Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

Funding Agency:
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards support young physicians/scientists committed to March of Dimes’ mission to fight for the health of all moms and babies. Named in honor of our first chairman and president, this award includes a $150,000 grant for outstanding investigators just embarking on their independent research careers.

March of Dimes invites requests for applications for impactful research studies that will advance our translational understanding of, or lead to improved clinical treatment of, any serious medical conditions that affect the health of a woman’s pregnancy and/or mothers and newborns within the first year postpartum.

Applications focused on preterm birth and health equity are prioritized. All applications should clearly outline a path from discovery to functional studies to clinical translation. The eventual goal to cure or greatly mitigate conditions that adversely impact the health of pregnant women and newborns is required.

The award is $150,000 for two years, including 10 percent indirect costs to sponsoring institutions.

Deadline: June 30, 2022

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award is intended to be an early career grant to young investigators who are just embarking on an independent research career. Eligibility is thus restricted.

  • MD or MD/PhD applicants should be 4 to 9 years past their last year of clinical training required for medical specialty board certification, must hold a full-time tenure-track faculty position (or equivalent) at their current U.S. based institution and must have received their first tenure-track appointment no more than 4 years prior to the submission deadline.
  • For PhD scientists, the same timelines applies, but the 4 to 9 year window begins upon completion of their terminal degree. They must have either primary or secondary appointments in clinical departments related to maternal or child health.  
  • Applicants who have transition faculty-mentored awards (e.g. K99/R00) are welcome if they still have one year of the mentored portion.  If not, application should be deferred.  K12 and K08 applicants are encouraged.
  • Candidates may not simultaneously hold a grant for any other March of Dimes research program.
  • Applicants may not have total grant support exceeding $200,000 per year before the BOC award start date (e.g. R01). 
  • Those who have previously submitted an application to the Basil O’Connor program are ordinarily not eligible for resubmission; however, exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. 



Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

June 30, 2022