project Support Grant concurrently.
  • Prior recipients of a Junior Faculty Career Development Award may not receive another NPCRC career development award.

Letter of Intent

The NPCRC is accepting Letters of Intent online September 1, 2017, through November 6, 2017 at 5:00 PM EST

Submit a Letter of Intent online

The letter of intent (LOI) will be reviewed by the Center to determine whether its current interests and funds permit consideration of the request. The Center will notify all applicants within two weeks following the LOI submission deadline if their project has been selected for further consideration.

The LOI should include the applicant's contact information and should follow the format specified below for the appropriate award. The LOI should be completed online and the applicant's NIH biosketch should be uploaded in PDF format and attached to the application. View a sample NIH Biographical Sketch

The LOI should not include any additional supporting information (e.g., publications, reports). Letters of Intent that are emailed or faxed will not be accepted. An applicant may submit only one LOI for each funding cycle.

Pilot / Exploratory Project Support Grant

Include a brief description of the project for which funds are being requested (not to exceed 600 words) including:

  1. Research plan
    Present an abstract of the research you plan, noting specific aims, significance, and design components (study subjects, variables, sample size, etc.).
  2. Time period
    Describe the time period for which funds are requested (i.e. one or two year project).
  3. Funding
    Indicate the amount of funds being requested, the estimated overall project budget, and the current funding committed to the project to date, if any. Note:Please refer to the NPCRC's Budget Guidelines to read about how funds can be used.
  4. Resources
    Summarize the resources provided by your sponsoring institution and the suitability of the available clinical and administrative infrastructure.

Note: Only one Principle Investigator is allowed per project; no Co-PIs should be listed.

Junior Faculty Career Development Award

Include a brief description on the applicant and the project for which funds are being requested (not to exceed 800 words) including:

  1. Previous experience
    Summarize your area of expertise and prior training, past and current research activities, and the role you played.
  2. Research plan
    Present an abstract of the research you plan, including specific aims, significance, and design components (study subjects, variables, sample size, etc.).
  3. Training plan
    Summarize the relevance of your intended mentor(s) and indicate your plans for further training and expanding your professional expertise.
  4. Resources
    Summarize the resources provided by your sponsoring institution and the suitability of the available clinical and administrative infrastructure.
  5. Career Potential
    Describe your career goals and objectives, and how the NPCRC Junior Faculty Career Development Award will contribute to these goals and objectives.

Full Proposals

Full proposals are by invitation only. Only applicants who are requested to submit full proposals will have access to the complete NPCRC online application system.

Full proposals must include all of the items and sections outlined below. Items are either entered directly through the NPCRC website or uploaded in a PDF file and attached to the online application. The Application Data Sheet and the Applicant's Biosketch are submitted during the Letter of Intent process (Step 1), while the remaining documents are submitted as part of the full proposal (Step 2).

  • Application Data Sheet: Collects information on the applicant, mentor/co-mentors (if applicable), project, and sponsoring institution using the online NPCRC form.
  • Biosketch: Upload a PDF of the applicant's biosketch in the NIH 5-page format. 
  • Project Abstract: A concise statement of no more than 300 words describing the proposed project.
  • Introduction to Application (for Resubmissions only): In one page or less, describe major changes to the resubmitted application and how you have addressed the prior reviewers' concerns. 
  • Specific Aims: In one page or less, please state concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved. List succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed. 
  • Investigator Qualifications and Career Development Plan (for career development awards only):
    • Include the investigator's commitment to a career in palliative care; 
    • Provide evidence of the applicant's potential to become and independent investigator;
    • Describe how the award will contribute to the applicant's career objectives;
    • Provide a summary of career development activities that will facilitate the candidate's development as a palliative care researcher;
    • Include a statement on the applicant's commitment to a minimum of 60% effort towards the research program.
  • Research Plan: The research plan and the section on the investigator's qualifications and career development should not exceed 6 pages and the research plan should not exceed 5 pages for Pilot/Exploratory award (excluding references), should follow the NIH font and format specifications (i.e., font size of 11 points or larger; single-spaced; no more than 15 characters per inch; no more than 6 lines per inch, and at least one-half inch margins for all pages), and should include a page number and the applicant's name on each page. The following sections should be included:        
    • Background and Significance;
    • Innovation
    • Investigator Qualifications;
    • Research Design and Methods;
    • Human Subject Research (if applicable and not included in page limit);
    • References (not included in page limit).

      Note: Any appendix items should go at the end of the Research Plan section (not included in page limit), but should be kept to a minimum.
  • Future Directions (Pilot/Exploratory Award) (maximum one page): Describe how the proposed work will be used to develop a larger extramurally funded award. Please briefly outline the scope of the future work and why this Pilot/Exploratory Award is critical to the development of the proposed research. 
  • Budget: Applicants should follow the online directions on how to submit the budget for their proposed project. Project expenses should be in accordance with the NPCRC budget guidelines and justified, if necessary. Applicants should utilize the NPCRC Excel budget template. Project expenses should be in accordance with the NPCRC budget guidelines and justified, if necessary. Please modify the template and include a second page for the justification if need be.
  • Letters of Support:
For Career Development award: Include 3 letters of support that assess the applicant's ability and potential: 
  • 1 letter must come from the applicant's proposed mentor/co-mentors confirming their role, outlines and addresses scientific ability and potential. Please include a grid that lists past mentees, their position when mentored and their current position and their mentor's role in their career development. 
  • 1 letter must come from the Chair of the applicant's department indicating the sponsoring institution's commitment of 60% protected research time for the applicant, if funded. Additionally, the letter must provide assurance that the applicant will have adequate space and facilities to conduct his/her research. 
For Pilot/Exploratory award: Applicants with less than 5 years of postdoctoral research experience must submit 3 letters assessing their scientific ability and potential for a successful research career. No other letters of support will be accepted. 
  • Appendix: Appendix items are not included in the page limit, but should be kept to a minimum.
  • Human SubjectsIf the research involves human subjects, please provide a section immediately following the research plan that addresses the following items linked here (Human Subjects.pdf)

No supplemental materials will be accepted after the deadline unless requested by staff for administrative purposes or when needed for the reviewers. If an applicant has difficulty converting documents into a PDF file and/or uploading it online, then please contact the NPCRC well in advance of the submission deadline.

Budget Guidelines

General

  • Grant Funds may only be used as described in the budget of the approved application. If a grantee wishes to re-allocate funds, then he/she must first seek written approval from the NPCRC.
  • Grant funds must be used only for expenditures directly related to the costs of the NPCRC-funded research that they were intended for and all expenditures must be essential for the research.
  • No overlapping of funds is allowed. Grant Funds may be used to supplement support from other sources, but the budget should reflect this by including a column for the entire budget and a column for the NPCRC portion of the budget.
  • The designated Financial Officer of the sponsoring institution must sign off on all interim expenditure reports and the final report.

Specific Line Items

  • Salary for Principal Investigator, Co-Investigators, and Mentors
    The Principal Investigator may receive salary support at a rate commensurate with the prevailing rate at his/her Sponsoring Institution as well as the amount of personnel time dedicated to the project. Note: Only one Principle Investigator is allowed per project; no Co-PIs should be listed but Co-Investigators are allowed. For Career Development Award Applicants, mentors must provide voluntary support. 
  • Technical Personnel
    Technical personnel can receive salary from a NPCRC grant. Technical personnel include any individuals providing direct research support on the NPCRC-funded project (e.g. research assistants, nurses, statisticians). Technical personnel does not include administrative and secretarial staff.
  • Fringe Benefits
    Investigators should budget for fringe benefits using their sponsoring institution's standard rate.
  • Supplies
    A brief itemized list of supplies should be included in the budget.
  • Equipment
    Equipment purchases are allowed, but only if necessary for the NPCRC-funded project. All pieces of equipment must be itemized and the costs should not exceed 10% of the direct costs per year. Budget justification is required for the purchases of equipment.
  • Travel
    Grant Funds may only be used for travel to the required NPCRC Annual Retreat and Research Symposium meeting. Location to be determined each year. Principal Investigators of Pilot/Exploratory Project Support grants should budget to allow travel for themselves to this meeting. Recipients of the Junior Faculty Career Development Awards should budget to allow travel for themselves and one mentor.
  • Subcontracts
    List by name or function and provide justification. 
  • Indirect Costs
    Indirect costs are allowed but may not exceed 10% of direct costs. The Sponsoring Institution must provide for indirect costs, including the costs associated with the use of their facilities, administrative fees, and office equipment.
  • Other Expenses
    Other expenses must be itemized.

Download NPCRC Excel Budget Template

Resubmissions

If a proposal is not funded after its first submission, then no more than two revised proposals will be accepted at a later date (i.e., three submissions in total).

A Letter of Intent is required for all resubmissions. 

If invited for submission, the revised proposal must include the following:

  1. Same title as the original proposal submitted;
  2. A one page or less summary describing major changes to the resubmitted application and how you have addressed the prior reviewers' concerns (not included in the page limit); and
  3. The revised proposal.

Electronic Submissions

All letters of intent and all full proposals are to be submitted online. If a full proposal is requested from an applicant after the letter of intent process is complete, then the applicant will be provided with a Login Account and Password. Electronic submissions must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on the deadline date. If the deadline date falls on a weekend or holiday, then the application must be submitted by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on the following business day.

Where additional documents (e.g., proof of U.S. citizenship) and signed documents (e.g. letters of support) are required applicants must scan the document(s), convert to a PDF, and then upload and attach the document(s) to the online application. These attachments will be accepted by the NPCRC if submitted before the 5:00 PM EST deadline. If an applicant does not have the capability to create a PDF file, then he/she must contact the NPCRC well in advance of the submission deadline.

Applicants are strongly advised to complete the electronic application submission a few days before the deadline day. Any applicant who encounters technical difficulties with their electronic application submission must notify the Center prior to the electronic application submission deadline.