PKD Foundation Fellowship RFA

Overview of Program Goals and Scope

For decades, the PKD Foundation has funded research aimed at accelerating treatments to patients so that one day no one will suffer the full effects of polycystic kidney disease. The Foundation has released a Request for Applications (RFA) for Fellowships, to be funded for $60,000 a year for two years (pending submission of first year report).

The PKD Foundation is interested in fostering research in the area of polycystic kidney disease with the goal of furthering our understanding of the physiological, biochemical and genetic mechanisms of this disease. This fellowship is designed to allow trainees to obtain significant research experience as they initiate careers in polycystic kidney disease research.

The next RFA will be announced in the fall of 2018. 

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 three 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.
  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. 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.  Progress reports will be reviewed by the PKD Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee in order to evaluate the progress of each project.  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 at .  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 process is now online! Please go to our application portal to get started. Your account will allow you to start your application, save it and return later to complete and submit. See below for sections included in the application.   

  1. Profile: general information about yourself
  2. Applicant Biosketch (5 pages): NIH style including other support. PDF document upload.
  3. Lay Summary (150 word limit): a description of the project in lay person 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 (3500 word limit): You can divide up the word count in any way you choose. Below are the sections you must include and suggested word counts. Please include section headers. You are encouraged to draft this section in a word document to more easily track word counts and ensure correct spelling and grammar. Once it is finalized in the word document, you can copy and paste into the online application. All images, graphs, charts etc.(with labels and captions) must be combined into one PDF document and uploaded as an appendix. You should reference each image, chart, graph, etc. by their label in your project plan text. You may also consider adding a caption to explain the image/chat/graph.
    1. Abstract (Suggested 400 words)
    2. Statement of specific aims including relevance to PKD research (Suggested 500 words)
    3. Research strategy including: preliminary data, experimental design and pitfalls. (Suggested 2500 words)
    4. References upload (No Limit)
    5. Appendix upload (No Limit)
  5. Sponsor Biosketch: NIH style PDF upload.
  6. Letters of Support (no length limit): You are required to have a letter of support from your sponsor as well as two additional letters of reference. To obtain these letters, you will send a link (provided in the online application portal) to each reference individually. They will complete the form and upload their letter directly – you should NOT do this part for them as the letters are intended to be blinded. The form and letters must be uploaded by the application deadline for your application to be considered complete. 
    1. Letter of support from 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 length 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
  8. Signed single page IRB Approval sheet and summary of clinical protocol, if applicable
  9. Signed IACUC approved 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 

The application portal is closed and no more applications will be accepted in 2018.