Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

Funding Agency:
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC) support young physicians/scientists committed to the mission of the March of Dimes.  March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies.

We invite impactful research that will advance our translational understanding of, or lead to improved clinical treatment of any serious medical conditions that afflict mothers during pregnancies or newborns within the first year of life.  Applications focused on preterm birth and birth defects are prioritized.  All applications are mandated to have a direct link to clinical translation.  The eventual goal to cure or greatly mitigate conditions that adversely impact the health of pregnant women and newborns is required.   Named for the first March of Dimes chairman and president, this grant is awarded to outstanding investigators just embarking on their independent research careers.

The award is $150,000 for 2 years, including 10 percent indirect costs to sponsoring institutions.

Deadline for nominations: July 17, 2019

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 four to nine 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 four years prior to the submission deadline.  For PhD scientists, the same timelines applies, but the four to nine year window begins upon completion of their terminal degree.  For PhD scientists, it is required that they have either primary or secondary appointments in clinical departments related to maternal or child health.

Requests for exceptions on timing (e.g. parental leave) may be submitted to the Chief Scientific Officer of the March of Dimes.

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.  In addition, 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 - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

July 17, 2019