Patricia K. Donahoe, MD, Surgeon-Scientist Research Program

The future of surgical innovation depends on the curiosity and dedication of surgeon-scientists and those who collaborate with them to take the challenges that patients face today and turn them into the therapies of tomorrow.

The mission of the Patricia K. Donahoe, MD, Surgeon-Scientist Research Program in the Department of Surgery is to enable surgical residents and faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital to pursue and launch innovative research efforts that create meaningful differences for patients.

The Patricia K. Donahoe, MD, Surgeon-Scientist Research Program will achieve its mission of developing the next generation of leaders through four awards.

Incubator Award

The Incubator Award supports cutting-edge, early-stage research and ideas that show promise for significant future impact. Seed funding at this level helps individuals develop a plan to bring their ideas to the next phase. The award provides mentoring support, connections for potential collaboration and opportunities to shape ideas, allowing awardees to make significant progress and gather the data needed to secure future funding.

The department plans to grant three Incubator Awards per year, each a one-time award of $100,000. Eligible applications must:

  • Be submitted by a Department of Surgery faculty member in good standing
  • Identify co-investigators from two or more surgical divisions, as a way to encourage collaborations across the department
  • Propose projects that are not already funded
  • Include a clear description of how the award will translate to the next steps of funding

The department is especially interested in ideas that combine technologies that will move the science forward in a dramatic way, such as:

  • Molecular genetics
  • Immunology and immunotherapy
  • Tissue engineering and gene therapeutics including xenotransplantation
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Those that span across basic science, translational and health services research

The Surgical Research Council Grants Committee will review applications, with final award decision made by the committee with input from Patricia Donahoe, MD, Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD, chief research officer, and Keith Lillemoe, MD, surgeon-in-chief.

The Catalysts Awards

All of the Catalyst Award recipients are selected annually by Dr. Donahoe, Allan Goldstein, MD, surgeon-in-chief at Mass General Hospital for Children, Dr. Liao and Dr. Lillemoe. The department will cover the 15% overhead on all awards.

  • The Resident Catalyst Award—The department recognizes that the various transition points during academic development come with unique challenges. One key challenge for residents is to maintain the momentum of their research as they return to PGY4 clinical training. The Resident Catalyst Award ($50,000 per year for two years) will allow for the selected investigator’s research to continue in the sponsor’s laboratory and for the resident to complete or advance the study. This award will extend two additional years as the selected resident completes clinical PGY4 and PGY5 training
  • The Early-Career Catalyst Award—Junior surgeon-scientists navigate many challenges: building a research program, carving out a clinical niche and learning how to manage a team. The Early-Career Catalyst Award ($100,000 per year for three years) will provide junior surgeon-scientists a springboard toward securing their first major extramural grant
  • The Mid-Career Catalyst Award—If finding extramural funding is hard, maintaining continuous extramural funding is even harder. Recognizing this, we are introducing the Mid-Career Catalyst Award ($100,000 for three years). This grant is meant to be transformative, to enable maturing investigators to carry out high-risk and high-reward projects that will advance surgical research

Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship

The Department of Surgery and Harvard Medical School Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship is offered to Mass General Department of Surgery faculty at the instructor or assistant professor level. This fellowship is intended to support protected time for research, preparation of grants or manuscripts, development of curriculum, or teaching, and to provide junior faculty members the ability to facilitate new experimental approaches, initiate new projects, and/or assist in establishing their research programs.

Proposals will be ranked on their scientific merit by the Department of Surgery Surgical Research Council Grants and Awards Committee. One fellowship will be awarded. Consideration will be given based on financial need due to increased family or other personal responsibilities.

Eligibility, Funding Support and Application Instructions
  • Physicians and/or scientists in the Mass General Department of Surgery with a Harvard Medical School appointment of Instructor or Assistant Professor, as of January 1 during the application year
  • Applicants who have received (past or current) an NIH R-level award or equivalent are not eligible
  • Only one application per applicant
  • $30,000 direct costs plus the applicable indirect cost rate
  • One year of support with a second year is possible under exceptional circumstances and submission of a new application when the annual request for applications is circulated
  • The award can be used for expenses supporting the work described in the research proposal (i.e., salary, fringe, supplies)
Application Instructions
  • Cover page and budget that follows this template (one page)
  • Letter of support from division chief or mentor that includes plans for the development of the applicant as an independent investigator (two pages)
  • Salary support that lists the sponsor/source of your current salary support, percent effort and the end date of the support, if applicable (one page)
  • Resources with the location of research, a description of the relationship with your research mentor, the frequency and structure of meetings with your mentor, interactions and collaborations with other investigators, and courses/classes you are taking that are relevant to your research (one page)
  • Personal need statement, if applicable, that describes the challenges and obstacles experienced while in pursuit of an academic career and need of financial support due to increased family or other personal responsibilities (two pages)
  • Biographical sketch, using the current NIH format (five pages)
  • Research plan (three pages) that includes:
    • Specific aims
    • Background and significance
    • Preliminary studies
    • Research design and methods
    • References (does not go toward the three-page limit)

Please combine the documents in the order listed above and email a single PDF file to Daniel Salvati on or before the due date.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Please see below for additional funding opportunities for investigators in the Department of Surgery.

Funding Opportunities Database

Funding Opportunities Database

MGB faculty, staff and students have access to the funding opportunities database, Pivot.

Federal Funding Opportunities

Federal Funding Opportunities shares opportunities for federal funding.

Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) Awards

Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) Awards

ECOR offers an internal grants and awards program for Mass General researchers.

Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) News

Executive Committee on Research (ECOR) News

ECOR sends research news and updates by email to a subscribed list.