PKD Foundation Research Grant RFA

Overview of Program Goals and Scope


One of the PKD Foundation’s principal goals is the development of clinical interventions for the treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease.  Under this RFA, proposals in the following areas will be accepted:

  • Basic laboratory research aimed at increasing understanding of the genetic and pathological processes involved in PKD
  • Research with an obvious or direct potential to accelerate the development of potential therapies

Donors have made special funding opportunities available for research in the following area. Special consideration will be given to applications that meet these parameters:

  • Research conducted in Canada, made possible by a collaboration with the PKD Foundation of Canada
  • Research conducted in Australia, made possible by a collaboration with the PKD Foundation of Australia

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

Program Specifics

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must have an M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent degree and hold a faculty appointment at the institution where the research will be conducted.  Applicants need not be United States citizens.   No fellowships will be awarded under this RFA, although salary support for personnel working on the project may be requested.

Review Procedures

Scientific peer review to determine the scientific merit of each proposal will be conducted by the PKD Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and additional ad hoc reviewers as needed, according to the criteria listed below.  The Foundation’s Board of Trustees will consider the recommendations of the reviewers and will determine the number of awards to be granted, based on the availability of funds. No less than ten awards are expected to be given.

Applications are judged on the following review criteria:

  • The conceptual basis on which the proposal rests.
  • The novelty of the concept and strategy.
  • The clarity of the presentation.
  • The overall plan for transitioning research findings to clinical applications.
  • The likelihood that the proposed project will contribute to or result in a viable therapeutic intervention for PKD patients.
  • The experience, background, and qualifications of investigators.
  • The adequacy of the applicant’s resources and environment (facilities, patient population, data management, and data analysis).
  • The likelihood that successful completion of the proposed studies would result in further research funded by another agency (e.g. – NIH, FDA).
  • The adequacy of provisions for the protection of human subjects (if applicable).
  • Institutional Review Board approval (if applicable).


Award amounts will equal $80,000 direct costs per year for two years, for a total grant award of $160,000.  Second-year funding is dependent upon the availability of funds.  The funds awarded must be used solely for the purposes specified in the proposal submitted to and approved by the PKD Foundation as executed by the investigator and institution in strict compliance with the budget attached to the application.  Please note the following restrictions on salary, travel and indirect costs:

  • No more than 50% of the Direct Costs ($40,000) may be used for the applicant’s or other personnel’s salary.  Any use of the award for salary support must be justified in the application.
  • No more than $1500 per year may be used for travel.
  • No Indirect Costs are paid on this award.
  • Successful applicants may not hold any other research funding from the PKD Foundation at the time funding of this grant begins.
  • Applicants with existing funding from other sources will be eligible to apply for this award as long as there is no scientific overlap between the new application and existing or anticipated funding.
  • All current or potential PKD Foundation funding must be disclosed at the time of application.

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 Research Grant Awards are for a two year period, the PKD Foundation reserves the right to terminate any grant if the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee determines there has been inadequate research 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 research outcomes and a financial status report.  As a part of the research report, there must be a summary (one to two pages) written for the lay public.  Copies of all publications and/or news releases concerning the 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 Procedure

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. Lay summary (150 words): Be as clear and simple as possible. 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.
  3. Proposal summary and its relevance to PKD Research (500 words): Describe the project in a scientific abstract that is understandable to a multidisciplinary group of scientific reviewers.
  4. Resources and environment (750 words): Include a brief description of laboratory space, equipment, clinical facilities (if relevant), access to patient populations (if relevant) and other resources necessary for the project.
  5. Research Strategy (not to exceed 5000 words; section page limits below are suggested only)
    1. Specific aims and rationale (500 words)
    2. Background information including significance to clinical medicine (1000 words)
    3. Preliminary data (1000 words)
    4. Experimental design (2500 words)
  6. Appendix A: Research Strategy (no limit): Combine all images, graphs, charts etc. into one PDF document. Include headings, labels, and captions that correspond to the sections above. Will upload PDF in an application.
  7. Appendix B: References Cited (no limit): Combine all references/works cited into one PDF document. Will upload PDF in an application.
  8. Biosketch (five pages): New style NIH format. Must include a biosketch for any individual whose salary is included in the budget or are otherwise key personnel. Will upload PDF(s) in an application.
  9. Professional Recommendations (optional): May upload up to 4 professional recommendation letters as PDFs. 
  10. Budget in United States dollars: No more than 50% of direct costs ($40,000/year) may be used for salary and fringe and must be justified. Consultant costs cannot exceed $10,000. Equipment costs cannot exceed $12,000. No indirect costs can be paid with this award.
  11. Other support (no page limit): New style NIH format including current funding, pending funding for all key personnel. Will upload PDF in application.
  12. Signed single page IRB approval sheet and summary of clinical protocol, if applicable (2 page limit): Will upload as PDF in application.
  13. Signed IACUC approved animal use protocol, if applicable. Will upload as PDF in application. If you do not have this now, please upload a letter stating that you understand you are required to submit before funding can be disbursed.

If you have any questions, please contact

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