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Innovator Awards

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Investigators
for Innovative Research on Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Kenneth Rainin Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA, Canada, and International investigators affiliated with nonprofit and for-profit research institutions, medical centers, and universities to support high-risk research on inflammatory bowel disease. Applicants are required to submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. This program challenges investigators to push boundaries to further the goal of preventing and predicting inflammatory bowel disease.

Through the Innovator Awards, the Foundation invests in new and veteran IBD researchers and embraces novel, untested ideas. Funding interests span the spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical science. The Foundation believes substantive collaboration provides the best approach to accelerating the understanding of IBD and improving patient care.

To date, the Foundation has funded the following areas through Innovator Awards:

    • Bioengineering
    • Diet and Nutrition
    • Epithelial Cell/Molecular Biology
    • Fecal Microbiota Transplant
    • Immunity and Inflammation
    • Microbiome
    • Therapeutic Development and Delivery

    Funding criteria include:

    • Innovation
    • Scientific merit
    • Strong evidence of collaboration
    • Investigator capability to execute project

    Basic Science: If the research proposal is rooted in basic science, applicants are encouraged to collaborate with investigators who can further the potential for translation of the ideas and findings.

    Translational Science: If the research proposal is translational by nature, applicants are encouraged to identify industry and clinical partners to assist in propelling the research toward clinical study.

    Clinical Science: If you are looking to submit a clinical research proposal, applicants are encouraged to collaborate with individuals who could facilitate potential clinical implementation.

    GrantWatch ID#:

    GrantWatch ID#: 182892

    Estimated Size of Grant:

    The Innovator Award is for a maximum of $200,000. The budget must reflect the total amount requested, up to $200,000, which may include up to 10% for indirect costs.

    Principal Investigator Salary:
    The maximum amount allowed for the Principal Investigator’s salary is $10,000 USD. If co-investigator(s) are listed on the proposal, the maximum salary support for all Investigators is $20,000 total. This maximum value does not apply to other research personnel (e.g. post-doctoral fellows, research associates, students) to be funded by the award.

    Term of Contract:

    The Innovator Awards program provides grants for one-year research projects. Recipients who demonstrate significant progress may receive up to two additional years of support.

    The award period starts October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year.

    Additional Eligibility Criteria:

    Eligible Researchers:
    Researchers from any scientific discipline worldwide are eligible for funding. Typically, the researchers funded hold advanced degrees (MD, PhD or the equivalent) and academic positions at universities, medical centers or research institutions. Innovator Awards may have only one principal investigator, and funding is awarded to their home institution; however, additional investigators may be listed as co-investigators.

    Eligible Institutions:
    All non-profit institutions that are invited to submit a full proposal must provide evidence of tax exempt 501(c)3 status and must be classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a)(3).

    Non-profit institutions outside of the United States will be required to undergo Equivalency Determination with NGOsource if awarded funding.

    For-profit institutions must demonstrate that their proposed project furthers the Foundation’s charitable mission of promoting scientific and medical research. The Foundation may upon occasion make grants to government and public agencies, as well as to independent projects that have a qualified tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.

    The Foundation does not fund: direct assistance to individuals or individual sponsorships; sports, athletic events or league sponsorships; advertising or promotional sponsorships; deficits or retroactive funding; fraternal organizations; organizations that discriminate based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender.

    Pre-Application Information:

    2020 Innovator Awards Deadlines:
    - Letter of Inquiry: Opens January 15 and closes February 18, 2020 at 5:00 PM (PST)
    - Notification of Letter of Inquiry Status: May 1
    - Full Proposal (by invitation only): Due June 1, 2020
    - Awards Announcement: August 2020
    - Grant Period: October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021

    All grant application materials must be submitted using the Foundation’s online application system, which is only open during the grant submission window. The grant application template and questions are not available outside of our application timeframe.

    Applying for an Innovator Award is a two-step process.
    1. Letter of Inquiry (Available: January 15 – February 18, 2020, 5:00pm PST)
    2. Full Innovator Award Proposal: Full proposals are by invitation only and consist of an expanded description of project objectives, methodologies and milestones to test the innovative idea, project budget, and disclosure of other financial support.

    The principal investigator is required to attend Rainin Foundation’s annual Innovations Symposium in the year of the award. The Rainin Foundation encourages a trainee from each funded project to attend the Symposium. The annual Innovations Symposium is a two to three-day meeting held each year in July. The 2020 Symposium will be held Sunday, July 26 – Tuesday, July 28 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

    Use of Human and Animal Subjects:
    Grant recipients using human or animal subjects must provide documentation of approval from the appropriate review committee within 90 days of award start date.


    Awards Calendar:

    Innovations Symposium:

    Contact Information:

    Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

    Apply online:

    For questions about the Innovator Awards program, contact:
    Laura Wilson, PhD, Director, Health Strategy & Ventures

    URL for Full Text (RFP):

    Geographic Focus:

    USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

    USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

    USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

    Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


    International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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