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Early-Career Scientific Research Grants Program

Celebrating Almost 40 Years of Awarding Early-Career Research Grants, 1983-2020

Since its inception, the NBF has awarded almost $11 million to early-career investigators through its Scientific Research Grants Program. Many NBF early-career grant recipients have become leaders in the field. NBF awards grants for investigator-initiated original research in all aspects of blood banking, transfusion medicine, cellular therapies and patient blood management. Examples of topics of interest to the NBF are listed below.

Research Content Areas:


Alloimmunization, immune modulation, and tolerance
Animal models for the study of graft-vs-host disease
Biology of autoimmune hemolytic anemia


Autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplants
Detection of residual disease following stem cell transplants
Effects of growth factors in vitro and in vivo
Biochemistry of coagulation factors


Blood group serology
Biochemistry of red cell antigens
Molecular genetics of the blood groups

Infectious Diseases

Studies on Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, SARS and babesiosis and other emerging diseases
Effect of allogeneic transfusion in HIV-infected and immunocompromised patients
Improved detection of transfusion - transmitted diseases

Cellular Therapies

Cell separation, cell culture or expansion studies for cell therapy applications
Development of novel cell therapies or assays to measure cell viability or function
Pilot studies in regenerative medicine
Studies on mechanisms or roles of cells in stem cell transplantation
Studies on cytokines or growth factors involved in stem cell differentiation

Patient Blood Management

Treatment of pre-admission anemia and bleeding tendencies; Intraoperative/postoperative blood recovery; Surgical hemostasis; Appropriate indications for transfusion; Changing physician behaviors; Blood utilization review.

Grants applications are evaluated on the basis of their scientific merit, relevance to and impact on transfusion medicine, focus and appropriateness to the scope of funding, and likelihood of yielding meaningful data.

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. An early-stage investigator is a new investigator who has completed a terminal research degree or medical residency – whichever date is later – within the past 10 years of the grant application deadline and has not yet been awarded a substantial research grant (i.e. NIH R01). Of note, there is a 13-month period during which an investigator can resubmit a revised application and retain early-stage investigator status.
    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 twice 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.