Medical Research

FRCS Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs, email with “COVID-19 FRCS-Last Name” as the subject line. No phone calls please.

Application instructions are available here.


Institutional eligibility

Can a research hospital that is affiliated with a U.S. medical school submit a proposal separate from its affiliated medical school?

Yes, research hospitals affiliated with a U.S. medical school may submit their own application as long as they are an independent 501(c)(3) organization with their own tax ID number. It is possible that affiliated institutions submitting separate applications could each receive the award.

Is there a limit to the number of awards that will be made per institution?

Yes, only one award will be made per institution, regardless of the number of applications submitted by that institution.

Can one individual be named as program director on multiple applications from an institution?

No, institutions submitting more than one application must name a different program director for each application. Furthermore, only one award will be made to a given medical school or to an affiliated academic research hospital, so it is suggested that departments confer on applications.


Grant costs

What is the grant term for the institutional grant?

The award is $550,000 ($500,000 direct costs plus $50,000 indirect costs) to be spent over a two-year period. This period is meant to allow some initial time to ramp up the selection process to identify research supplement recipients plus a minimum of one year for the individual research supplements to be used.

What is the grant term for the supplemental research funds?

We recommend a minimum grant term of one year. However, institutions may opt for longer terms within the overall two-year term of the institutional grant based on the individual circumstances of the supplemental research funding recipient.

Is salary support for early-career investigators an allowable cost as part of this grant?

Investigators requesting supplemental funds should have significant research funding, such as a career development award or research project grant that includes salary support. While salary support for the investigator is not excluded, applicants should demonstrate a compelling case for such support from this grant. The applicant institution will be required to provide a description of how supplemental funds will be used as well as selection criteria in the full proposal. Please refer to the Request for Applications for a complete list of allowable costs.

Is there a salary cap for personnel?

There is no salary cap for personnel, but partial personnel support for the program director and administration, if needed, should be no more than 20% of direct costs and should be commensurate with effort toward the project.

Is there a recommended allocation for program evaluation?

No, there is no requirement to allocate funds or a set allocation for evaluation of the effort. However, it is expected that institutions will structure their budgets to maximize the number of research supplements to be awarded. Institutional commitment to evaluate the effort as part of their practice to invest in resources to support faculty with family caregiving responsibilities will be assessed in the review.

Is there a preference for the type of research supported through the supplemental funds?

Research supported through the COVID-19 Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists must fit within the definition of clinical research described in the Request for Applications.


Eligibility of supplemental research funding recipients

These questions pertain to the pool of individuals within institutions that may be eligible to receive supplemental funds, should the institution receive a grant.

What is meant by the potential pool of applicants?

The potential pool of applicants refers to the number of faculty that could potentially meet the eligibility criteria for the research supplement outlined in the Request for Applications. Prospective candidates should not be named in the submitted application. 

What is the definition of early-career faculty for this funding opportunity?

For the purposes of this award, early-career faculty are defined as those having a full-time, post-training Instructor or Assistant Professor faculty appointment at the medical school. Associate Professors are included in this definition only if they have been at this rank for one year or less.

Are instructors eligible for research supplements?

Instructors are eligible to apply for institutional research supplements only if their appointment is a full-time, faculty-rank, post-training Instructor position.

Are associate professors considered early-career faculty?

For the purposes of this award, individuals at the associate professor level are considered early-career faculty only if they have been at this rank for less than one year.

I am a faculty member currently serving as a caregiver for a family member. Am I eligible to apply?

No. This award will not be made directly to individuals. This award will be made to institutions that will set up their own internal procedures for distributing funds to faculty based on the requirements outlined in the Request for Applications.

Are candidates eligible for the supplemental funds allowed to work in a laboratory that conducts animal research?

Yes, the candidate may be working in a lab that conducts animal research. However, whether the research supplement can be used toward work with non-human animals will depend on the source of support for the institutional grants. For example, funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation may not be used to support research supplements for a project with non-human animal models or their cells.

Are nursing and pharmacy PhD researchers eligible to receive supplemental research funding?

If a grant is awarded, nursing and pharmacy PhD researchers meeting all other eligibility criteria may be considered as candidates for the supplement as permissible by individual funders in the collaborative. Whether funds may be used to support PhD researchers will be stipulated for each grant awarded.



Is it possible to submit additional documents and appendices, such as letters of support from department chairs or biographical sketches of key personnel, with the application? 

Do not include additional documents beyond those required in the application instructions. Applicants must adhere to the page limits within the instructions.

Can institutional applicants include references within the application and does this count towards the page limit?

Applicants may include references, which will not count toward the 10-page limit.