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Grants to USA Early-Stage Investigators for Hearing and Balance Research Projects

Emerging Research Grants (ERG) - General Hearing Health


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Hearing Health Foundation (HHF)
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
LOI Date: 02/23/23
Deadline: 02/28/23 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA early-stage investigators affiliated with qualified nonprofit institutions for projects to advance hearing and balance research. Applicants must submit a letter of intent and receive required approvals prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended to support fundamental and clinical research studies on specified topic areas of the auditory and vestibular systems, related to hearing loss, hearing restoration, and hearing and balance related conditions.

Under “General Hearing Health,” HHF welcomes proposals on any topic in hearing or balance research, including but not limited to:

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Auditory and vestibular implants; hearing aids
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of hearing loss and balance disturbance
  • Epidemiology of auditory and vestibular disorders
  • Hearing loss in children and pediatric hearing disorders
  • Human genetics and mouse models of peripheral and central auditory/balance dysfunction
  • Human otopathology
  • Hyperacusis
  • Innovation in cellular and molecular therapies
  • Ménière’s disease
  • Physiology of hearing and balance
  • Tinnitus
  • Usher syndrome
  • Vestibular disorders

Grant funds may only be used for the direct costs of carrying out approved projects, such as:

  • Salaries of technical and supporting personnel;
  • Limited alteration and renovation of existing facilities;
  • Purchase of equipment that costs at least $5,000, provided that capital equipment necessary to the proposed experiment(s) that costs less than $5,000 may be purchased with grant funds with HHF’s approval; 
  • Supplies including drugs and services; and
  • Other specifically authorized expenses as may be essential to carrying out the project. 
  • Additionally, reasonable conference travel and open access publication costs may be included in the budget for early stage investigators only. Costs for either category may not exceed $2,500 maximum (each).


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
The following are Eligibility Requirements for Applicants for ERG Grants:
- Applicants should demonstrate experience and strong research training as well as sufficient institutional support (facilities and time as well as mentorship, if applicable) to carry out the proposed work.
- Applicants must hold an M.D., Ph.D., Au.D. or equivalent degree.
- The applicant must hold an appointment at a non-profit educational, governmental or research institution within the United States. Appointments for this purpose may include faculty, postdoctoral fellow, or clinical/research fellow. Otolaryngology residents are eligible to apply. Other medical residents and graduate students are not eligible to apply.
- The proposed research must address one of the hearing and balance topics advertised in the ERG Request for Applications. In the application, the applicant must provide justification for the relevance of the proposed research to the designated ERG topic area.
- PIs in early stages of independent research careers are especially encouraged to apply.

HHF Emerging Research Grants are intended primarily for promising researchers who are in the early stages of their careers and focusing on hearing loss, hearing restoration and hearing and balance related conditions.

In addition, the following are Eligibility Requirements for “General Hearing Health” applicants (Limited to Early Stage Investigators (ESI)):
- PIs should be in the early stages of independent research careers (within 10 years of completing a terminal degree).
- If the applicant is a postdoctoral fellow, it is expected that the applicant will be at the senior level (e.g., 3 or more years of postdoctoral training).
- Further, the applicant must demonstrate a pathway to professional independence in the application. Specifically, the applicant should indicate how the Grant will help with the applicant’s transition toward independence from the mentor, including how the proposed research is distinct from the mentor's research program.
- Applicants cannot be a current or prior PI on a major independent research award (e.g., R00, R03, R21, R01, K Award, VA Merit, DoD, or equivalent) at the time of initial application. Prior appointment on fellowship or training grants, or prior service as a PI on a mentored career development award, is allowable.
- Applicants may not concurrently receive support for the proposed project of more than $100,000 per annum in direct costs from any other combined source(s) during the Project Period.

Individuals employed or otherwise conducting research at institutions outside of the United States are not eligible to apply.

Non-tax-exempt organizations: Domestic non-profit, tax-exempt institutions must be recognized by the Treasury Department as a tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) or as eligible for tax deductible contributions under Internal Revenue Code section 170(c)(1) or section 170(c)(2). Grants are made solely to tax-exempt organizations to support research directed at those institutions by investigators who are on their staff or are otherwise formally attached to them.

Applications for research continuation or bridge funding should not be submitted.

Grant funds may not be used for the following:
- Salary of Principal Investigator, co-investigator or individuals with a doctoral degree;
- Equipment under $5,000 (i.e., office equipment such as laptops, printers, etc.)
- Living expenses;
- Reprints;
- Overhead costs exceeding 10% of project costs; or
- Public information, education programs or training costs (including tuition).

Pre-Application Information
Applications are due by 11:59PM ET on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

The deadline for submitting the LOI is 11:59PM ET on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. You must submit the LOI (eligibility check) before you may begin your application. You will not be permitted to submit a full application if your LOI is not completed by this deadline.

You will be notified of the result of your application by early August.

You are STRONGLY encouraged to log into ProposalCentral well before the deadline to ensure that you are familiar with the application process and the required documentation. (These instructions are available on HHF’s website and in ProposalCentral.)

Please note that an application must receive approval from an authorized signatory at your institution before it may be submitted. Ensure you allow sufficient time for this step. Late applications and applications that have not received institutional approval will not be accepted.

Before you may begin an application, you must confirm your eligibility for the Emerging Research Grants program. You are encouraged to review the ERG Policy in full before beginning, available online and following these instructions. The eligibility check appears as the “LOI Section” in ProposalCentral. HHF will in most cases confirm your eligibility to continue with your application within one business day of submitting the LOI, but it may take longer. Once approved to continue your application, you have until the full application submission deadline at the top of this page to complete and submit the full application. You are encouraged to complete the LOI Section early in case there is a delay in confirming your eligibility.

HHF will fund no more than a total of five (5) ERG Awards annually to any one institution. The funding will be limited to the five (5) proposals of the highest priority as determined by HHF.

Policy on Grants:

Number of Grants
Several General Hearing Health grants are awarded each year.

Estimated Size of Grant
HHF grants up to a maximum of $50,000 per year, including indirect costs, which must not exceed 10% of the total. (A grant cannot exceed $50,000 for one Project Year or $100,000 for one Project Period.)

Term of Contract
The Project Period cannot be changed. ERG grant years run Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of the following calendar year.

Grants are approved for a period of one year. Applicants are asked to submit a research plan and budget for two years, but the initial award will be made for Year 1 only. Grantees may apply for a second (2nd) year of funding after demonstrating sufficient progress or for a one (1) year extension without additional funds granted. The Grantee may then apply for a second year of funding following the one-year extension. (For further details, see

Contact Information
To begin the eligibility check (LOI) or to continue an application, please log in to ProposalCentral:

For questions, please contact Christopher Geissler, Ph.D., Director of Program and Research Support, at or phone (212) 257-6145.

Hearing Health Foundation
P.O. Box 1397
New York, NY 10018
(212) 257-6140
TTY 888-435-6104

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