The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) is currently accepting applications for the Next Gen Pregnancy Initiative.
Building upon the original goals of the BWF Preterm Birth Initiative, a recently convened Pregnancy Think Tank has helped shape the next iteration of this award mechanism. Growing evidence suggests the interrelatedness of the duration of pregnancy, fetal growth, and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, stillbirth, and maternal medical complications including maternal mortality.
Other areas of interest are climate change and environmental impact on pregnancy, complications associated with ART, and epigenome-wide association studies. They have expanded the scope of this award mechanism to capture these and other pregnancy outcomes as they believe they will be mutually informative and accelerate discovery.
The initiative is designed to stimulate both creative individual scientists and multi-investigator teams to approach healthy and adverse pregnancy outcomes using creative basic and translational scientific research methods.
- Each award will continue to provide up to $500,000 over a four-year period ($125,000 per year).
- Public or private non-profit organizations in the United States and Canada, including degree-granting academic institutions, research institutes and teaching hospitals, are eligible to receive Burroughs Wellcome Fund support.
- Postdoctoral fellows nearing their transition to independent investigator status through senior established investigators are eligible to apply.
- Proposals should address the biomedical causes and molecular mechanisms underlying adverse pregnancies and their outcomes including but not limited to peri-implantational events, placentation, fetal determinants, fetal-maternal immune responses, biological basis for racial-ethnic disparities, mechanisms relating preterm birth to other adverse pregnancy outcomes, biology of normal labor, genomics, evolutionary influences, maternal complications and other approaches. Proposals seeking to identify biomarkers predicting preterm birth are welcome.
- Citizens and non-citizen permanent and temporary residents of the U.S. and Canada who are legally qualified to work in the U.S. or Canada are eligible.
- Candidates who are temporary U.S. residents must hold a valid U.S. visa (J-1, H1B, F-1 or O-1 visas).
- Temporary Canadian residents must hold a valid Canadian visa (Study Permit, C-43, C-44, C-10, or C-20 work permits/visas).
- If you are a postdoctoral candidate, your visa status must allow you to remain in the U.S. or Canada during the project period of the grant. If a grant is awarded and your visa does not allow for such a stay, BWF may terminate the grant. BWF will not intercede on behalf of non-citizens whose stay in the U.S. or Canada falls out of visa compliance.
- Proposals can be submitted by individual investigators or research teams designating a contact principal investigator. At least one member of the team must have training and expertise outside the traditional areas of reproductive science.
- BWF is also interested in Preterm Birth Risk Stratification using artificial intelligence and machine learning. n Proposals that cross institutional boundaries (partnerships between multiple universities or collaborations within larger universities) are welcomed.
- Current or active BWF preterm birth grant or next generation pregnancy award recipients are not eligible to reapply.
- Former BWF preterm birth or next generation pregnancy award recipients whose grant has been completed may reapply for another award provided the proposal submitted is a substantially different proposal (must not be a continuation or slight modification of previous work). The principal investigator must demonstrate successful outcomes and highlight significant achievements from the earlier award.
- BWF strongly encourages applications from persons who have been historically underrepresented in the research enterprise, including but not limited to: women of any ethnic or racial group; any person identifying as Black or African American, Latino/a or Hispanic American, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, indigenous to the Pacific Islands, indigenous Canadian; persons with disabilities; persons from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Note: Postdoctoral fellows nearing transition to independent investigator status are welcome to contact program staff directly about their planned proposal, competitiveness for the award, transferring to a new institution, and other questions that may arise.
For more information, visit BWF.