Scholars Program Information
The Foundation for SMFM and the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation (AAOGF) seek to identify future academic physician leaders in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and to stimulate their scholarly development, through the support of advanced scientific training. The Scholarship Award is to be used in an academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the United States or Canada to provide research training and experience for a candidate of proven ability who exhibits significant talent, original thought, and evidence of dedication to an academic career. Research training may be either laboratory-based or clinical, and focus on basic or translational research, disease pathogenesis, diagnostics, interventions or epidemiology. Download the full application booklet here.
The total annual funding for each scholar is $120,000. Sufficient funds to support travel to the annual fellows’ retreat must be set aside. The balance of funds may be used for salary, technical support, and supplies. The award is co-sponsored by AAOGF and the Foundation for SMFM and is under the direction of the AAOGF Research Scholars Advisory Committee and the Foundation for SMFM Scholarly Activities Committee.
The award is intended to fund three consecutive years of research training. The initial award is for one year and is renewable annually for two additional consecutive years of research training, based on satisfactory progress of the scholar in meeting programmatic requirements and the availability of funds. Only one year of the three funded years may be part of a subspecialty fellowship-training program. Indirect costs are not provided.
Recipients must agree to provide career development follow up after the conclusion of the scholarship on an annual basis and as requested.
It is expected that the scholarship training will be conducted at the same institution for the entire period of funding. Transfer of institutions or change of mentors during the period of funding must receive the prior approval of AAOGF and the Foundation for SMFM. Unexpended funds must be returned to the sponsoring organization unless approval is granted for an extension of the training period.
Candidates must have been awarded an M.D. degree and must be eligible for the certification process of ABOG at the time of the award. This award is not intended to fund clinical training leading to specialty or subspecialty certification. However, applicants who are in their second year of an ABOG-approved fellowship can apply the first year of this award to a 3rd research training year that meets the requirements leading to ABOG subspecialty certification. In any case, applicants who have completed or are undertaking subspecialty training must have completed such training or be in the second or third year of an ABOG-approved training program at the time application is made. In addition, candidates for the SMFM/AAOGF scholarship must be members of SMFM.
Because of the desirability of early training in scientific principles, residency programs possessing the necessary flexibility and resources are urged to notify their residents of the availability of these scholarships.
At least 75% of the candidate’s efforts should be spent in research training and conduct of research, which may occur in facilities either within or outside of the sponsoring Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Collaborative efforts with other departments e.g., Pharmacology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Biochemistry, or Epidemiology would be a desirable part of the program.
Applications for the subsequent academic year will be accepted only if the application is received electronically by July 1. There is no application form; however, an application format is provided below. The application must be countersigned by both the candidate and the chair of the sponsoring department. The following material must be provided for the application to be considered:
Evaluation of Applications
The evaluation of applications will be conducted by committee(s) and will be based on:
Monitoring of Scholars
The recipient of the award must submit interim progress reports by March 15 of the first and second years of award, and a final report by June 1 of the third year of award. All three reports should be countersigned by the faculty mentor and should include a monetary accounting of the funds awarded. The reports at the end of the first and second years should detail the candidate’s achievements and the prospects for progress in the succeeding year(s). The reports should include any significant changes in departmental resources, which might affect the program, such as change of mentor or collaborators, altered funding, change of chairman, etc. Changes in the program that deviate from the original application require the approval of the AAOGF Scholar’s Committee and the Foundation for SMFM if applicable. The recipient of the SMFM/AAOGF Award must send reports to both the Foundation for SMFM and AAOGF.
In the spring following receipt of the award, a member of the AAOGF or Foundation for SMFM Committees will schedule a structured site visit for the respective scholar. The scholar must provide site visitors with a progress report prior to the site visit. Prior to the visit, the scholar will receive specific metrics that must be addressed during the time of the site visit. The SMFM/AAOGF Scholar will also meet with representatives of the Scholarly Activities Committee at the SMFM Annual Meeting to discuss progress.
The SMFM/AAOGF Award is separated into stages with a rigorous evaluation process between the stages. Stage I will conclude at the completion of the first site visit and review of the first progress report. The progress report and site visit must demonstrate that the scholar is meeting the specific research aims as outlined in the grant application, as well as, meeting the mentor’s milestones defined at the outset of the award. If the scholar has not made sufficient progress, funding may be continued for a limited period (e.g. 6 months) and the scholar given notice that improvements must be made. A scholar given a limited extension for remediation will be asked to submit an interim progress report and a repeat site visit may be required before authorization is given for additional funding. Stage II will consist of continuation of funding in year two and year three based on annual progress reports demonstrating sufficient progress toward completing the remaining project objectives.
Scholars are expected to attend an annual retreat and to present the progress of their work. Funds must be set aside from the award to support attendance at the retreat. Failure to attend the retreat may jeopardize renewal of funding.
Preparation and submission of an extramural grant request with the assistance of the scholar’s mentor is viewed as an essential element of the training experience and is an expected outcome of the scholarship.
Following completion of the scholarship, the awardees will be invited to the annual meeting of the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society (AGOS) to present a paper about the work accomplished during the award period. This presentation is a requirement for successful completion of the scholarship. The SMFM/AAOGF Scholars are expected to submit abstracts concerning the work accomplished during the period of the award for peer review by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Inquiries regarding the program should be directed to:
Yoel Sadovsky, MD
Chair, Scholarly Activities Committee
Foundation for SMFM
Phone: (412) 641-2675
Michelle DiVito, R.N., MSN
Foundation for SMFM Scholarly Activities Committee
Phone: (212) 305-2977