Research Initiative Awards

Deadline: Spring 2015

The American Epilepsy Society has established a novel grant opportunity for its membership that will provide seed support to encourage innovative basic or clinical research associated with the epilepsy field. Awards from the Research Initiative Fund will be given to AES members who are established investigators.

  • "Established" means associate professor level and above, or assistant professor with secure grant funding
  • "Innovative" means that the proposed research represents a new direction for the investigator, and is sufficiently novel that funding would not be available from NIH or other standard funding sources.
  • Incorporation of collaborative aspects to innovative research awards are encouraged, but not required. "Collaborative" means that the proposed project requires the participation of one or more investigators outside the candidate’s area of expertise, preferably in a different department or a different institution.

The objective of these awards is to encourage established investigators to think "outside the box" and involve other established investigators who may not now be working in the field of epilepsy. Members who are candidates for an Epilepsy Foundation Junior Investigator Award or AES and EF research or training fellowships will not be considered.

Requests for carry-over of up to 20 percent of initial funding may be submitted at the end of the 12 months of funding. Otherwise, any remaining funds unexpended at the end of the 12 month period must be returned.

The number of awardswill depend on available funds. Awards will be made based on the proposed budget, with an anticipated award of $30,000 – $50,000 per project. Up to three projects will be funded each year. Only AES members are eligible to apply as PI (although not all participating collaborators must be AES members). Letters of intent will be submitted for a Spring 2015 deadline, and reviewed by a senior research committee appointed by the AES president.

Application Procedures and Information (Only AES members are eligible for the Award.)

  1. Members interested in applying for a Research Initiative Award should send a letter of intent by Spring 2015 (date to be determined) explaining why they want to do the project, why this work is not covered by their current research support, and why the intended collaboration is important (max pages 5). In addition you must include a 250-word abstract, a two-page (NIH format) bio-sketch of the PI and a list of current funding, The letter should be e-mailed to  Appropriate proposals will be selected within three weeks and notified immediately.
  2. Selected candidates will then need to submit a complete application within a month of notification for funding in Summer 2015. The application will consist of a single electronic document containing the following:
  • Face page, with basic information about applicant(s) and institution(s) 
  • Plan of activities (9 page max, excluding references), including:
  1. specific aims (1 page)
  2. background/significance (1 page)
  3. research plan (5 pages)
  4. role of collaboration in achieving research goals (1 page)
  5. plans for future funding (1 page)
  • Bio-sketch (2-page, NIH-style) for PI and each collaborating investigator
  • Letter of commitment from each of the collaborating investigators
  • Budget (2-page maximum)
  • Animal care and/or IRB approval (not required in initial application, but must be submitted before the award will be made)
  • No report or summary of the scientific review will be provided to applicants. No institutional overhead will be provided. However, the PI, in consultation with his/her Department chair, may include in the budget a sum of up to 10 percent of the total award as administrative costs.

    Submit application electronically (Word or PDF) to:

    Research Initiative Fund Award Subcommittee of Research & Training Committee