Individual Biomedical Research Award

Funding Agency:
Hartwell Foundation

The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by offering individual researchers an opportunity to realize their hopes and dreams. Their approach is to be unique, selective, thorough and accountable. Through a unique funding process, the Hartwell Foundation provides financial support to stimulate discovery in early-stage biomedical research that has not qualified for funding from traditional sources and that has the potential to benefit children of the United States.

Because this program is institutionally limited, there is an internal competition for selecting Duke's faculty nominees. Details below.


  • Duke Internal Deadline:  July 6, 2020
  • September 15, 2020: nominations for the Individual Biomedical Research Award are due at the Foundation office in Memphis, TN.


Hartwell Timeline

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

All Nominees for the Individual Biomedical Research Award must submit a written research proposal that addresses the Foundation mission to fund innovative, early-stage, cutting-edge applied biomedical research that has the potential to benefit children of the United States. Proposals must address an unmet need, either in children’s healthcare as translational biomedical research, or by targeting a strategic problem in biomedical research with the potential to reshape and broaden the systematic  examination of an uncharted area that will enable or advance translational research. Nominees must follow the specific guidance provided in the Application Process document offered by the Foundation. The Foundation will not fund basic research motivated by curiosity and a desire to extend fundamental knowledge with long-delayed or unpredictable benefits; or consider funding research in public health, epidemiology, social science, psychology, ecology, environmental impacts, anthropology, or botany. The Foundation will not consider research in areas of medicine generally associated with adult health unless there is a particularly compelling benefit to children of the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

Individual Biomedical Research Award: Only investigators nominated by a research institution selected by The Hartwell Foundation are eligible for consideration of a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. All candidates for the Award should hold US citizenship and have adequate institutionally committed office and laboratory space (the availability of shared resources to the Hartwell Investigator must be assured).

COLLABORATION: All Nominees for the Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award must demonstrate they are collaborative. Each Nominee must identify at least one participating collaborator that is a practicing physician, preferably in pediatric medicine.

All recipients of a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award agree to attend an annual meeting each year in lieu of a formal second Quarterly Review, where Investigators will make a presentation summarizing research progress toward goals and objectives:

2019: September 22-25 Dallas, TX in conjunction with UT Southwestern Medical Center
2020: October 04-07 Evanston, IL in conjunction with Northwestern University
2021: Sep 26-29 (TBD)

Attendance at the Annual Meeting is mandatory for all Hartwell funded Investigators. The meeting begins at 6 PM Sunday evening and ends approximately 2:00 PM on Wednesday. Attendees must be present and actively participate in all sessions, including Foundation-sponsored social functions. The
Hartwell Investigator arranges travel and the Foundation arranges lodging, with expenses paid by the Foundation.

Amount Description

Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award: Only investigators nominated by the head of an invited research institution are eligible for consideration for The Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. Each Award is for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year.

Amount: $300,000 for Individual Biomedical Research Award

By accepting The Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award or a Hartwell Fellowship, the participating institution agrees not to use any part of the funding for institutional overhead or other indirect costs and will not obligate or penalize the recipient of an award or a sponsoring research laboratory to pay by substitution such indirect costs by any other means. Except for health insurance, no portion of an award may be subject to deductions for discretionary fringe benefits by the Sponsoring Institution

Funding Type


Duke Awardees

NOTE: Prior winners:

2019: Neeraj K. Surana, Pediatrics

2018 Eileen T. Chambers, Pediatrics
2017 Nick Heaton, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
2016 Debra Silver, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
2015 Diego Bohorquez, Medicine - Gastroenterology
2014 Lawrence David, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
2012 Mary Hutson, Pediatrics-Neonatology
2011 Mary Louise Markert, MD, Ph.D., Departments of Pediatrics and Immunology
2009 Charles Gersbach, BME
2008 Cynthia Toth, Ophthalmology
2006 Guoping Feng, Neurobiology and Jingdong Tian, Biomedical Engineering



Junior Faculty
Post Doctoral Fellows


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor’s restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

Text: 1-inch margins, single-column text, single line spacing and black 12-point Times Roman font. Do not indent paragraphs; separate paragraphs from each other by 6-point spacing. Use bold font only for section headings.

Lay Summary – provide in a single paragraph a description of the proposed research (450 words or less) suitable for a nontechnical audience; do not demarcate sentences with descriptors; avoid jargon or acronyms, unless the lay reader is certain to be familiar with them; no citations are allowed; do not include the descriptors:

  • Statement of Problem – description and magnitude of the problem in the United States; emphasize what makes it an important issue (e.g., prevalence, incidence, morbidity and mortality rates).
  • Compelling Interest to the Foundation – identify the unmet need and how addressing it successfully will provide a benefit for children of the United States.
  • Innovation – identify the novel idea(s), discovery, or creative insight that may inspire a distinctive shift in perspective, provide a strategic advantage or offer a translational benefit; identify relevant model test systems, important experiments and the technologic approach that will be used to construct or test hypotheses.
  • Justification for Funding – describe what will happen if the proposed research is successful (e.g. diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, prevention, clinical trials, etc.) and how successful outcomes will be deployed either translationally or strategically to benefit children.

• A draft abridged technical description of the project (1 page)
• A CV or biosketch – Please include current and pending sources of funding. Please include award amount.

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Internal Deadline

July 6, 2020

External Deadline

September 15, 2020