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Advance Degree and Clinical Research Training Grant in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Eligible Institutions
You may submit an application if your institution has any of the following characteristics:

  • For-profit or non-profit organization
  • Public or private institution, such as university, college, hospital, and laboratory
  • Units of State and local government
  • Eligible agency of the federal government
  • Domestic (Candidates from institutions outside 50 states of the United States are ineligible)

Eligible Investigators
Eligible candidates for this award must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess an active AARC membership
  • Possess a baccalaureate degree in a health related discipline
  • Possess the R.R.T. credential
  • Possess a “Full-time” appointment in a Master’s-level (or  higher) degree program at an accredited institution
    • If the candidate is applying for support for Master’s-level (or higher) degree training as part of the award, admission into an accredited Master’s-level (or higher) degree program must be demonstrated. Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the “full-time” requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.

Application Process
The application process for this award consists of the submission of a full application which will undergo peer review for scientific merit and review of the applicant’s proposed training program and plan. A letter of intent is not required for this funding opportunity. Any discussion or indication of interest prior to or after the submission of a full application should not be construed as a commitment of funding.

Full Application
Full applications must be prepared using the Alpha-1 Foundation’s online application form on ProposalCENTRAL.

Note: Applicants must first create a profile and be logged in to ProposalCENTRAL in order to access the online application form.

Where to Submit
The Alpha-1 Foundation requires applicants to submit their applications online using ProposalCENTRAL.

Inquiries or technical issues regarding ProposalCENTRAL and the online application process should be directed to costumer support at:

Phone: 703-964-5840, Toll-free phone: 1-800-875-2562


Live costumer support is only available from 8:30am – 5pm ET.

Note: Any indication of the Alpha-1 Foundation’s or ARCF’s interest in an application should not be construed as a commitment of funding.

Peer Review Process
Full applications are subjected to a rigorous peer review process by a panel convened to provide the necessary expertise for the topic of this funding opportunity. A Review Committee will be organized with members of the AARC, ARCF, and representatives for the Alpha-1 Foundation. Review Committee members will evaluate the applications on the specially designed online review form via the Alpha-1 Foundation’s grant portal site on ProposalCENTRAL wherein there will be a secure URL to view applications submitted and complete the evaluation for each application received. The recommended number of participants on the Review Committee is five with one member of serving as a Chair. The Alpha-1 Foundation will view completed review forms and determine if total scores indicate a top candidate.  If scores are too close to determine a top candidate, then a conference call will be scheduled with members of the Review Committee to discuss the top three candidates and a final candidate will be determined who will be awarded the grant. 

Review Criteria
The application will be reviewed based on the following major criteria: 

  • Strength of the candidate, including past productivity and the promise of a career focus on alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Scientific merit of past research
  • Evidence of ongoing interest in AATD research
  • Strength of the proposed research
  • Strength and commitment of the scientific mentor

It is important to address these major criteria in the proposal. In addition, the reviewers will be asked to address the following questions:

Significance: Does the study address an important problem?  If the aims of the applica­tion­ are achieved, how will knowledge be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?  Will it provide information required to develop a larger study?

Approach: Discuss and evaluate the scientific merit of the research design, approaches and methodology. Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses ade­quately developed, logical and well integrated? Is the experimental approach valid and adequate and are the procedures feasible? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  How can the study be improved?

Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Will the research produce new data or confirm existing hypotheses? 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 level of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)? Discuss and evaluate the time commitments of the investigator(s) and other collaborative personnel relative to conducting and/or supervising the study.

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 unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?  Discuss and evaluate the facilities, resources and equipment at the disposal of the investigator(s). Pay particular attention to the availability of AAT-deficient patients.

Protection of Human Subjects From Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed. 

Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. 

Receipt and Review Schedule

Full Application Due Date: February 19, 2016

Funding Notification: May 6, 2016

Funding Begins: July 1, 2016

Notification of Award and Public Announcement
Applicants will be notified in writing jointly by the President and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation, the Executive Director of the American Association for Respiratory Care, and the Executive Director of the American Respiratory Care Foundation for all funding decisions. Once an Applicant and his or her institution have been notified of a grant award, these three organizations will request a signed release form from the applicant’s institution for publicizing information related to the grant award on their websites and in printed materials.


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