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Career Development Award

Application Instructions

  • Applicants who are not part of the Dystonia Coalition may also apply. US citizenship and affiliation with a US institution are not required.
  • The purpose of the award is to support junior faculty interested in developing careers in clinical and translational research in dystonia. More senior investigators may apply if they are redirecting their efforts from another area of research to dystonia. Advanced postdoctoral fellows who are transitioning to their first faculty appointment may also be considered. Clinical residents and fellows in early training stages are not eligible.
  • Please note that any application that requires new patient recruitment will need to have independent IRB approval, and this approval may have to be reviewed by NIH.
  • Any domestic application that involves new patient recruitment across multiple centers must follow the NIH single IRB rule for each of its centers. This requirement does not apply to studies at foreign sites.
  1. The Dystonia Coalition Career Development Award Cover Sheet.
  2. A 3-4 page research proposal letter. The proposal should focus on clinical or translational research in isolated dystonia. Proposals for basic science will be given low priority.
  3. The 3-4-page research proposal letter must include an explanation for how the award will impact the future of your career. Examples include generation of pilot data sufficient for publications or for writing a larger independent grant, networking/collaborating with other established dystonia researchers, or other career-advancement opportunities.
  4. Bibliography (not included in the page limit).
  5. Budget of up to US $50,000 with no more than 10% indirect costs (institutional overhead); with budget justification no longer than 1 page. At minimum,10% of applicant’s effort should be devoted to this project.
  6. A NIH-style bio sketch for the applicant. For directions and sample document, click here.
  7. A letter of support and NIH-style bio sketch from a senior mentor.
  8. Institutional approval/acknowledgement of the research plan and budget.
  9. If IRB approval is required, include the IRB approval letter and consent document or proof of submission of protocol to the IRB.
  10. Signed DC Bylaws document.
  11. Optional items may include additional letters of support or copies of manuscripts in press. Published articles available online should not be included in the application.
  • Submit all materials in a single PDF file of less than 2MB, in the order listed above, by email, to Gamze Kilic-Berkmen (, who will confirm receipt of each application with the sender. Paper applications cannot be accepted.
  • Deadline for receipt of applications is April 1, 2023.
  • Applications will be reviewed in May 2023; awards can begin as early as July 2023.
  • Reviews will be conducted by the Dystonia Coalition. If new subject recruitment is required, project will need to be approved by NIH.
  • In accordance with policies previously used by the Dystonia Coalition, applications will be shared with representatives from the DMRF and may be shared with other patient advocacy groups for possible co-funding.
  • Reviewers of these applications are instructed to give priority to the following, so they should be addressed in your application:
    1. Candidate. What are the candidate’s track record of accomplishments, long-term career goals, and potential for future development?
    2. Research plan. What are the feasibility, significance, and relevance of the proposed research to clinical and translational research in dystonia? Can the project be completed in 1 year?
    3. Environment. Are the research environment and institutional commitments to the candidate conducive to the proposed research and career development plan? Are other individuals at the same institution already participating in other Dystonia Coalition projects?
    4. Mentor. What is the mentor’s track record of relevant research accomplishments, record of training other investigators, and access to resources to support the candidate and project?
    5. Development plan. How will the award impact career development?