How To Apply For A Research Award


Organizations recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) are eligible to apply for Foundation grants. Public governmental institutions such as universities are included in this definition. Organizations must also be determined not to be private foundations under Internal Revenue Code 509. No grants are made to individuals. With few exceptions, only organizations with principal operations in the United States and its territories are eligible for funding. Within the United States, there is no geographic limitation to the Foundation’s grantmaking.

1 Submit a Concept Paper

The Concept paper provides a brief summary of the project, enabling the Foundation to assess how well the proposed research fits with the Foundation’s interests. Papers will be evaluated to determine the relevance of the proposed project to the Foundation’s programs and to provide advice when submitting a full proposal. The concept paper does NOT include scientific references, biosketches, or CV’s. The concept paper should be written in lay terms.

Click here to view information required in the concept paper.

Concept Paper Format

Concept papers are due May 15 and November 15 of each year. Determination of interest is generally made within three weeks. The Concept paper provides a brief summary of the project, enabling the Foundation to assess how well the proposed research fits with the Foundation’s interests. Papers will be evaluated to determine the relevance of the proposed project to the Foundation’s programs and to provide advice when submitting a full proposal.

Concept papers include:

  • A cover letter written by a senior officer of the applying organization or from the department chair to which the principal investigator is assigned. The letter should include a brief introduction to the investigator(s), the goals of their research, and why they believe this project is a fit with The Gerber Foundation.
  • Project title
  • Length of study (Maximum 3 years)
  • Estimated requested amount (Non-itemized. Limit $350,000 on grants with no more than $125,000/year. Limit of $20,000 on Novice research grants)
  • Estimated total cost (This may be more than the requested amount if other funds will be used to complete all objectives.)
  • Number and type of subjects to be studied
  • Age range of subjects
  • Impact or expected outcomes: Describe how results will benefit clinical practice (how a practitioner will use the information) and provide a projection of the number of years before findings may be put into place in clinical practice. Describe how expected outcomes will improve the health and/or nutrition of infants and young children. (2500 characters or about 1/4 page)
  • Background information: Describe any background information available on the topic, prior studies, need for this study, etc. (2500 characters or about 1/4 page)
  • Hypothesis(es) to be tested. (2500 characters or about 1/4 page)
  • Study design: Identify the type of design – randomized, observational, proof of concept, etc.
  • Project protocol: Describe the basic design of the study, including information about study groups, measures and sample collection, time points of collection, and primary outcomes to be evaluated. This is the most important section and should be the primary focus of the concept paper. (7500 characters or about 1.5 pages)
  • There is a place to add additional information if an explanation is required for specific items in the concept paper.
  • Click here for a sample view of a Concept Paper layout.

2 Submit a Full Proposal

If the concept paper is accepted, continue with submission of the full proposal using the online application tool. The Full Proposal provides an in depth description of the project, enabling the Foundation to assess the scientific merit and quality of the research. Both lay and medical professionals will review the proposal. Medical jargon should be limited, where feasible. (Please use lay terminology).

Click here to view information required in the full proposal.

Full Proposal Format

The proposal includes the following information: Each heading here refers to a tab in the application system.

Project Information

  1. Covering letter, signed by a senior administrative official of the applying organization, briefly describing the applicant and endorsing the project. Note: this carries over from the concept paper but you have the option to delete it and upload a new one if you wish.
  2. Synopsis/abstract of the proposal, including hypotheses, methods, and expected outcomes.
  3. Planned target enrollment by year and by group
  4. Hypothesis(es) and objective(s)
  5. Uploaded proposal narrative (Limit 15 pages, double spaced in pdf format). This is the main source of proposal information and should include:
    • Goals, objectives, and methods to be used
    • Size of the population to be studied in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, the source of subjects, and the recruitment process
    • Description of evaluation measures in place or planned to assess project results and outcomes
    • Expected impact of the project nationally or regionally, potential for project replication or ways in which the project responds to the Foundation’s preference for broad impact projects.
  6. Uploaded schedule/timeline of events (in pdf format). Include time periods for achieving enrollment targets of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.
  7. Outcomes/measures to be used
  8. Plan for acknowledging Foundation support

Team Information

  1. List of team members and contact information
  2. Uploaded biosketches of principal investigator and significant support staff
  3. Novice researchers should include their mentor in the team list and provide a biosketch for the mentor


  1. Uploaded line item project budget. A budget template is available in the application system. If a multi-year project, travel to a conference is not allowed in year one. Indirect costs are limited to 10%. Salaries: Percentage of time applied to grant for PI and Co-PI’s will not exceed 30% per person. Base salaries for PI and Co-PI’s will not exceed the base salary imposed for NIH grants.
  2. Plan for project funding, including a description of any current or requested funding from other major donors.
  3. Budget summary including description of duties of investigator and major staff

Organization Information

  1. Pre-award contact information (Development officer)
  2. Uploaded brief description of applying organization, its current programs, services, and population(s) served
  3. Uploaded board roster, indicating names and affiliations of the organization’s governing board
  4. Uploaded most recent Independent Audited Financial Statement. This must include the balance sheet, statement of revenues, and cash flow statement. Do not send internal or governmental audits.
  5. Uploaded IRS documentation indicating that the applying organization is tax exempt and is not a private foundation (for non-government agencies)

Other Documents

  1. Uploaded statement of collaborations with other institutions (sub-contracts, etc.)
  2. Uploaded Informed Consent documentation for human subject studies. Please provide a draft if not approved yet.
  3. Uploaded Scientific references
  4. Optional items (uploaded)
    • Letters of support from organizations with key input or interest in the project
    • Relevant news articles
    • Organization’s annual report
    • Organization newsletters

Individuals seeking assistance with their proposal may contact the Foundation at any time.

3 Funding Decision

The primary contact on the application is notified of project approval or denial via email from the application system. Only proposals that are recommended for funding by the review committee will be considered by the Foundation Board. Recommendations are based on the evaluations of committee members and external expert review. These reviews ensure that proposals considered for funding meet the high standards of quality and effective research sought by the Foundation. If approved, project start dates may fall as early as July 1 or January 1 (Start dates are dependent on finalization of the grant agreement and IRB approvals at the institution.

Novice Researchers

Applications for Novice grants follow the same process as regular grants and are limited to no more than $20,000 in total (inclusive of indirects). They are identified by the amount requested in the application.

Novice Eligibility

Eligible applicants include physicians, PhD candidates, PharmD candidates, and other similar degree candidates:

  • in a residency or fellowship training program or those who are no more than one year post training
  • have not received a K award from the National Institutes of Health
  • have an assigned mentor for the project and a current development plan

Applicants who hold or have received a K award from the National Institutes of Health are not eligible to apply to the Gerber Foundation under this program.

Projects need to be under the guidance of a mentor. The qualifications and experience of the mentor will be a consideration during evaluation of the application.

Budget Guidelines for Novice Research Grant

  • A maximum of $20,000 (inclusive of indirects) per project will be awarded under the Novice Researcher Award program.
  • Indirect costs are limited to no more than 10% of the total direct costs.
  • No more than ½ of the total budget may be applied to salary for the developing researcher (including fringe benefits).
  • The remainder of the funds are to be used for research-related expenses, including supplies.
  • The cost of attendance at one conference to report findings resulting from the project is allowed during the grant period. Travel costs for this conference may not exceed $2,000.

Researchers may contact the Foundation at any time during the application process for assistance or guidance with their submission. Contact 231.924.3175 or