Medical Research Funds

Nineteen funds at the Rhode Island Foundation support medical research:

  •  Alice W. Bliss Memorial Fund
  • Charles V. Chapin Fellowship Fund
  • Anne Elizabeth Chase Fund
  • Samuel J. and Esther Chester Medical Research Fund
  • Gilbert J. Clappin, Jr. Memorial Fund
  • Clean Competition Fund (see additional funding opportunity)
  • Marquise d'Andigne Fund
  • Frieda Dengal Fund
  • Charles Goss Memorial Fund
  • Haire Family Fund
  • Herbert E. Hopkins Fund
  • Alice Newton Fund
  • Phebe Parker Fund
  • Esther S. Phillips Fund
  • Helen Walker Raleigh Vision Fund
  • Edythe K. and Jane E. Richmond Memorial Cancer Fund
  • Colonel Lee Walton & Xenia Roberts Memorial Fund
  • John O. Strom, M.D. Memorial Fund
  • Mary A. Young Cancer Fund

The Foundation awards 10-12 grants of up to $25,000 each. The primary purpose of the grants is to provide support to new investigators as seed money or for pilot projects.

The Foundation encourages biomedical researchers throughout Rhode Island to apply for start-up grant support for laboratory, clinical and population-based research. In addition to general medical research (limited funding), areas of interest include infectious diseases, cardiac research, coronary artery disease, cerebral accidents, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, allergies, and performance enhancing substances.

Grants are provided to faculty at a Rhode Island academic or hospital institution during their first five years of appointment as assistant or associate professors and are one-time awards; grants are rarely provided to senior investigators. Grants are provided for supplies and research animals. The Foundation generally does not provide funds for permanent equipment, equipment maintenance, travel, or printing unless it is part of the research itself. In most cases, this program does not provide funds for salary support of the principal investigator. Due to the limited funds available, the Foundation does not cover charges for overhead by the applicant hospitals and universities. Only under unusual circumstances will a proposal for second-year funding be considered.

Please note: Applications will not be considered from organizations with overdue grant reports.

Proposal Review Criteria

A review panel made up of scientists and physicians assists the Foundation in its review of medical research proposals. Criteria used to evaluate proposals include:

  • Significance of the research
  • Soundness of the methodology
  • Feasibility of the research project
  • Demonstration of independent research
  • Likelihood of applicant pursuing future successful awards
  • Likelihood of the project transitioning to external funding (i.e. NIH RO1 funds)
  • Grants are generally awarded to MDs or PhDs who have a faculty appointment at an assistant or associate professor level at a Rhode Island academic or hospital institution and have not received substantial funding. Grants are not awarded to individuals in training, such as specialty training fellows or postdoctoral fellows, who do not hold faculty appointments at the time of initiation of the proposed research.
  • Awards are contingent on IRB/IACUC written approval. If IRB/IACUC approval is not required, a letter of exception from your institution is required.

Important Dates

The next application deadline is October 28, 2019.

Awards will be available between April 1 and July 1, 2020, subject to receipt of all documents (i.e. IRB/IACUC approval, if required).

The proposed grant period is 18 months from the time funds are disbursed.

How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • Online application
    (Applications are available six weeks prior to the deadline; all applications must be submitted through our online system.)
  • Project description
  • Project budget
  • Curriculum vitae "biosketch" of researcher
  • Letter of support from the investigator's division director or department chair *
  • Letter from the office of research administration of the sponsoring agency *
  • IRB or IACUC Approval Letter. If you do not have your approval letter, please upload a letter of exception or a statement detailing the status of your approval letter in its place. *

* Letters must be in Word, Excel, PDF, or JPG formats.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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