The Research Scholar Award is a career development grant funded by the SHEA Education and Research Foundation to foster novel research projects in healthcare epidemiology. The purpose is to identify and support early investigator research initiatives that align with SHEA’s Research Agenda in the field of healthcare epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship. A grant of up to $40,000 is awarded to the winner.

Eligibility: Grant funding is available for early investigators with a MPH, PhD, PharmD, MD or similar terminal degree and within 5 years of completion of training (questions about eligibility should be sent to epicompetition@shea-online.org). This funding supports a mentored experience and is awarded to applicants who submit proposals that demonstrate new and novel healthcare epidemiology research that aligns with SHEA’s research priorities. The selected winner will be invited to attend IDWeek to receive the award. 

Funding: Each year SHEA expects to fund up to $40,000 for the Research Scholar Award. Projects are supported for one year.  This award will not exceed $40,000 per year.  Judges have the option to award multiple grants to multiple applicants if more than one novel proposal meets or exceeds the expectations of the grant award, and the combined budgets fall within the $40,000 award limit. The grant is administered by SHEA and provides for indirect costs (not to exceed 8% of the total budget) and mentor support.

Review Criteria: The primary criterion for evaluation of applications is the likelihood that the studies proposed will answer an important question relevant to preventing healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance.  Approaches that involve lab based research projects, clinical research, social and behavioral questions, and problems in health policy are equally likely to be considered for funding.  In addition to scientific merit, we will also consider several other secondary criteria in making awards, including whether the research is likely to produce data and results that can be used for the submission of a future application for extramural research support, whether the project is highly relevant to the problems in epidemiology, and whether support is likely to be valuable to the applicant in developing a career as an epidemiologist.  Most, but not all, awards typically go to faculty members who have not yet reached the rank of associate professor.  Proposals may involve lab-based microbial epidemiology projects, clinical epidemiology, testing of pilot interventions or health outcomes research. 

A panel of reviewers will evaluate and score all proposals received by the deadline. The grant award recipient is notified approximately six weeks prior to IDWeek. The awardee will receive a $1,500 stipend to assist with conference registration and travel expenses. The winner will present preliminary results at the annual SHEA Spring Conference following the receipt of the award.

Judges have the option of awarding multiple grants to multiple winners if more than one novel proposal meets or exceeds expectations, and the combined budgets fall within the $40,000 award limit. Although use of the SHEA Research Network is strongly encouraged, eligible proposals are not required to use of the Network for their studies.

Application Procedure: Final proposals in the form of a PDF or Word DOC file, and financial support information must be submitted to epicompetition@shea-online.org by a date to be determined each year. Eligible proposals must include the following information:

  1. Name, institution, credentials, contact address, phone and email
  2. Biographical sketch of early investigator applicant
  3. Biographical sketch of mentor and letter of confirmation
  4. Proposal
    • Project name
    • Specific aims and hypothesis of hypotheses
    • Background and significance of the project
    • Description of research design, methods, analytic plan, and preliminary results (if any) not to exceed 750 words.
    • Brief description of the environment where work will be done
    • Brief description of qualifications to accomplish the work and how the proposed work fits into career and training objectives
    • Indicate that securing IRB in process or is complete, if applicable
  5. A budget estimating the costs to carry out the project (indirect costs should not exceed 8%). The budget must not exceed $40,000.
  6. If considering the use of the SHEA Research Network, please provide a brief description of how it will be used.

All proposals will be reviewed for scientific merit by reviewers with expertise in any given proposed area of inquiry. Review of proposals will be evaluated based on alignment with SHEA's Research Agenda, use of the SHEA Research Network if applicable, project feasibility and the likelihood for funding of a future follow on project. Applicants will be notified by a date determined prior to IDWeek.

Questions regarding administration of the Research Scholar Grant Award should be directed to Lynne Batshon at epicompetition@shea-online.org.