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Emerging Research Grants (ERG) Program

Grants to USA Individual Investigators
for Research Projects on Hearing Disorders

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Hearing Health Foundation (HHF)

Deadline Date:

02/26/21 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of up to $50,000 to USA individual investigators affiliated with research institutions for research on hearing and balance disorders. Applicants must confirm their eligibility and receive required approvals prior to submitting an application. Priority is given to new investigators in the field of hearing and balance and to projects that are likely to open new lines of inquiry. New and innovative projects developed by established scientists will also be considered.

The primary purpose of HHF Emerging Research Grant is to enable the investigator to become established and/or to produce quality research that will allow him/her to successfully compete for NIH Grants or grants from other sources.

Applications will be considered for research directed to investigation of specified research topic areas of the auditory and vestibular systems. Both fundamental and clinical research proposals are welcome.

The General Hearing Health grant opportunity supports projects across the broadest spectrum of hearing research and balance research, from improving audiological assessments and cochlear implants to gene editing, ototoxicity, sensory cues in maintaining postural balance, and links between hearing and other health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There are also dedicated disorder-specific grant opportunities for Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Hearing Loss in Children, Hyperacusis, Tinnitus, Ménière’s Disease, and Usher Syndrome. As of the 2020–2021 project year, there is a new dedicated grant opportunity for Age-Related Hearing Loss as well.
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 (cost of equipment should be equal to/greater than $5,000; any capital equipment necessary to the proposed experiment(s) costing less than $5,000 needs to be justified);
  • Supplies including drugs and services; and
  • Other specifically authorized expenses as may be essential to carrying out the project.

More information about each grant type may be found at:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165410

Estimated Size of Grant:

ERG awards are for up to $50,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

Program Dates: October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022

ERG awards are one year in length in the first instance, and renewable for a second year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

HHF welcomes applications from scientists who are based at research institutions (higher education, government, and/or non-profit) located in the U.S. and who hold an Au.D., M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent.

To apply for an Emerging Research Grant you must:
- Hold an Au.D., M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree, and
- Hold an appointment at a non-profit educational, governmental or other research institution located in the United States. Appointments include faculty, postdoctoral fellow, or clinical/research fellow. Current medical residents in otolaryngology may also apply. Other medical residents and Ph.D. students are not eligible.

Please note: Applications under General Hearing Health are restricted to early career researchers (ECR). Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) defines ECR as being no more than 7 years removed from your most recent terminal degree or medical residency. There are additional eligibility requirements for this topic area—please see the full Policy on Emerging Research Grants for details.

Non-tax-exempt organizations: Domestic non-profit, tax-exempt institutions must be recognized by the US Government as an IRS 501-c-3 organization. ERG Awards are not made to for-profit concerns. 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.

Institution Awards: 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) grants of the highest priority as determined by HHF.

Ineligibility: Individuals employed or otherwise conducting research at institutions outside of the United States are not eligible to apply. 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 Open: November 2, 2020
- Application Deadline: February 26, 2021
- Funding Decision Notification: First week of August 2021
- Grant Payment Schedule: Grants will be paid in two equal payments, disbursed in October and April.

Before you may begin your application, you must confirm your eligibility for the Emerging Research Grants program. You are encouraged to review the ERG Policy in full before beginning. The eligibility “quiz” appears as the “LOI Section” in ProposalCentral. This is not a standard LOI and you will receive confirmation of your eligibility to continue with your application within one business day of submitting the LOI/eligibility “quiz.”

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.

Please note that – as of this year – an application must receive approval from an institutional signatory before it may be submitted. Ensure you allow sufficient time for this step.

Every application received from an eligible researcher in one or more of the topic areas below is assigned for review to two members of the Scientific Review Committee, a revolving group of highly qualified researchers and clinicians from across the country. Each proposal will have assigned to it reviewers who are expert in the relevant area and/or methodology. Proposals are assessed on scientific merit, the project’s potential to significantly advance basic knowledge or clinical application, the available facilities and personnel at the PI’s institution, the PI’s qualifications, and the innovative nature of the proposal. Shortlisted proposals are further reviewed by the Council of Scientific Trustees, a standing advisory body comprised of senior research academics and clinicians who oversee the ERG program and set the HHF’s research priorities. Finally, members of HHF’s Board of Directors who hold Ph.D. or M.D. credentials in otology review the final shortlisted applications.

Press Release:

How to apply:

Policy on Emerging Research Grants:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Prior to submitting an application, all applicants must complete an eligibility quiz. To start the quiz, log into:

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact Christopher Geissler, Ph.D., director of program and
research support, at

Hearing Health Foundation
363 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10001-3904
(212) 257-6140
(866) 454-3924 (TTY)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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