Pinnacle Research Award in Liver Diseases

Application Deadline
Award Amount
$300,000 ($100,000/year)
Award Term
Three years
Award Type
Basic Science Research
Career Level
Junior Faculty

View the 2022 request for applications [PDF].



The Pinnacle Research Award in Liver Diseases is a three-year basic science award that provides early career scientists with support for their research to bridge the gap between completion of research training and attainment of status as an independent research scientist. The additional research experience provided by this award is intended to enable early career scientists to successfully compete for research awards from national sources, particularly the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Well-trained investigators who hold MD, PhD or MD/PhD degrees and are pursuing a career in liver disease research are encouraged to apply.

The Pinnacle Research Award is intended to develop the potential of outstanding, young scientists and encourage research in liver physiology and disease. Individuals who are already well-established in the field are not eligible for this award.

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

  1. The applicant must:
    • Be within the first six* years of their first faculty appointment (including prior appointments in universities outside of North America) at the start of the award (faculty appointment starting no earlier than July 1, 2016). *The standard eligibility period for this award is within five years of the applicant’s first faculty appointment. In consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on researchers, AASLD Foundation has extended the eligibility window for the 2022 Awards cycle. This extension is not guaranteed for future cycles.
      • If the applicant does not have a faculty appointment at the time of application, the letter of commitment from their department chair must explicitly confirm that the applicant will have a faculty appointment (i) no later than the Award start date and (ii) for the full award cycle.
    • 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 50% 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.
    • Have a research 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.
    • Not hold/have held any other similar award that is intended to primarily support the salary of early career investigators (including but not limited to NIH R, P or most K level grants, or similar career development awards from federal or non-federal sources See eligibility list for more common programs).
  2. The proposed project must:
    • Be a basic science research project.
    • 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, 2025

  • Awards of $300,000 will be provided over three (3) years ($100,000 per year). 
  • Funds may only be used for PI salary support and/or for technical support/laboratory supplies (excluding capital equipment) for the recipient. No additional or indirect costs, registration fees, or travel expenses are allowed. 
  • 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.
  • Annual renewal will depend on scientific progress, verification of faculty status, and other received or pending research funding.
  • 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.

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 PINNACLE_Last name, first name (Example: 2022 PINNACLE_Smith, Jane) 
  7. Submit your application at 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 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.