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Grants to USA Early-Career Investigators for Research to Improve
the Health of Pregnant Women, Mothers, and Newborns

Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award (BOC)

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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March of Dimes

Deadline Date:

06/30/22 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time


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Grants to USA early-career investigators affiliated with institutions for research to improve the health of pregnant women, mothers, and newborns. Priority will be given to proposals addressing health equity and preterm birth. All proposals must have a direct link to clinical translation. The eventual goal to cure or greatly mitigate conditions that adversely impact the health of pregnant people and newborns is required.

March of Dimes invites requests for applications for impactful research studies that will advance its translational understanding of, or lead to improved clinical treatment of, any serious medical conditions that affect the health of a woman’s pregnancy and/or mothers and newborns within the first year postpartum.

All applications should clearly outline a path from discovery to functional studies to clinical translation. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186155

Estimated Size of Grant:

This award includes a $150,000 grant.

Term of Contract:

The award is $150,000 for two years.

- October 1, 2022 Award start date
- September 30, 2024 Award end date

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award is intended to be an early career grant to young investigators who are just embarking on an independent research career. Eligibility is thus restricted as follows:

- MD or MD/PhD applicants should be four to nine years past the last year of clinical training required for medical specialty board certification and must hold a full-time tenure-track faculty position (or equivalent) at their current U. S. based institution.
Please note: This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on early career investigators in particular, the March of Dimes will grant a one year extension to investigators on their eligibility window (i.e. it will now be four to ten years past their last year of clinical training).
- For PhD scientists, the same timeline applies, but the four to nine year window begins upon completion of their terminal degree. They must have either primary or secondary appointments in clinical departments related to maternal or child health.
Please note: This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on early career investigators in particular, the March of Dimes will grant a one year extension to investigators on their eligibility window (i.e. it will now be four to ten years post the completion of their terminal degree).
- Applicants who have transition faculty-mentored awards (e.g. K99/R00) are welcome if they still have one year of the mentored portion. If not, application should be deferred. K12 and K08 grantees are encouraged to apply.
- Candidates may not simultaneously hold a grant for any other March of Dimes research program.
- Applicants may not have total grant support exceeding $200,000 per year before the BOC award start date (e.g. R01).
- Those who have previously submitted an application to the Basil O’Connor program are not eligible for resubmission.
Please note: Requests for exceptions on timing may be submitted to Courtney Dower.

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- April 20, 2022 Application portal opened
- June 30, 2022 Application portal closed
- September 20, 2022 Notification of award
- October 1, 2022 Award start date
- September 30, 2024 Award end date

All submissions must be made by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on the deadline date in order to be considered.

The entire process must be completed online. Each application should be accompanied by a Letter of Nomination from the applicant’s Dean, Chair, or Director of their affiliated Institute or Center.
- Deans, Chairs of Departments, or Directors of Institutes/Centers may submit nominations for this award. Included in the letter of nomination should be: Nominator’s name, academic appointment, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address. The nomination letter should be submitted via the online system.

All awardees are expected to attend local and national March of Dimes events during the award, and alumni sessions for the two years following.

For related resources and templates, see

Contact Information:

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

Submit a Nomination Online:

Please direct any questions to

Requests for exceptions on timing (e.g. parental leave) may be submitted to Courtney Dower at

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

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