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2014 ATS Foundation/ AAIM-ASP Career Development Award In Geriatrics


This award, co-sponsored by the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) and the Association of Specialty Professors (ASP) will supplement a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), using the R03 mechanism under the funding announcement titled Grants for Early Medical and Surgical Subspecialists’ Transitions to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR).  Applicants for the 2014 ATS Foundation/AAIM-ASP Career Development Award in Geriatrics must first submit an application to the NIA’s R03 GEMSSTAR program

The ATS Foundation/AAIM-ASP grant will provide $25,000/year for up to two years ($50,000 total).

The GEMSSTAR program provides two years of support for small research projects to allow early career physicians trained in medical and surgical subspecialties to establish a research track record in geriatric aspects of their subspecialty. The award will provide an opportunity to gain skills and experience in aging research and help the investigators establish an independent program of research in this field.

The NIA mandates that applicants for the GEMSSTAR grant find external funding support for the required Professional Development Plan (PDP) in order to be eligible for their grant funds.  This ATS Foundation grant provides support for the PDP for applicants investigating Pulmonary and/or Critical Care medicine.

The deadline to apply for this grant is April 17, 2014.


Applicants must:

  • Apply for the NIA’s GEMSSTAR program, and meet all of its eligibility criteria, as described here.  Note that the usual ATS eligibility requirements do NOT apply for this grant.
  • Show proof of a fundable score, as defined by the NIA.
  • Demonstrate US citizenship, or provide proof of permanent resident status.
  • Be a member of ATS at the time award funds are disbursed.
  • Pursue research that is relevant to geriatrics & Pulmonary and/or Critical Care.
  • Have a mentorship team that includes a research mentor, who is a pulmonologist or intensivist that has successfully competed for an NIH independent investigator research grant; and a geriatrics mentor.
  • Have completed a fellowship leading to certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
  • Not currently hold an ATS Foundation grant, or have received 2 ATS Foundation grants in the past.  Career Development Grants are not renewable and previous recipients are not eligible for a second grant.
  • Submit only one PDP.

Review Process

The ATS Scientific Advisory Committee will consider the qualifications of the applicant with respect to prior training, productivity, and independence, as well as the scientific merit of the proposed NIA project. The feasibility of the PDP and the institutional commitment to the development of the applicant as an independent investigator will also be evaluated.  The ATS Scientific Advisory Committee will choose the top two applications, and the AAIM/ASP will select an awardee from these choices.  Applicants will be notified on decisions during the month of May.

Contingency of Funding

This award, offered in collaboration with the NIA GEMSSTAR award, is contingent on the applicant receiving funding from the NIA for the R03 award.  The recipient will receive notification from the NIA as to whether their review score meets the funding cutoff after the NIA National Advisory Council Meeting in May of each year.  If an applicant has not been approved by the NIA National Advisory Council for funding, the applicant will not receive the ATS Foundation/AAIM-ASP Career Development Award in Geriatrics.

Application Instructions

Click here for the applications.

The proposal must follow NIH formatting guidelines:

  • Use Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or George typeface, a black font color, and a font size of at least 11-points. A Symbol font may be used to insert special characters.
  • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch. Use standard paper size (8 ½” x 11). Use at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No information should appear in the margins.
  • Uploaded files must be in Microsoft Word or PDF formats only.

Please note that you will NOT use all the forms available on http://thoracic.org/research/application-documents.php for completion of this proposal.

 An application for the Career Development Grants Program must include:



    Applicants should upload their biosketches using the template available here.


    Applicants must provide a summary, or abstract, of the project that they proposed to the NIA in the textbox.


    The research proposal that the candidate outlined for the NIA will be used to evaluate the candidate's likelihood of transitioning to an independent researcher in geriatrics. Please submit the following sections of the research plan as a single PDF or word document. These sections should be taken DIRECTLY from your NIA R03 proposal with no modifications to its contents.

    a. Introductions to Applications (for applicants who are resubmitting, only)
    b. Specific Aims 
    c. Research Strategy


    Copy and paste the bibliography from your NIA grant into the textbox.


    Upload your completed NIA budget sheet into the available space.  Do not use the ATS budget sheet.


    Please upload:
    1. A formal invitation from the NIA to submit a PDP, if available.
    2. Any NIH reviewer comments and/or scores evaluating your R03 application.

    If any of this information is unavailable, please upload a signed statement stating that you do not have this information.


    This is the portion of the grant that will be co-funded by the ATS Foundation and AAIM. 

    Please review the NIA’s criteria for the PDP:



    The PDP should be tailored to meet the applicant’s individual professional development needs in relation to the R03 application. Moreover, the PDP should specifically describe activities that will augment the applicant’s skills in geriatrics and/or aging research to enable him/her to develop into an independent Pulmonology or Critical Care researcher in the field of aging science.

    In your uploaded file, please address each of the following:

    • Please describe the professional development activities that you will undertake, in addition to the research proposed to the NIA, during the course of this grant.  Please see the list of some of the possible activities below.

    • Discuss how these activities will assist in your development as a Pulmonary and/or Critical Care geriatric specialist.

    • Convince us of the feasibility of your plan.  For example, detail the percent of professional time that you plan to allocate to the activities you describe, and discuss how you will balance these activities with your research and other commitment.

    • Outline a two-year budget, beginning on June 1, 2014 and ending on May 30, 2016, that shows how you will use your PDP funds. The ATS Foundation and AAIM-ASP will contribute up to $25,000/year for two years towards the PDP.

    Although it is not possible to specify precisely what the parts of an individual PDP should be, the NIA encourages inclusion of at least some of the following components.  The following is not an exhaustive list, and applicants can propose activities not listed here:

    • Pursuit of an advanced degree; e.g., PhD, MPH, MS

    • Coursework

    • Defined training plan with milestones; e.g. publications, presentations, abstracts, grant proposals 

    • Participation in local or institutional geriatrics-related activities, such as geriatric specialty clinics, journal clubs, grand rounds, or other relevant educational experiences

    • Participation in CTSA training, K12 or R25 programs, Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center activities, or other NIH-supported programs

    • Protected time consistent with the proposed professional development activities. Please note that a minimum level of protected time is not specified; rather, the amount of protected time should be commensurate with the candidate's professional development needs and proposed activities.


    Applicants must have one or more mentors. The applicant may have:

    I. a) 1 or more mentors that specialize in pulmonary and/or critical care and have successfully competed for independent NIH funding AND
    b) 1 or more mentors that specialize in geriatrics.

    II. One or more mentors that specialize in pulmonary and/or critical care AND have expertise in geriatrics AND have successfully competed for independent NIH funding.

    Please list the following:
    a) Mentor(s) names.
    b) Respective field(s) of specialty (eg: pulmonology or geriatrics)
    c) Dates and project title for most recent NIH-funded grant where the mentor served as Principle Investigator.


    Applicants should upload their mentor’s biosketch using the template available here.


    Applicants are required to have a mentorship team which includes a research mentor, who is a pulmonologist or intensivist that has successfully competed for an NIH independent investigator research grant; and a geriatrics mentor.  Please submit a letter from each of these mentors.  If the candidate only has one mentor who is a pulmonologist or intensivist that specializes in geriatrics, then the second reference letter should be written by a supervisor familiar with the candidate’s scientific interests and abilities. Letters are submitted blindly and can be addressed to the ATS Scientific Advisory Committee.  In addition to providing evidence that the candidate shows potential for independent research, the letters should provide support for the candidate’s career plan.


    This letter should be on institutional letterhead.  It must provide assurance that the candidate:

    • Holds a full-time faculty appointment (including a description of the track).

    • Will have the appropriate resources to conduct the activities outlined in the Professional Development Plan, including protected time to ensure the completion of these activities.


    Many individuals have competing interests that may cause conflicts of interest. Disclosure and review of a potential "conflict of interest" (COI) that might affect an ATS research award doesn't imply that an "outside interest", or a person with such a relationship or interest, is wrong or inappropriate. Nor does it imply criticism of the character or actions of the individual, or of any commercial or non-commercial entities with which an individual may be involved. Rather, ATS COI policies and procedures exist to assure the public of appropriate levels of transparency of the outside interests of participants in official ATS activities, and that official ATS activities are managed in a manner that maintains scientific rigor and independence.

    Disclosure of a real or potential COI will not automatically invalidate an application.

    All personal financial relationships with commercial entities (such as pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers), and/or with non-commercial, non-governmental funders (such as private foundations), that are relevant to the application’s subject matter must be disclosed. Such involvement with relevant commercial entities (companies) includes employment or ownership; consultancy(ies); Board or advisory committee service; service on speakers' bureaus or other acceptance of lecture fees directly paid by the company; expert testimony on behalf of the company; research grants; patents received or pending; royalties; and stock ownership or options (excluding mutual funds unless a sector fund concentrated in an industry or industries relevant to the activity).

    The ATS "Policy on Tobacco Relationships" requires that individuals with a current tobacco industry relationship not hold certain ATS roles, including that of research awardee. (Note: if the relationship is limited to personal holdings of tobacco stocks or options, divestiture of such holdings. See the policy for details.)

    PLEASE RESPOND in the corresponding answer spaces on the online application.

    COI 1A: Have you within the past 12 months had a financial interest in a commercial entity (i.e., a “commercial interest”) that could be considered broadly relevant to the subject matter of this proposal, or do you expect to have one during the duration of the grant award period?

    COI 1B: If yes, please provide the company name(s) and the type of relationship:

    COI 2A: Have you within the past 12 months received financial support from a non-commercial, non-governmental source (such as a private foundation or other non-profit source) that could be perceived as a real or potential conflict of interest relevant to the subject matter of this proposal, and/or do you expect to receive such before the end of the grant award period?

    COI 2B: If yes, please provide the organization name(s) and the type of relationship:

    COI 3A: Have you within the past 12 months had any non-financial affiliation or interest (i.e., a personal, professional or other affiliation or interest) that might be perceived to be a real or potential conflict of interest relevant to the subject matter of this proposal, and/or do you expect to receive such before the end of the grant award period?

    COI 3B: If yes, please provide the company or organization name(s) and the type of relationship:

    COI 4A: Have you within the past 12 months had a professional relationship with a tobacco entity or expect to have one before the end of the grant award period?

    COI 4B: If yes, please provide the company or organization name(s) and the type of relationship:


    After you complete all of the proposal sections, you must print the signature page available here, sign it and have your financial administrator sign it. Then, upload the signed page back onto the application as an attachment. Please only upload one signed page. Please do NOT mail the signature page to the ATS office.