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Innovator Awards

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Investigators
for Innovative Research on Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Kenneth Rainin Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/13/21 5:00 PM PST


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International investigators affiliated with nonprofit and for-profit research institutions, medical centers, and universities to support innovative research on inflammatory bowel disease. Applicants are required to submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. This program challenges investigators to push boundaries to further the goal of preventing and predicting inflammatory bowel disease.

Through the Innovator Awards, the Foundation invests in new and veteran IBD researchers alike and embraces novel, untested ideas. Funding interests span the spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical science. 

To date, the Foundation has funded the following areas through Innovator Awards:

    • Bioengineering
    • Diet and Nutrition
    • Epithelial Cell/Molecular Biology
    • Fecal Microbiota Transplant
    • Immunity and Inflammation
    • Microbiome
    • Therapeutic Development and Delivery

    Funding criteria include:

    • Innovation
    • Scientific merit
    • Investigator capability to execute project

    Transportation costs for the PI and a trainee to attend the Innovations Symposium should be included in the proposal budget. Eligible transportation costs include economy/coach airfare and ground transportation. The Rainin Foundation will cover the hotel expenses for grantees and trainees.

    GrantWatch ID#:

    GrantWatch ID#: 182892

    Estimated Size of Grant:

    The Innovator Award is for a maximum of $150,000 USD.

    Principal Investigator Salary:
    - The maximum amount allowed for the Principal Investigator’s salary is $10,000 USD (including fringe benefits).
    - If Co-Investigator(s) are listed on the proposal, the maximum salary support for all Investigators is $15,000 total. This maximum value does not apply to other research personnel (e.g. post-doctoral fellows, research associates, students) to be funded by the award.

    Term of Contract:

    - The award period starts June 1, 2021 and ends May 31, 2022.
    - Recipients who demonstrate significant progress may receive up to two additional years of support.

    Additional Eligibility Criteria:

    Eligible Researchers:
    - Researchers from any scientific discipline worldwide are eligible for funding.
    - Typically, the funded researchers hold advanced degrees (MD, PhD or the equivalent) and academic positions at universities, medical centers or research institutions.
    - Innovator Awards may only have one Principal Investigator, and funding is awarded to their home institution. However additional investigators may be included as Co-Investigators, and the lead institution can create subaward(s).
    - Postdocs are not eligible to apply as a Principal Investigator.
    - Current and former Rainin Foundation Innovator and Synergy research grantees are eligible.
    - Researchers may submit multiple proposals as long as there are distinct aims and objectives for each proposal.

    Eligible Institutions:
    - All nonprofit institutions must be classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a)(3).
    - Nonprofit institutions outside of the United States will be required to undergo the Equivalency Determination process with NGOsource before a grant can be awarded.
    - For-profit institutions must demonstrate that their proposed project furthers the Foundation’s charitable mission of promoting scientific and medical research.
    - The Foundation may upon occasion make grants to government and public agencies, as well as to independent projects that have a qualified tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.
    - Institutions can submit more than one proposal at a time for the same or different Principal Investigator.

    The Foundation does not fund:
    - Direct assistance to individuals or individual sponsorships; sports, athletic events or league sponsorships; advertising or promotional sponsorships; deficits or retroactive funding; fraternal organizations; organizations that discriminate based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender.

    Innovator Award funding cannot be used to cover travel to attend other scientific meetings.

    Pre-Application Information:

    2022 Innovator Awards:
    - Letters of Inquiry (LOIs): August 16 – September 13, 2021
    - LOIs are due by 5:00 PM PDT on September 13, 2021
    - Full Proposals (by invitation only): November 15 – December 13, 2021
    - Full proposals are due by 5:00 PM PST on December 13, 2021
    - Awards Announcement: April 2022
    - Grant Period: June 1, 2022 – May 31, 2023

    All applications must be submitted via the Foundation’s online system which is only open during the grant submission window. The grant application template and questions are not available outside of the application timeframe.

    If you are a new applicant, you will need to complete a quick, one-time registration in our online grants system by clicking the “create an account” link.

    Use of Human and Animal Subjects:
    Grant recipients using human or animal subjects must provide documentation of approval from the appropriate review committee within 90 days of award start date.

    The budget must reflect the total amount requested, up to $150,000 USD, which may include up to 10% for indirect costs.

    Travel to the Innovations Symposium:
    - The Principal Investigator is required to attend Rainin Foundation’s annual Innovations Symposium in the year of the award. Grantees may be required to present their work to the general attendees.
    - The annual Innovations Symposium is a two- to three-day meeting held each year in July.
    - Grantees are encouraged to invite a trainee from each funded project to attend the Symposium. Early career scientists have important contributions to offer to the field, and their careers will benefit from networking with field leaders at the Symposium.

    Awards Calendar:

    Equivalency Determination process:

    Online Resources:

    Innovations Symposium:


    Contact Information:

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

    Apply Online:

    Have questions about Innovator Award eligibility, research scope or the grant process? Email Health program staff:

    Kenneth Rainin Foundation
    155 Grand Avenue
    Oakland, CA 94612

    URL for Full Text (RFP):

    Geographic Focus:

    USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

    USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

    USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

    Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


    International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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