March 21, 2019

VUMC Limited Submission Opportunity: 2019 American Diabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes

VUMC:  These instructions are for VUMC investigators. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to

Internal Applications due April 16


VUMC may submit 1 nomination to the American Diabetes Association for their Pathway to Stop Diabetes Awards.  The award amount is up to $1,625,000 and the single nomination may be for one of three award types: Initiator Award for researchers in postdoctoral training, Accelerator Award for early-career diabetes investigators, and the Visionary Award for established investigators, new to diabetes.

Pathway seeks to bring new investigators and new perspectives to diabetes research. Supporting scientists with different backgrounds and experience is critical to achieving that objective. Pathway accepts nominations for exceptional investigators with medical and scientific backgrounds who propose innovative basic, clinical, translational, behavioral, epidemiological and health services research relevant to any type of diabetes, diabetes-related disease state or complication. Pathway solicits nominations for candidates in all disciplines as applied to diabetes including medicine, biology, chemistry, computing, physics, mathematics and engineering. In addition, nomination of scientists from diverse backgrounds, including minority groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, is strongly encouraged.

See the award website for more details. Please note: Only one repeat nomination of an individual applicant will be considered; the same individual may not be nominated a third time.


For post-doctoral talent on the cusp of their research careers, Initiator Awards provide the means to establish independent careers, hire staff and—most importantly—focus completely on conducting their innovative research. The two-part funding is designed to support the transition from trainee to independent investigator.


-must currently be in research training position (post-doctoral fellow, research fellowship)

-have no more than seven years of research training following terminal doctoral degree.

-cannot concurrently hold an NIH K99/R00 grant

-must devote at least 75% of their total time and effort to research during the funding period

-At the end of Phase 1 (2 years into award), the investigator needs to have obtained a faculty appointment at an accredited research institution.

Maximum Funding: Up to $100,000/year in Phase 1, Up to $325,000/year in Phase 2 for up to 7 years
Support: Project support & PI salary
Indirect Support: Up to 10% of directs in Phase 1, Up to 30% of directs in Phase 2


For scientists early in their careers, Accelerator Awards provide the freedom to continue their work undistracted. This in turn will help to accelerate their research in novel areas that hold high promise for a breakthrough in the fight to Stop Diabetes.


-must hold independent faculty position

-have demonstrated independent productivity in diabetes research.

-may currently hold independent NIH funding (K, U or R awards, including an initial R01/U01) but must not have applied for, or received, an R01/U01 renewal or a second R01/U01 award

-must devote at least 75% of their total time and effort to research during the funding period

Maximum Funding: $325,000/year for up to 5 years
Support: Project support & PI salary
Indirect Support: Up to 30% of directs
Project % Effort Required: 25-50% effort


For experienced investigators with demonstrated success in another field to bring their expertise to diabetes research for the first time, Visionary Awards provide support for particularly innovative and transformational ideas that have the potential to have an exceptional impact in diabetes.

Funding is granted in two phases, with transition to Phase 2 funding contingent on the success of Phase 1, as evidenced by productivity and continued dedication to diabetes research.


-must hold independent faculty position

-have demonstrated significant productivity in your current field of research.

-cannot have previously received national grant support (NIH, NIDDK, ADA, JDRF, etc.), as either a PI or Co-PI, in diabetes or diabetes-related research.

-must devote at least 75% of their total time and effort to research during the funding period

Maximum Funding: $325,000/year in Phase I, $325,000/year in Phase II for up to 5 years
Support: Project support & PI salary
Indirect Support: Up to 30% of directs
Project % Effort Required: 25-50% effort

Internal Review Process:

Please submit the following (in a single PDF) to by 5 p.m. on April 16, 2019. Contact with any questions.

  1. Essay question (1/2 page). Provide an answer to the following, using specific examples.
  • Initiator or Accelerator applicants: What are your future career plans and how will this award will further those objectives? What is your long-term commitment to diabetes research?
  • Visionary applicants: What factors motivated you to consider moving into diabetes research and what will you do to integrate and develop your expertise in diabetes research? What is your long-term commitment to diabetes research?
  1. Research Strategy (2 pages). Must address the following components:
  • Scientific question(s)/specific problem(s) to be addressed
  • Specific approach(es) that will be employed
  • Significance and potential impact of the work
  • The potential risks and challenges, and how they will be overcome
  • A summary budget must be included
  1. NIH Biosketch
  2. Letter of Support from Department Chair/ Center Director that includes:
  • Rationale for nomination of candidate, including why candidate is uniquely suited for the award.
  • Certification that the candidate has an appropriate full-time position at Vanderbilt as required by the award.
  • Outline the candidate’s responsibilities and ensure that at least 75% of the nominee’s total time and effort will be allocated to research during the term of this award.
  • Provide assurance of an academic commitment to the candidate and to the research proposal.
  • Outline plans to support the long-term development of the candidate, including specific expectations for the individual’s career course.