ASPIRE Rheumatology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Grant

Pfizer, Inc.

Grant amount: Up to US $150,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 19, 2019 8:59pm PST

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Unaffiliated Researcher Working Professional

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

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This ASPIRE program is part of Pfizer's commitment to supporting research in autoimmune diseases within rheumatology and inflammatory bowel disease.


The mission of the ASPIRE program is to fund high quality basic science, translational and clinical research through a competitive grants program that advances medical knowledge in the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of selected diseases.


Scientific research continues to advance our knowledge and understanding of autoimmune diseases within rheumatology and inflammatory bowel disease. The 2017 ASPIRE Rheumatology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Awards will fund meritorious research proposals that have the potential to improve patient care.

Areas of Focus

Research areas of interest in rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease are as follows:

  • General
    • Approaches to improving communication among patients and healthcare providers (e.g., enduring materials, technological advancements, or web-based teaching programs)
    • Health economic and outcomes research related to autoimmune diseases
    • Basic research in the etiology of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in rheumatology or gastroenterology.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Health economic and outcomes research related to rheumatologic disorders and diseases
    • Basic research in the etiology of rheumatologic disorders and diseases
    • Use of biomarkers in assessment and management
    • Use of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in assessment and management
    • Comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular, pulmonary, or ophthalmologic, and increased risks with concomitant therapies used to treat these comorbidities (including, but not limited to, epidemiology, overlapping pathogenesis, assessment, and management of these conditions)
    • Approaches to improving adherence to therapy
    • Approaches to improving management such as: treating to a specific goal or target by monitoring response and adjusting therapy; evidence-based treatment algorithms; factors predictive of response to therapy
    • Signaling pathways implicated in pathogenesis
    • Kinase inhibitors and other small molecules that are not being studied currently by a company competing with Pfizer Inc.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Exploration of the role of JAK/STAT pathways in pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease
    • Use of biomarkers (of any type) to predict response to treatment, disease course, or to differentiate between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
    • Approaches to improving disease management (e.g. evaluation of sequencing of therapy, treating to a specific goal or target)
    • Approaches to improving adherence to therapy

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Both Junior and Senior Investigators are encouraged to apply and consideration will be given to all proposals meeting the selection criteria.

  • Principal Investigator must reside and conduct the research in the United States.
  • PI must have relevant experience conducting the type of research proposed.
  • It is expected that the findings will be suitable for presentation at a medical or scientific congress and/or publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


  • Doctoral degree (e.g., M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Doctorate in Nursing, etc.) preferred. 
    • Other types of credentials will be considered (e.g., Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, M.P.H., etc.), along with an appropriate track record, depending on the type of research proposed. 
  • Hypothesis-testing research is preferred. Uncontrolled pilot and exploratory studies will be considered if reasonably hypothesis-generating.


  • No current participating review committee member may be an applicant or co-applicant for the program, nor author any publication resulting from the program.
  • Ineligible projects:
    • General education and/or training.
    • Support for ongoing clinical programs that are part of an organization’s routine operations.
    • Proposals that do not focus on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Dermatology or Inflammatory Bowel Disease except as specified above.
  • Use of funding:
    • Pfizer guidelines limit institutional overhead to 28% of funding for ASPIRE grants.
    • ASPIRE Research funds may not be used to purchase capital equipment; purchase of relevant laboratory supplies is allowed.
    • ASPIRE Program grants cannot be provided to studies that are already in progress.
    • An ASPIRE Program grant may be related to other funding from foundations or government agencies, as long as there is no direct overlap.