Pilot Research Award in Liver Diseases

Application Deadline
Award Amount
Award Term
One Year
Award Type
Clinical / Translational / Outcomes Research
Basic Science Research
Career Level
Junior Faculty

The 2022 application deadline for this program has passed. Notifications will be sent by May 1, 2022


View the 2022 request for applications [PDF]. 


The purpose of this award is to support highly innovative research ideas that have a clear potential to produce high-impact results, but that have little or no preliminary data to successfully compete for funding from other sources. This award is not intended to support ongoing research in the applicant’s laboratory, but rather support new ideas or approaches that have not previously been studied.

Clinical/Translational/Outcomes and Basic Science projects will be evaluated independently, with separate funding reserved for each category. Two (2) awards are anticipated in Clinical/Translational/Outcomes research and one (1) award in Basic Science.

In order to be eligible for this award, the applicant must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The applicant must:
    • Have a faculty appointment and be at least three years from their first appointment at the Assistant Professor level up to an Associate Professor at the start date of the award (faculty start date must be July 1, 2019, or earlier).
    • Be a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) at the time of award application and maintain active membership for the duration of the award period.
    • Be able to devote at least 20% effort to the research project on which this application is based
    • Be sponsored by a public or private non-profit institution accredited in the United States, Canada or Mexico engaged in health care and health-related research. Individuals employed at the NIH, FDA, and CDC are not eligible to apply.
    • If the applicant is at the rank of Assistant Professor, they must have a mentor or co-mentor who is an AASLD member in good standing at the time of application and for the duration of the award period. Mentors are not required for Associate Professor level applicants or equivalent.
    • Not hold federal funding (e.g., U, P, R, K, VA Merit, VA CDA) unless they are able to justify the following in their application:
      • The project is truly completely distinct and non-overlapping from existing funding.
      • The proposed work cannot be completed using existing funds.
  2. The proposed project must:
    • Not be an established project with alternate funding and must be clearly different than existing research portfolio of the PI.
    • Be hypothesis based.
    • Include only 1-2 aims that can be completed within the one-year award term.
    • If the project is Clinical/Translational/Outcomes Research, intervention must involve a direct clinical interaction with patients (clinical), patient clinical data (outcomes), or patient samples (translational). No clinical interaction is required for Basic Research proposals.
    • Be conducted at the sponsoring institution within the United States, Canada, or Mexico.
  3. Application limits:
    • There is no restriction on the number of applicants an institution can sponsor each cycle, but only one applicant may be funded per distinct department within each institution in this award category.
    • Applicants may only apply for one AASLD Foundation award per application year.   

Award Period: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.

  • Award of $50,000 will be provided over (1) one year. 
  • Funds are unrestricted for direct project expenditures, except that equipment acquisition of $5,000 or greater requires prior written approval from AASLD Foundation. 
  • No indirect costs, registration fees, or travel expenses are provided. 
  • Unexpended funds at the end of the award term must be returned to AASLD Foundation. 
  • Awards cannot be transferred to another institution without prior written approval from AASLD Foundation. 
  • Funding notifications for the 2022 awards cycle will be sent no later than May 15, 2022.

Applicants will be evaluated based upon their background, their commitment to a research career, the scientific merit of their research project, and the environment in which they will conduct this project.

  • Project feasibility, an appropriate environment to conduct the project, and relevant collaborators will strengthen the application.
  • Work proposed must clearly be able to be accomplished in one year.
  • Highly innovative, high-risk/high-reward projects will be prioritized.
  • For Clinical/Translational Research proposals:
  • Interventions addressing disparities in healthcare access or quality will receive priority consideration.
  • Operational/clinical interventions will be judged on potential for generalizability to other institutions (i.e., intervention that can only applied in a single center due to specific local infrastructure requirements will receive lower priority).


Applications will be reviewed based on the written materials submitted. Incomplete applications and applications that fail to adhere strictly to the instructions (including the submission deadline and page limitations) will not be reviewed.  All decisions are final.

  1. Use pages 5-6 of the RFA as cover pages. Type responses.
  2. Include only the required documents and provide signatures as requested.
  3. Include a header at the upper right corner of each page with your name (last name, first name) and award name.
  4. Use half-inch margins.  Do not use lettering smaller than 10 point.
  5. Adhere to page limits and complete all sections.  Applications that do not meet the requirements, in content or format, will not be reviewed.
  6. The completed application, letters of support or commitment, and other documents as applicable must be combined in the order listed in the Required Documents section (RFA pages 3-4) and submitted as one PDF document. Name the PDF file as follows: 2022 PILOT_Last name, first name (Example: 2022 PILOT_Smith, Jane) 
  7. Submit your application at www.liverresearchawards.org. You will be sent an email confirmation that the application was received. If an email confirmation is not received in two (2) business days, please contact awards@aasld.org to confirm receipt.


The application deadline for this award is 11:59 pm Eastern time, December 2, 2021. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.