PKD Foundation Fellowship RFA

Overview of Program Goals and Scope

For decades, the PKD Foundation has funded research aimed at accelerating treatments to patients with the vision to #endpkd. We are excited to announce a Request for Applications (RFA) for fellowships, to be funded at $60,000 a year for two years.

The PKD Foundation is interested in fostering research in the areas relevant to polycystic kidney disease (PKD) with the goal of furthering our understanding of the physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic mechanisms of this disease. This fellowship is designed to facilitate young investigators to obtain significant research experience as they initiate careers in polycystic kidney disease research. This program is intended to assure the continuity over time of outstanding investigators committed to the study of PKD.

Important Dates

  • Application deadline – Jan. 7, 2019
  • Review period – January to April 2019
  • Applicant notification – May 2019
  • Funding cycle – July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021

Program Specifics:


Fellows may submit a proposal that examines any aspect of polycystic kidney disease biology. Applicants must:

  1. Hold an M.D. or Ph.D or the equivalent degree.
  2. May not have completed more than four years of research training (excluding clinical training) after completion of the M.D. (or equivalent) or postdoctoral research training after the Ph.D. at the time the award begins. This does not include medical leave or FMLA.
  3. Complete research under the direction and mentorship of a sponsor.
  4. Not hold another full fellowship award although institutional supplemental support is acceptable.
  5. Commit a minimum of 75% of time to research during the fellowship period.

Selection Procedure

All applications are evaluated by the PKD Foundation’s Grants Review Committee, comprised of members of the Scientific Advisory Committee and independent outside reviewers. Applications are reviewed and given a priority score based on the scientific merit of the project, its relevance to PKD research, and the training potential of the applicant. The training potential of the applicant will also include the selection of a mentor committed to supervising the interpretation and presentation of research data. Funding of awards is based on the priority score, the recommendations of the Grants Review Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee, and the availability of funds. Final review and approval rests with the Board of Trustees.

Reporting Requirements

Grantees must submit an interim research and budget progress report 1-2 pages in length at the close of year one. As part of this report, a brief (one or two paragraph) summary written for the lay public must be included. Although fellowship awards are for a two year period, the PKD Foundation reserves the right to terminate any award if the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee determines there has been inadequate progress during the first year of the award.

Within ninety (90) days of the expiration of the final grant period, the grantee must submit a final research report which must include a detailed explanation of all outcomes and a financial status report. As a part of the research report, there must be a summary (one page) written for the lay public.  Copies of all publications and/or news releases concerning the fellow and their research must also be submitted. 

The financial officer of the sponsoring institution must also submit a cumulative final accounting within 45 days of completion or termination of the grant. Any unexpended funds must be returned to the PKD Foundation within ninety (90) days from the termination of the grant.


A stipulation to all awards is appropriate attribution of the PKD Foundation in any publication, news release, presentation, etc. that results from work funded by the award. The PKD Foundation must also receive a copy of the publication and/or news release.

Intellectual Property Policy

All research projects funded by the PKD Foundation are subject to its intellectual property policy. Details can be found here. By accepting a PKD Foundation award for a research project, the Principal Investigator or other personnel contributing to and working on the project, as well as the Institution(s) with which they are affiliated, agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this policy.

Liability Policy & Reporting Responsibilities

The PKD Foundation serves as a grantor not a sponsor for research grant projects. For those involving human subjects, the responsibility for liability issues and all reporting requirements including local, state and federal regulations and requirements including those of the FDA, will reside with the sponsoring institution, not the PKD Foundation. 

Conflict of Interest

Any relationship between the investigators and any industrial collaborator must be disclosed in the application.

Application Sections

Our application for 2019 has now closed. See below for sections included in the application.   

  1. Intro Page (one page): basic information including contact details and project title.
  2. Applicant Biosketch (5 pages): NIH style including other support
  3. Lay Summary (100-150 words): a description of the project in layperson terms. Be as clear and non-technical as possible, avoiding scientific terms. This information will be reviewed by non-scientific and non-medical individuals; it is helpful to pretend you are describing your project to a friend or new acquaintance that is not in the field.
  4. Project Plan:
    1. Abstract (500 words)
    2. Specific aims (including relevance to PKD research; one single page)
    3. Research strategy including Preliminary data, Experimental design, and Pitfalls. (up to 3 pages)
    4. References (citations of relevant publications; no page limit).
  5. Sponsor Biosketch (5 pages)
  6. Letters of Support (no page limit) including:
    1. Letter of support from a sponsor (should be the same person who submitted Biosketch): should include the following items in any order:
      1. Specific comment on the role the candidate had in preparing the application for research funding
      2. A description of the training plan for the fellow during the fellowship years.
      3. A description of the training environment
      4. Is the fellow likely to pursue a career in research?
      5. How will the proposed research provide the applicant with the necessary skills and training to pursue an independent research career after the training period?
      6. What are the future career expectations for the applicant?
      7. In addition, the letter should detail the applicant’s previous training to allow assessment of eligibility and career potential.  The sponsor should describe their experience in training post-doctoral applicants.
    2. Two additional letters of reference (no page limit): These letters should be written by individuals familiar with the candidate’s scientific interests and abilities.
  7. Budget: include all line-items to be paid for by PKDF funds. No indirect costs can be included in this budget. See the sample template.
  8. Signed IRB Approval and summary of the clinical protocol, if applicable (single page)
  9. Signed IACUC Approval of animal use protocol, if applicable (can be pending but must be approved by the time the funds are awarded)

If you have any questions, please contact