The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) invites new researchers to submit proposals in competition for up to 10 research grants of $10,000 each.
The New Investigators Research Grant is designed to help further new investigators' research activities by funding preliminary studies that could launch larger-scale research studies. Research, while not limited in topic, should be focused to match a one-year scope and should have clinical relevance to audiology and/or speech-language pathology.
Note for 2020: In preparation for the grant submission and review processes, the ASHFoundation requests that potential investigators complete an Intent to Submit Form by March 4 to provide information regarding their proposed studies. When investigators log in to the online submission system, they will be prompted to complete the Intent to Submit Form. This step must be completed before proceeding to the proposal submission process.
Investigators must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the New Investigators Research Grant.
- The investigator must have completed a PhD or equivalent research doctorate within the past five years (since 2015).
Note: Due to the availability of other student research grant and scholarship funds through the ASHFoundation, students currently enrolled in a degree program are not eligible for this research grant.
- The investigator must not yet have received external research funding since completion of the PhD; prior internal university funding is accepted.
- The proposal must be for research to be initiated, not currently in progress. The study should be completed in one year and the scope should align with the funding amount.
- The proposal submitted to the 2020 New Investigators Research Grant competition cannot be submitted to other 2020 ASHFoundation grant competitions. However, the investigator remains eligible to submit to other ASHFoundation grant competitions in the same year, if proposing to investigate a different topic.
A review panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following five criteria:
- Significance: The potential for the study to advance the discipline of communication sciences and disorders and to impact clinical needs relevant to audiology or speech-language pathology. Its significance as an early step in a research area of concentration must be clear and viable.
- Approach: The merits of the design for accomplishing the specific aims of the study and, if applicable, the potential challenges of moving the study toward completion. The appropriateness and feasibility of a detailed account of the method, including measurement and data-analysis plans, will be considered relative to the award size.
- Investigator: The perceived ability to carry out the study in one year, reflected by appropriate training, experience, and past accomplishments. The investigator outlines clear and detailed management and budget plans.
- Environment: The extent to which the investigator has access to needed scientific facilities, resources, personnel, and participants.
- Innovation: The refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, methods, or interventions leading to high impact on the discipline.
Reviewers will assign scores on a 1–9 scale for each criterion, as well as an Overall Impact score based on all five criteria. The Overall Impact score tends to reflect reviewers' assessment of whether the proposed study will be completed competently, be disseminated appropriately, will advance the investigator's research program for future funding, and has the potential to impact the discipline.
The five criteria contribute differentially to the Overall Impact score to correspond to the goals and funding level of the grant competition. A tightly designed, feasible study is most appropriate for the New Investigators Research Grant competition.
For new investigators, for example, Approach would be more heavily weighted and Innovation would be less heavily weighted. The promise of the Investigator will be highly prioritized but will be evaluated in comparison to other new researchers in the discipline based on the investigator's ability to clearly describe the activities and timeline necessary to complete the study in one year.
Proposal text should be single-spaced and placed in ONE PDF document containing all required sections in the order indicated. Additional attachments will not be accepted. Please use stated titles (below) as section headers. Selected font should be 12 point and uncondensed, and margins should be least 1 inch.
- Investigator Letter (limit 2 pages)
Provide a letter of application addressed to the "Grant Review Committee." Explain briefly why you are pursuing the proposed study, the specific aims of the proposed research, and how the study fits into your career development plan. Include, as appropriate, information relative to your research interests and activities to date. Specifically indicate how your institution will support your research efforts. (Please note that this letter is not intended to be a replication of the detailed investigator biographical sketch.)
If this proposal is a revision of a prior submission to the ASHFoundation, the Investigator Letter must address how the proposal has been revised to respond to the prior set of reviews.
- Abstract (limit 1 page)
Concisely describe the study's specific aims, methodology, and long-term objectives, making reference to the scientific disciplines involved. Relate the study to future research and its potential impact on audiology and/or speech-language pathology.
- Research Plan (limit 10 pages)
Specific Aims: Present the problem or issue to be addressed and the objectives of the proposed investigation. Include research questions and/or hypotheses.
Significance of Research: Outline the significance of the existing need and the importance of the proposed study in understanding, remediating, or compensating for the problem. Address the potential impact of the study’s activities on the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.
Design Methods, Procedures, and Evaluation: Provide both a description and a justification for the study design, including participants, measurement techniques, instrumentation, data analysis, and evaluation procedures. Address ecological validity, if the type of research warrants this. Address potential challenges that could impact completion of the study. This section should provide enough detail for reviewers to make informed judgments about the soundness of the proposed research procedures.
Facilities and Resources: Describe the facilities, resources, personnel, and participants available to you for carrying out the proposed study.
- References and/or Appendices (as appropriate, limit 2 pages)
- Management Plan and Budget (limit 2 pages)
Provide an outline of study activities and timelines. The study start date will be December 1, 2020. Incorporate the ASHFoundation final report deadline (see above Required Report section) into the management timeline. Justify budget items for direct expenses. Funding will not cover institutional overhead and indirect costs. In addition, funding may not be directed to travel expenses for conventions or meetings. Funding will be disbursed in U.S. currency to investigators in the United States or Canada.
- Investigator Biographical Sketch (limit 5 pages)
Provide an NIH-style biographical sketch. A form and sample are available on the NIH website [DOC]. Adapt the form as appropriate for the investigator profile.
- Human Subjects
If the study will use human participants, include the consent form(s) and a copy of the Institutional Review Board's (IRB) approval.
If the IRB approval is not available at time of proposal submission, you should explain the status of the IRB approval process and ensure that approval documents are sent to the ASHFoundation as soon as IRB approval is granted, but not later than August 31, 2020.
It is essential to start the IRB approval process early. A lack of IRB determination by August 31, 2020, will automatically disqualify the proposal from funding consideration. The investigator assumes full responsibility for meeting these requirements.
If the IRB approval will not be available until the deadline of August 31, 2020, the investigator should provide the following information (limit 3 pages):
Describe the characteristics of the participant population, including the anticipated number, age range, gender, ethnic background, and health status.
Identify sources of research materials in the form of specimens, records, and/or data.
Describe plans for the recruitment of participants and the consent procedures to be followed.
Describe the potential risks to participants (e.g., physical, psychological, social, legal, or other).
Describe the procedures for protecting against or minimizing potential risks to participants, including risks to confidentiality.
Discuss why risks to participants are reasonable in relation to the anticipated benefits and to the importance of possible resulting knowledge.
- Letter of Institutional Commitment
Submit a letter addressed to the "Grant Review Committee" from your current supervisor in your employment setting indicating that the proposed study is endorsed and will not present a conflict of interest with your current responsibilities and commitments.
- Letters of Support (optional)
If applicable, provide letters of support from cooperating agencies and key personnel (i.e., other collaborators and consultants) involved in the research study.