AACAP Pilot Research Award for Learning Deficits in Psychiatric Disorders, supported by AACAP’s Elaine Schlosser Lewis Fund
The availability of all awards is contingent upon the receipt of adequate funding.
Request for Applications - Deadline: April 1, 2024
The AACAP Pilot Research Award for Learning Deficits in Psychiatric Disorders, supported by AACAP’s Elaine Schlosser Lewis Fund, offers $15,000 for child and adolescent psychiatry fellows and early career faculty who have an interest in beginning a career in child and adolescent psychiatry research. By providing up to two awards to a child and adolescent psychiatry early career faculty member or fellow for pilot research on psychiatric conditions that involve learning dysfunction or research that examines the impact of psychiatric disorders on learning, cognitive development, or academic functioning, we support a young investigator at a critical stage, encouraging a future career in child and adolescent psychiatry research. The recipient has the opportunity to submit a poster presentation on their research for AACAP’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, October 20-25, 2025. The award also includes travel support to attend the AACAP Annual Meeting for up to five days.
- Candidates must be board eligible/certified in child and adolescent psychiatry or enrolled in a general or child psychiatry residency or fellowship program and the project must involve research related to learning problems/disorders as broadly considered, including, but not limited to: (1) ADHD, (2) specific learning disorders/challenges, or (3) cognitive functioning in typical development, across development, or in specific mental health conditions.
- Candidates must have a faculty appointment in an accredited medical school or be in a fully accredited general psychiatry residency program or child and adolescent psychiatry clinical research or training program.
- At the time of application, candidates may not have more than two years of research experience following graduation from residency/fellowship training.
- Candidates must not have any previous significant, individual research funding in the field of child and adolescent mental health. These include the following: NIMH/NIH Funding (Small Grants, R-01) or similar foundation or industry research funding. Candidates who have received or are currently receiving "T32" funding support are eligible to apply. Previous AACAP Pilot Research Award recipients are eligible to apply.
- Candidates must either be AACAP members or have a membership application pending (not paid by the award) and agree to submit a poster presentation on their research for AACAP’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, October 20-25, 2025.
A proposal, no more than seven pages (single spaced, no less than 12 pt. font and 1" margins), including four pages of research strategy, a one-page detailed project timeline, a one-page budget and justification, and one page addressing the inclusion or exclusion of women and minorities. (References may exceed the page limit).
- The research strategy should include the following sections: significance and specific aims; hypotheses; background and rationale; and a research plan (including data analysis plan). All modalities of pre-clinical, epidemiological, or clinical investigation will be considered, including but not limited to (a) brain/behavior mechanisms, (b) genetics/epigenetics/microbiome, (c) medication, therapy, alternative/complementary treatments, (d) community participatory/patient centered/implementation science, and others.
- The detailed project timeline should list tentative dates of all procedures for the proposed research project. These include but are not limited to: data collection processes; analysis of results; and final report writing.
- The budget should contain sufficient detail so that each item can be separately judged. Computer related items (e.g., personal computers, printers, modems, etc.) are extremely unlikely to receive budget approval. No salary support for the principal investigator will be provided. No indirect costs for the institution will be provided. Typical budget items may include but are not limited to: subject honoraria and travel expenses; instrumentation costs; assay and lab test costs; and/or payment to research assistants.
- If women or minorities will not be included, detailed justification of the rationale for their exclusion is mandatory. Such exclusion may lower enthusiasm for the proposal.
A letter of support from section chief or department chair.
A letter of support from the proposed mentor.
Candidate's current curriculum vitae.
Mentor’s curriculum vitae.
Letter detailing any current research funding (role on project, title, type of project, and source of funds).
(Human and Animal Subjects must be verified at time of award and do not need to be included with the application.)
The award recipient is encouraged to work with a child and adolescent psychiatric investigator with expertise in their particular area of interest. Work must be completed within one year of receipt of the award. Submission of the pilot data is due in June 2025. Funding is up to $15,000 beginning on August 1, 2024 and ending October 31, 2025. (the time the award-funded research is presented at the 2025 AACAP Annual Meeting). Any unused funds must be returned to AACAP. All awardees are expected to attend any required events at the Annual Meeting at AACAP’s discretion.
AACAP has the right to waive informalities.
All completed applications and attachments must be submitted by April 1, 2024.
Applications will be reviewed by senior investigators with experience in related work in child and adolescent psychiatry research. Prior to the scientific review process, applications will undergo an administrative review process.
- Administrative Review – Applications will be reviewed for submission of all application materials. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded for scientific review. Please ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and have submitted all requested application materials before finalizing your application.
- Scientific Review – Applications will undergo a scientific review process by senior child and adolescent psychiatry researchers. A selection committee made up of members of the Research Committee will review applications. Members of the Research Committee are eligible for the award if they do not serve on the selection committee. The review criteria are as follows:
- Significance: The study addresses an important problem.
- Approach: The study is adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project.
- Innovation: The project is original and innovative.
- Investigator: The investigator is well suited to carry out this work.
- Environment: The scientific environment in which the work will be done and the mentor with whom the work will be done contribute to the probability of success.
- Feasibility: The project is doable in the allotted time.
- Mentorship: At least one of the mentor(s) selected have the appropriate research experience and the time available to provide guidance and oversight of the project.
- Career Development: Given the candidate's career development plan, this award will impact the trajectory of the candidate's career.
- Diversity: The candidate is a member of an underrepresented population in clinical research according to NIH definition.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Letters of support must be uploaded by the endorser (i.e., section chief or department chair, and mentor). Please notify endorsers of this process and the application deadline.
For more information contact the Department of Research, Grants, and Workforce at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 966-7300.