Funding //

Funding
Opportunities

Orland Bethel Family Musculoskeletal Research Center (BMRC) Fellowships

Program Description

The Orland Bethel Family Musculoskeletal Research Center (BMRC) was created in 2024 by the Orland Bethel Family Foundation’s gift, matched by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The BMRC enables the University of Pittsburgh to elevate its study of musculoskeletal disorders, including bone and muscular diseases, degenerative arthritis, fragility fractures, spinal pathology, cartilage and tendon pathology by attracting and retaining top scientists to advance leading-edge research. The BMRC prioritizes support of early career scientists, both within and outside of the University of Pittsburgh, to produce breakthrough treatments for musculoskeletal ailments.

The goal of the BMRC Fellowship program is to support the generation of critical preliminary data for larger grant applications, leading to breakthrough treatments for musculoskeletal disease. Two levels of BMRC Fellowship support are currently available — $20,000 awards for postdoctoral scholars or medical residents and $30,000 awards for junior faculty members — to support translational basic science and clinical musculoskeletal research.

We anticipate awarding 4 BMRC Fellowships in 2024. One award from each level (postdoc/junior faculty) will be only for investigators who are active members of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS), while all applicants will be eligible for the remaining award at each level. 


Eligibility

Postdoctoral scholars/residents must have completed a PhD, MD or DO degree within 5 years of the application date (approved institutional leaves of absence excluded).

Junior faculty (research assistant professor, assistant professor or equivalent) must be within 5 years of starting their first faculty position (approved institutional leaves of absence excluded). Faculty should also have not received grants totaling more than $75,000/year in direct research support.

Applicants must verify that they have legal work status in the United States and that all research will be performed in laboratories located in the United States.

BMRC is dedicated to improving diversity, equity, inclusion in musculoskeletal research. Investigators who are underrepresented in medicine or STEM fields are encouraged to apply.


Program Details

The BMRC Postdoctoral/Resident Fellowship award is for one year and in the amount of $20,000. The BMRC Junior Faculty Fellowship award is for one year and in the amount of $30,000. One award from each level (postdoc/junior faculty) will be only for investigators who are active members of the Orthopaedic Research Society (the BMRC/ORS Fellowship), while all applicants will be eligible for the remaining award at each level.  Funding is to support generation of preliminary data for subsequent larger grant applications. Allowable expenses include salary (up to 20% total of award), research supplies, animals, equipment, professional travel or publication fees. No indirect costs are permitted.

All 2024 BMRC fellows will be required to attend and present their work at the BMRC Research Symposium in Pittsburgh, PA in September 2025. Travel to the BMRC Research Symposium is not included with this award and should be included in the proposal budget if necessary.


Application Details

April 15, 2024:  Letter of Intent (LOI) due 

May 24, 2024: Notification of selection for full application

July 15, 2024: Full grant application is due

August 30, 2024: Award announcement

October 1, 2024: Start date for the award

September 30, 2025: End date of award


Letter of Intent Details

The LOI will be submitted through the application portal below and will require the following combined into one PDF document:

  • Cover page:
    • Title of application
    • Principal investigator name, academic position, institution
    • Co-investigator(s) name, role, institution
  • Description of research project (1 page limit)
    • Significance, innovation, specific aims, and hypothesis
  • Impact statement (300 word limit)
    • Describe how this project reflects the mission of the BMRC.
    • Describe how this award will impact your career and lead to preliminary data for larger future funding/research studies.
  • Biosketch –NIH formatted biosketch of the principal investigator only. Do not exceed 5 pages.

 

Full Grant Application Details

Investigators selected for full grant proposals will be notified by May 24, 2024 and materials required will include the following:

  • Cover page
    • Title of application
    • Principal investigator name, academic position, institution
    • Co-investigator(s) name, role, institution
  • Letter of support from department chair stating that necessary support (resources, salary, protected time) will be provided.
  • Abstract of research project (1 page limit) –Include significance and innovation, specific aims, approach. Describe how this project reflects the mission of the BMRC.
  • Proposal – Maximum of 4 pages (excluding references), Arial font size 11pt, ½” margin
    • Specific aims (1 page)
    • Significance, innovation, (preliminary studies, if any), approach, a timeline (3 pages)
    • References (not included in 4 page limit)
    • Budget & budget justification – Allowable expenses include salary (up to 20% total of award), research supplies, animals, equipment, professional travel or publication fees. No indirect costs are permitted.
  • Biosketches –NIH formatted biosketch of the candidate and key collaborators/ personnel. Limit to 5 pages per person.
  • Studies involving human subjects or vertebrate animals must include protection plan as appropriate.

 

Bethel Musculoskeletal Research Center Summer Student Research Program (SSRP)

Program Description

The Orland Bethel Family Musculoskeletal Research Center (BMRC) was established by a gift from the Orland Bethel Family Foundation and matched by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in 2024. The BMRC enables the University of Pittsburgh to elevate its study of musculoskeletal disorders, including bone and muscular diseases, degenerative arthritis, fragility fractures, cartilage and tendon disorders, and spinal pathology, by attracting and retaining top scientists to advance leading-edge research. The BMRC prioritizes support of undergraduate and medical students conducting musculoskeletal research in order to grow and foster the next generation of musculoskeletal scientists.

The goal of this 9-week SSRP is to provide undergraduate and medical students, from within and outside of The University of Pittsburgh, with a hands-on laboratory experience with mentorship and training in research methods and scientific presentation skills.

Eligibility

Participants must be currently enrolled undergraduates or medical students, or Spring 2024 graduates of an undergraduate institution. Students must verify that they are US citizens or have legal work status. The BMRC is dedicated to improving diversity, equity, inclusion in musculoskeletal research. Students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine or STEM fields are encouraged to apply.

Program Details

Accepted students will conduct in-person research at the University of Pittsburgh between June 3 – Aug 2, 2024. The SSRP will provide a stipend of $4000, disbursed in two equal payments June 1 & July 1. Housing and/or travel expenses are not included. Students will present their projects at an end-of-program symposium on Aug 2, 2024.

Students must pre-arrange a research project with a faculty member of the BMRC prior to application. More information on labs & faculty can be found at https://www.bethel.pitt.edu/core-labs/. For assistance connecting with a faculty member for a project, please contact Laurie Dearolf, PhD at lbd25@pitt.edu.

Application Details

The following materials must be collected and assembled into a single-PDF document.

  1. Applicant’s resume or CV.
  2. One page personal statement describing interest in musculoskeletal research and the BMRC SSRP.
  3. Letter of support from the BMRC faculty member who will supervise the student.
  4. Research proposal, drafted with input from BMRC faculty member supervisor. Proposals may not exceed 2 single-spaced pages using 11 pt Arial font and 0.5” margins. The following sections should be included:
    • Title
    • Background and significance
    • Specific aims and hypotheses
    • Approach
    • Role of the student i.e. include what the student will be responsible for and how that provides information or relates to other aspects of the project or grant of their chosen BMRC faculty member.
    • References (not included in 2 page limit)

A non-BMRC faculty member should email a letter of recommendation for the applicant to Laurie Dearolf, PhD at lbd25@pitt.edu before March 15, 2024.

All other application materials (single-PDF document described above) must be submitted through the application portal below. Emailed applications will not be accepted. The deadline for applications is 11:59pm Eastern time on March 15, 2024. Students will be notified of their acceptance by April 5, 2024.  

Transforming musculoskeletal
research together