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NBF Grant Application Information for the 2018 NBF Grant Cycle

The deadline for the 2018 grants cycle was December 1, 2017. We are no longer accepting applications for 2018. Thank you to all who applied. If you did not receive an email confirmation confirming receipt of your application, immediately contact the NBF at nbf@aabb.org. The review process has begun and will continue until June when projects to be funded will be announced. Funds will be disbursed in July 2018. All applicants will receive a detailed critique of their application, pointing out strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for strengthening the proposal.

New application forms for the 2019 cycle will be posted in July 2018 with a deadline of 11:59pm ET on December 1, 2018. Please note that you should check back before the deadline to see if any changes have been made to the application forms, formats or procedures. Changes may occur to the application process up to the deadline. Check back frequently to make sure you are up-to-date on all forms and processes before you submit your application.

If you have any questions on this application process, please contact the NBF at nbf@aabb.org or at +1.301.215.6552.

Selection Process

All grant applications will be reviewed by the NBF Grants Review Committee (GRC). This committee meets once a year to select the grant recipients. Outside reviewers may be consulted at the discretion of the committee. The NBF Board of Trustees must approve and the National Blood Foundation Research and Education Trust (NBFRET) Board of Trustees must accept the GRC's recommendations before official awards may be made. Grants are announced in June and funds are disbursed in July.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • ability to meet eligibility criteria
  • scientific merit
  • relevance to and impact on transfusion medicine and cellular therapies
  • focus and appropriateness to the scope of funding
  • likelihood of meaningful data
  • likelihood of future funding potential

A confidential critique review sheet of the proposed grant project which summarizes the GRC's comments will be provided. AABB and the NBF reserve the right to list the grant recipients in publications, including the title, principal investigator and amount of funding.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

  • An applicant must be a doctor (MD or PhD), medical technologist, transfusion medicine or cellular therapies professional. All applicants will be considered regardless of age, race, gender, national origin or religion.
  • The NBF accepts national and international early-career applicants. How does NBF describe early-career?
    1. A new investigator who has completed a terminal research degree or medical residency – whichever date is later – within the past 10 years and has not yet been awarded a substantial research grant (i.e. NIH R01).
    2. Clinical fellowship training in a medical specialty or subspecialty training in the years that follow the internship/residency period is not considered a part of the residency. Often the clinical fellowship period will consist of a mixture of clinical and research training. The time spent in research training will be considered as applicable toward the 10 years of research and research training.
    3. If you have competed successfully for a substantial research grant (i.e. NIH R01) at any time in your career, you are NOT considered early-career and therefore you are not eligible for an NBF early-career Scientific Research Grant.
  • The NBF intends to fund researchers on a path towards independence.
  • No candidate is eligible to receive more than one NBF grant over the course of their career.

Application Submission Criteria

  • Applications for research into innovative and new projects are a priority.
  • No particular project can be funded more than once.
  • An application for the same project may be submitted up to three times if not already NBF funded.
  • Awards will NOT be made to increase the funding available for currently funded research projects. NBF grants are intended to provide "seed" funding that allows the principal investigator to enhance preliminary data. This data may then be useful in applying for larger grants.

Resubmitted Applications

An application for the same project may be submitted up to three times if not already NBF funded. Revised applications should clearly indicate the changes made to address the NBF Grants Review Committee (GRC) reviewers' comments. A one-page cover letter describing the specific responses to reviewers' critiques must be part of the narrative.

General tips to help you apply for NBF Grants

  • Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and submit your application by the deadline.
  • Plan ahead! Producing a strong application takes time and final selection is based, in part, on the quality of your application and accompanying material.
  • Have a clear strategy. Make sure all parts of your application form an integrated whole and make sense for your objectives.
  • Read and follow the instructions carefully. The instructions are your guide to creating a complete and competitive application.
  • Submit information regarding available funding from other sources (fellowships, scholarships, sponsorships...).

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


If I already received an NBF grant in the past, can I apply for another grant?

Yes, although the project and the career stage of the investigator would be closely evaluated and this is usually not encouraged. There is a limit of two NBF grants.

If I already submitted a grant application in the past but did not receive funding, am I eligible to apply again?

Yes, you are encouraged to resubmit an application using the reviewers' critique as a guide to modify and strengthen the application. Many previously unfunded applicants receive funding after resubmitting a second application. However, after three submissions, applications will no longer be accepted.

Am I eligible to apply if I have a master's degree?

Yes. An applicant can be a doctor (MD or PhD), medical technologist preferably with an advanced degree, or any transfusion medicine or cellular therapies professional working in the U.S. or outside the U.S. Emphasis will be given to first time applicants who meet the early-stage investigator criteria or second time applicants who submit a strong follow-up application. More experienced researchers who are changing fields to transfusion medicine and cellular therapies are also eligible for funding. Priority in awarding grants will be given to innovative, new projects.

Am I eligible to apply if I am or if I plan to pursue my post-doc in a university of another country outside the U.S.?

Yes. NBF grants are international in scope. Applicants do not have to be a U.S. citizen. All applicants will be considered regardless of age, race, gender, national origin or religion.

Which disciplines are eligible?

Eligible applicants are those working or training in disciplines that impact transfusion medicine, cellular therapies or related sciences. Priority in awarding grants will be given to innovative, new projects.

What areas of science are funded?

Is it necessary to provide the application in English?

Yes. Applications received in languages other than in English (including all supporting materials) will not be considered.

Is it necessary to apply electronically and not with print copy?

Yes. It is mandatory that the application be submitted electronically via the online grants portal (as indicated in the instructions). Paper applications will NOT be accepted.

How many years is the grant typically for?

The project may cover one or two years, starting in July and completion by the next June 30 for one-year terms and ending two years on June 30 for two-year terms. The award amount does not change.

After submitting my application online, can I modify it before the closing date?

You can update your application in the grants portal before the deadline as long as it is still in draft mode. An application cannot be modified after it has been submitted. After the deadline, no changes or additions can be made and all applicants will receive a notification e-mail. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please email nbf@aabb.org immediately.

I've just submitted my application, what else am I expected to do?

All applicants will receive a confirmation notification e-mail. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please email nbf@aabb.org immediately. You will also be contacted if there are any questions about your application. Please make sure that the NBF has your current contact information even if you temporarily move for the summer or go on vacation, etc. If we cannot reach you with questions your application may not be able to be evaluated. The NBF must be notified if you apply for or receive additional funding after your NBF application is submitted.

When will I be informed of the selection results?

You will receive a letter via email indicating whether or not your proposal has been funded. All applicants will receive a letter and a copy of the reviewers' critique. Awarded applicants will then receive a personal phone call or e-mail. Unsuccessful applicants will usually receive a formal letter in June. The Grants Review Committee meets in the spring to make its recommendations and the final funding approval is made by the Foundation boards in late May or early June. Grant applicants who will be funded are announced in June and funds are disbursed in early July.

How are grant recipients selected?

The selection process includes several rounds of review. A committee of eminent scientists (whose names are withheld in anonymity), in transfusion medicine and cellular therapies (the Grants Review Committee) reviews each application on its scientific merit and the quality of the proposal. Reviewers submit preliminary scores and the highest scoring applications proceed to a second review. Scientific Grants Review Committee which meets face-to-face to thoroughly discuss the potential of each remaining application as to its science, its capability of achieving the goals and the potential contribution to advancing transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The grants review committee presents recommendations to the Foundation boards in late May/early June for their approval. Approval is also required of the AABB board of directors before funds are disbursed.

Why is a particular proposal not selected?

There are a limited number of awards that can be funded by the NBF foundation. Staff cannot engage in individual correspondence or discuss reasons for not receiving a grant. A detailed reviewers' critique is sent to each applicant. Applications are typically unsuccessful due to the following reasons: poor quality; incomplete application; insufficient evidence or data to support the proposal's aims; flawed science; budgetary overlap with current funding in the laboratory or overlap mentor funding; junior investigator not judged to be moving to independent investigator track; or level of qualification - the Foundation funds PhD, or MD or persons engaged in transfusion medicine or cellular therapies affiliated with an accredited institution. Lastly, priority in awarding grants will be given to new investigators and innovative, new projects.

After Funding by NBF


If I need more time to complete my project than I anticipated, can I receive an extension?

Yes, you may apply for a 6-month or 12-month extension for your one- or two-year term by filling out a Request for Grant Change form and sending it to the NBF at nbf@aabb.org. Requests are addressed on a case-by-case basis.

If I need additional funding for my projects, can I obtain more funding from the NBF?

No, funding for each project is limited to a total of $75,000 or the amount requested in the application for the entire period of the project, either one year or two (NOT per year).

If I need additional funding for my project, can I obtain more funding from other funding sources?

Yes, but budgetary overlap must be carefully outlined and documented in the NBF proposal with specific information on source and scope.

I have a 2-year NBF grant, do I need to report budgetary carry-over after my first year?

No, the NBF has no restrictions on budgetary carry-over.

If I change institutions, may I still retain my NBF funding on my project?

Yes, you may but you must inform the NBF at nbf@aabb.org that you are changing institutions and give us your new contact information.

Must I prepare reports on my NBF funded project?

Yes, all grant recipients are required to submit an Interim progress report after completing 50% of their grant funding period (6 months or 1 year). All grant recipients must submit a Final Report to the NBF within 60 days of completion of your project. The Final Report form must be submitted in this format to be eligible for the NBF Award for Innovative Research.

What is the NBF Award for Innovative Research?

Recipient is selected by the National Blood Foundation (NBF) Scientific Grants Review Committee with formal approval by the NBF Board of Trustees. This award (formerly known as the David B. Pall Prize for Innovative Research and the Jack Latham Memorial Award for Innovative Research) was established in 2016 to recognize a scientist whose original research resulted in an important contribution to the body of scientific knowledge in transfusion medicine or cellular therapies. Recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium supported in 2017 by Blood Systems, Inc.