Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research - 2019

Please note, only 2 applications from each department (and 2 applications from each division within the department of medicine) will be considered. Please seek approval from your department chair or division chief before submitting your application.


Research Focus

The three-year Award supports newly independent faculty engaged in basic biomedical research. Investigators in the physical sciences (physics, chemistry and engineering) whose projects focus on biomedical science are also encouraged to apply. Clinical research is beyond the scope of this Program.

In recognition of the importance of research collaboration within the scientific community, collaboration is an additional, but not required, positive ancillary factor. These projects may involve researchers within and/or outside the applicant’s institution.


Eligibility Requirements

United States citizenship is not required.

Applications will be accepted from full-time faculty who have received or will receive their first independent faculty appointment on or between July 1, 2017 and December 1, 2019.

For the purpose of this Award, the first independent faculty appointment is the first faculty appointment after completing either postdoctoral fellowship training (for PhDs) or an ACGME-certified subspecialty training program, or equivalent (for MDs and MD, PhDs).

If an Applicant has been on medical or family leave, or if research was interrupted for other reasons, this period of absence does not count towards eligibility. Please address any gaps in work history in the Personal Statement on the Biosketch. The Department or Division Chair’s letter must also confirm the leave of absence as well as applicant eligibility.

All applicants must have completed their postdoctoral training by the funding start date of December 1, 2019.

The Applicant’s level of independence is critical. The Department or Division Chair’s letter must be very clear about the Applicant’s autonomy. Space, start-up package, and institutional commitment will be used in evaluating independence. Although it is expected that a national search will have been conducted for this position, candidates may have been promoted within their current institutions. If the Applicant was promoted internally, the Chair must clarify why a national search was not conducted.

Institutional commitment is also important. In addition to describing the Applicant’s qualifications, the Department or Division Chair must explain how the institution will contribute to the Applicant’s research career.


Current, Pending and Post Award Funding

Concurrent Federal and Non-Federal Support

Applicants are ineligible if, at the time of application, they have combined federal and non-federal funding totaling $500,000 or more in direct costs in either of the first two years (12/1/19 - 11/30/20 or 12/1/20 - 11/30/21) of the three-year Smith Award. This figure refers to external funding only and not an Applicant’s start-up package, other intramural support or the Smith Award.

Applicants are also ineligible if they were previously or are currently a Principal Investigator or Co-P.I. on an R01, P01, Pioneer Award, New Innovator Award or similar large awards from other federal agencies or national foundations.

Pending Federal and Non-Federal Support

Applicants who have pending R01s or other large applications to the NIH and other agencies are encouraged to submit proposals to the Smith Family Foundation.

If notified on or prior to 9/1/2019 that they have been successful in securing federal or non-federal grant support which, when combined with other support, totals $500,000 or more in direct costs in either of the first two years of the Smith Award, applications to the Program will be ineligible for review. Notification of funding after 9/1/19 will not impact eligibility for a Smith Family Award. It is the responsibility of all applicants to contact as soon as any new funding is received.


Award Selection Criteria

  • The Scientific Review Committee uses the following criteria to evaluate applications:
  • A clearly stated hypothesis, based on sound precedents and supported by relevant literature
  • Objectives that are technically feasible and personnel who are qualified to carry out the proposed research
  • Project’s scientific merit and the applicant’s familiarity with the pertinent literature and the work of other investigators in his/her field of study
  • Applicant’s potential to carry out independent research and clear ability to develop a sound research plan
  • Applicant’s level of independence and Institutional commitment to her/him

Typically, up to 10% of submissions are funded.


If you have any questions regarding the internal application or selection process to chose the BWH nominees for this award, please contact Trey Toombs (

Applications accepted from 06/13/2019 12PM to 07/08/2019 11PM.