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

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.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: January 31, 2018 Review period: February-April, 2018 Applicant Notification: May 1, 2018 Funding Cycle: July 1, 2018-June 30, 2020

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 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 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 (March 1, 2016).
  • 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

Application sections (must include all):

  1. Proposal summary and its relevance to PKD research [description: Describe project in a scientific abstract that is understandable to a multidisciplinary group of scientific reviewers]. In addition, please include a two-three sentence lay summary that is understandable by the general public (one page)
  2. Resources and environment (one page) [description: Include brief description of laboratory space, equipment, clinical facilities (if relevant), access to patient populations (if relevant) and other resources necessary for the project]
  3. Research Strategy (not to exceed 10 pages total; section page limits below are suggested only)
    1. Specific aims and rationale (one page)
    2. Background information including significance to clinical medicine (two pages)
    3. Preliminary data (two pages)
    4. Experimental design (five pages)
  4. References (no page limit)
  5. Budget in United States dollars [description: 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.] (one page, see provided template for guidance)
  6. Biosketch (five pages) [description: new style NIH format. Must include a biosketch for any individual whose salary is included in the budget or are otherwise key personnel]
  7. Other support (no page limit) [description: new style NIH format including current funding, pending funding for all key personnel]
  8. Signed single page IRB approval sheet and summary of clinical protocol, if applicable (two page limit)
  9. Signed IACUC approved animal use protocol, if applicable