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Research Grant Application

PSC Partners is particularly interested in funding projects that have the

potential to discover a cure for PSC and/or identify effective therapies.

Every year, on the recommendation of the Scientific/Medical Advisory Committee (SMAC), the Board of Directors of PSC Partners Seeking a Cure chooses the most promising research projects to support. We will be offering awards in 2021. However, due to the pandemic, we are in the process of reassessing our priorities and timelines. Check back here for updated information and deadlines, and add your name to the grants program mailing list to receive application information.

Grant Application

PSC Partners and affiliate PSC Partners Canada offer grants to conduct research that addresses an important and novel, basic or clinical research question related to PSC and closely associated diseases (such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and cholangiocarcinoma). Our Research Grants Program seeks to encourage investigators to conduct research in promising new areas, with the goal that data generated will lead to federal (NIH) or external international funding.

Grant Amounts

Research grant funding is limited to $30,000 per year for 2 years ($60,000 total). However, focused proposals with smaller budget requests will also be considered.

The Young Investigator Award totals $80,000 ($40,000 per year, paid over 2 years).

Young Investigator Award

PSC Partners Seeking a Cure is delighted to provide a Young Investigator Award to promising researchers who are at the early stages of their research career and are interested in clinical, translational or basic research on Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. The Young Investigator Award is a research grant in the amount of $80,000 ($40,000 per year, paid over 2 years). In addition to the Application Instructions for standard PSC Partners research grants, the following requirements apply to the Young Investigator Award:

  • Only 1 Principal Investigator (PI) is permitted for each application.
    • Collaborators or consultants are permitted, but cannot receive salary support.
  • The PI must have completed his or her terminal research degree (MD, PhD, or equivalent) or completed clinical training, whichever is later, within the past 5 years.
    • Documentation should be provided identifying the date of completion.
  • Submission of a letter from the PI’s Department Chair, documenting the PI’s responsibilities at the institution, institutional commitment to the PI (including protecting at least 25% effort towards the research project), and future plans for the applicant.Submission of a mentoring plan including any planned course work, professional development, and biosketches from the lead mentor and additional mentors who will provide support and guidance for the PI throughout the research process. The biosketch should conform to NIH formatting guidelines, and should also identify all of the mentors’ trainees in the past 5 years.Researchers who have received an NIH R01 Grant, VA Merit Award, or equivalent funding are not eligible for the Young Investigator Award.
    • Researchers who have received a K Grant may apply: nothing in these criteria prevents the Young Investigator Award from being issued concurrently with a K Grant.
  • A 25% research effort is required. Up to 25% salary support is permitted for Young Investigator PIs only.
  • Grant awardees must include in their first-year progress report any changes in the PI’s academic position at their institution or change of institutions from the time of application.

Application Deadline

We will be offering awards in 2021. However, due to the pandemic, we are in the process of reassessing our priorities and timelines.

Research Topics of Interest

PSC Partners Seeking a Cure is particularly interested in funding research projects that:

  • foster interdisciplinary collaborations and the sharing of resources as a means of accelerating progress in PSC research
    • If the proposal includes a specific plan for sharing of results (collaborations) and resources (such as DNA), this will result in a more favorable review.
  • have the potential to discover a cure for PSC
  • identify novel therapies that may significantly delay time to liver transplantation, prevent disease recurrence following liver transplantation, and/or improve the quality of life of those with PSC
  • aim to identify the gene-environment interactions contributing to disease initiation and progression
  • explore PSC-related diseases (IBD, UC, and Crohn’s disease) in ways that they impact, enable, or perhaps cause PSC
  • address PSC in children
  • will be complementary to the goals and objectives of the International PSC Study Group, including investigation of the functional roles of genes associated with susceptibility to and severity of PSC
  • address the mechanisms of PSC pathogenesis and colorectal and cholangiocarcinoma carcinogenesis, as well as strategies for prevention

PSC Partners recognizes that studies with animal models may be appropriate to address these fundamental questions. Proposals that have little relevance to PSC will not be considered for funding.

Application Instructions

  • No special application forms are needed.
  • The applicant must be at an academic institution with an interest in pursuing PSC as an indication for treatment.
  • Funding will be issued from either PSC Partners (US) or our affiliate PSC Partners Canada.
  • During the grant proposal review process, recipients may be selected to receive a US or Canadian grant.
  • Special eligibility requirements apply for grants from PSC Partners Canada. Please note that your institution’s eligibility to receive a grant from PSC Partners Canada does not affect the selection process for research grants awarded by PSC Partners (US). Even if your institution is not on the list below of eligible Canadian institutions, you may still qualify to receive a grant from PSC Partners (US). If your institution is not Canadian, please confirm if your affiliated institution is on this list, and that  disbursement of a research award can be delivered to you through this institution. Please email our Canadian affiliate for any questions:
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • One copy of each full application must be submitted electronically, in English, and in portable document format (.pdf) to:
  • The following instructions should be followed:
    1. Face Sheet Please include the title of the research project, the name and title of the principal investigator (PI), the PI’s mailing address and e-mail address, and the names, titles, and e-mail address of any co-PIs.
    2. Budget The Scientific/Medical Advisory Committee may exercise discretion in the approval of the expenditure of funds, but since these are small research grants, they are primarily intended to support the purchase of consumable research supplies (e.g. glassware, chemicals, enzymes, etc.) to conduct PSC research. Salary support for principal investigators is not allowed, except in the case of Young Investigator Awards. Salary support for technicians will be allowed. Up to 25% salary support is permitted for Young Investigator PIs only. Indirect costs (overhead) will not be allowed.
    3. Budget Justification Items to be purchased and salary support should be briefly explained and justified.
    4. Project DescriptionThis segment of the proposal should be no longer than 8 pages. Please use the following format:
      • Project Summary – Approximately 250 words
      • Specific Aims
      • Background and Significance
      • Preliminary Data (optional)
      • Research Plan (include materials and methods, collaborative arrangements, interpretation of data, anticipated results, potential problems, and alternative approaches)
      • A brief summary,1-2 paragraphs in length, describing the project submitted, written in layman’s terms to be posted on the PSC Partners’ website if your projected is funded
    5. Bibliography (Literature Cited)
    6. Facilities and Equipment
    7. Institutional Review Board If the study includes human subjects, proof of approval by the applicant’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be included, as well as a copy of the approved consent form. Grant applications will be accepted for review if the applicant’s Institutional Review Board document is still pending approval. However, funding would be contingent upon submission of the final approved IRB document.
    8. Biographical Sketch of the Applicant (PI) Submit your biosketch according to the NIH format.
    9. List of Current and Pending Support

PSC Partners Seeking a Cure will send confirmation by email to the principal investigator upon receipt of each individual application. Please note that this confirmation process is not automated. Please email us at if a confirmation email is not received within 48 hours and we will verify the status of the application.

Application Review

All grant applications will be reviewed by members of the PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Scientific/Medical Advisory Committee. Ad hoc reviewers will be used when appropriate. Renewal applications will be judged in competition with other applications. The following points will be taken into consideration when the proposals are reviewed:

  1. Is the proposed research relevant to the research mission of PSC Partners Seeking a Cure?
  2. Does the proposal have scientific merit?
  3. Are the hypotheses to be tested based on sound, logical principles, and are the specific aims delineated in the proposal adequate to test the hypotheses?
  4. Are the methods appropriate?
  5. Is the approach innovative?
  6. Will the proposal serve as a foundation to establish a novel line of research that will be competitive for NIH, NSF, VA or other external funding?
  7. Does the proposed research have a high probability of success?
  8. Is the applicant qualified to carry out the proposed study, and are the facilities adequate?
  9. Is the proposal clear and concise? Has the appropriate literature been consulted and cited? Does the proposal give attention to detail?
  10. Does the proposal contain a specific plan for sharing of results and resources (e.g. DNA), and does it entail inter-disciplinary collaboration?
  11. Is the budget appropriate and adequately justified?
  12. Will the proposal impact PSC patient treatment in the short-term?
  13. What are the overall strengths and weaknesses of the proposal?

Notification of funding (or lack thereof) will be made approximately three months after the proposal submission deadline.

Progress Reports

  • Awardees will be expected to provide a 1- to 2-page annual summary of results obtained with funds provided by PSC Partners Seeking a Cure.
  • This report should include a list of publications and abstracts presented at scientific meetings.
  • We request that all publications resulting from research funds provided by PSC Partners Seeking a Cure or PSC Partners Seeking a Cure Canada include an acknowledgement of this support.

Thank you for your interest in our Research Grants Program! Review awards we’ve made in the past by clicking here.

Complete your profile and join PSC Partners Seeking a Cure in advancing PSC research towards a cure.