Young Investigator Program / Grant Writing Workshop


The long-term goal of the Young Investigator Program within the Perinatal Research Society is to encourage researchers still in training to attend the annual meeting to meet PRS members and share their ideas.  The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is currently granting support for the purpose of helping defray the attendance expenses of young investigators to our annual meeting.

The Young Investigator program is also generously supported by our sponsors.  Typically 15 Young investigators attend each year, and of these some are selected based on their applications to present their projects to the society as part of the annual meeting program.

The long term goal of the NIH Mead Johnson Grant Writing Workshop is to train young investigators in how to present their ideas in the scientific granting application process.  The Grant Writing Workshop is fully funded by awards from NICHD and Meade Johnson, and is run annually as a pre-meeting immediately prior to the annual conference.  The program includes a two day, fully immersive workshop that provides young investigators an opportunity to develop their grant proposal specific aims, significance statement, and innovation statement.

Participants focus on effective communication through clarity of writing and this is reinforced by oral presentation. Workshop goals are achieved using a model that shifts from teaching to learning by combining minimal didactic instruction with active learning. Young investigators work on their own specific aims, significance statement, and innovation statement during the workshop and receive immediate one-on-one feedback from established faculty workshop mentors - all of whom are NIH funded.

A long-term goal of the Society is to encourage those benefiting from both these experiences to consider applying for new membership in PRS.

Application Information:

We welcome applications from senior post-doctoral fellows or junior faculty who are interested in attending this year's meeting and pre-meeting workshop.  Successful candidates will demonstrate scholarly achievements appropriate for career stage, have identified upcoming grant opportunities that they will pursue, and be prepared to work on their proposal at the workshop.  If you wish to attend but do not have a PRS sponsor please  contact PRS by email at

A young investigator is defined as someone in postdoctoral training or who has completed postdoctoral training within the past seven years.  Nominees will be expected to attend both the annual meeting and the workshop.

If selected for an award, the Society will arrange and cover the registration costs of both the pre-meeting Grant Writing Workshop and the Main Meeting. This includes the hotel room for four nights and all meals. The applicant and their institution are responsible for all travels to and from the venue.    

Late applications will not be accepted.

Previous participants can not apply.

How to apply to be a Young Investigator/Grants Workshop attendee for the current year’s meeting.

Prior to applying make sure that you have prepared the following documents in PDF or Word format:

      1. Applicant Cover Letter, Please include your full name and degree, discipline you are applying for (Basic Science, Pediatrics, OB/Gyn), complete academic title, address, phone number, email and gender. Please indicate if you meet the NIH definition of Underrepresented in Health Relate or Scientific Fields (for more information on this, please visit NIH Diversity Criteria).  Also, please outline plans for upcoming grant submissions.  (required)
      2. Applicant Curriculum Vita of candidate emphasizing accomplishments towards a research career.  (required)
      3. Letter of Nomination usually by a PRS Member, Mentor, Division Head, Department Chair or a supervisor who can indicate how the candidate will benefit from attending the meeting and workshop (including plans for upcoming grant submissions).  (required)
      4. Choose the Discipline that you believe best represents your focus. (required) As a general guide, in addition to conducting Perinatal Research, applicants practicing clinical OB/Gyn or clinical Pediatrics should select those categories, and applicants not practicing clinical medicine should select Basic Science.
      5. Statement on institution letterhead confirming institutional support for travel expenses to attend the meeting. (required)  NOTE - if travel expenses requirement cannot be met - some funds may be available. Please indicate if your department cannot pay travel funds.

    Please submit these documents directly to the PRS offices via email at:


    Other Links:

    Sponsorship and Acknowledgment of funding

    The Cassady Award

    If you have any other questions about the program sponsored by the NICHD or about the Perinatal Research Society, please contact the current Secretary-Treasurer at


Workshop Participants 2020

-Fernanda Alvarado, MD  PostdocTufts Medical Center
-Wellison Diniz, PhDPostdocNorth Dakota State University
-Alison Eastman, PhDPostdocVanderbilt University
-Antonina (Toni) Frolova, MD, PhDAsst ProfessorWashington University, St. Louis
-Megha Gupta, MDAsst ProfessorUniversity of Texas
-Katie Huff, MD, MSAsst ProfessorIndiana University
-Vanessa J. Hux, MDAsst ProfessorUniversity of South Florida
-Marni Jacobs, PhD, MPHAsst ProfessorUniversity of CA, San Diego
-Jamie Lo, MDAsst ProfessorOregon Health & Science University
-Stephen McCartney, MD, PhDInstructorUniversity of Washington
-Jessian Munoz, MD, PhD, MPHFellowUniversity of Texas
-Kristen Noble, MD, PhDFellowVanderbilt University Medical Center
-Tabitha Quebedeaux, MD, PhDAsst ProfessorLSUHSC-New Orleans
-Ravikiran (Ravi) Raju, MD, PhDFellowHarvard University
-Dorothy K. Sojka, PhDAsst. ProfessorLoyola University Chicago
-Marika Toscano, MDFellowUniversity of Rochester
-Courtney Townsel, MD, MScAsst ProfessorUniversity of Michigan
-Kaela Varberg, PhDPostdocUniversity of Kansas
-Jessica Vazquez, PhDPostdocUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
-Zeyar Htun, DOFellowCase Western University

Faculty Advisors

Director: Kurt Albertine, PhDProfessorUniversity of Utah
Director: Lisa Joss-Moore, PhDProfessorUniversity of Utah
Irina Burd, MD, PhDAssoc ProfessorJohns Hopkins University
Tracy Manuck, MDAssoc ProfessorUniversity of North Carolina
Jill Maron, MD, MPHAssoc ProfessorTufts University
Paul Rozance, MDProfessorUniversity of Colorado
Rashmin Savani, MDProfessorUniversity of Texas Southwestern
Rack SkaarSr. Manager Prof. ServicesMead Johnson Nutrition
David Weinberg, PhDProgram OfficerNICHD