AAFA Research Grants

Thank you for your interest in AAFA-funded research. Research is integral to the work of AAFA and is essential to improving the lives of people with asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA is proud to support these research efforts and is hopeful they will bring us closer to finding a cure for asthma and allergic diseases.

Grants and Awards Overview

In the mid-1980s, AAFA started a grant program to help find new treatments and a cure for asthma and allergies. For more than 25 years, AAFA has helped scientists conduct research through its unique grant programs. AAFA now funds two grant programs: the Investigator and Fellowship Grants. The programs are aimed at junior-level researchers and post-doctoral trainees to fund proposals that demonstrate a high likelihood of resulting in new and innovative approaches in asthma and allergic disease research. AAFA is committed to supporting research and career growth that will lead to better treatments for asthma and allergic diseases.

The goals of the awards and grants program are to:

  • Encourage research to improve the lives of people with asthma and allergies.
  • Fund researchers at significant points in their careers to enhance their long-term commitment to asthma and allergic disease research.
  • Ensure more research focusing on asthma and allergies.

We hope this investment in research will bring new information. This may lead to larger projects and grow funding from other sources in the future.

AAFA Investigator Grant Award

In 1989, AAFA announced the Sheldon C. Siegel Investigator Grant Award. This program offers two-year, $20,000-per-year grants to selected investigators who have who have applied to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for grant assistance and whose applications received high merit review but which the NIH was unable to fund. These grants are sometimes called “bridge” grants. About 80 percent of the researchers funded by AAFA’s Investigator Research Program are able to apply for subsequent, multi-year funding from NIH and other national research centers. AAFA and NIH estimate that AAFA’s bridge grant program has added $18 million in funding for research.

How to Apply:

Once the NIH finds applicants, we invite them to apply for bridge grant funding. They should submit:

  • A copy of their NIH research application
  • The NIH application summary statement
  • A report of how they plan to change or limit the NIH research proposal to use AAFA funds
  • A summary of the medical and scientific value of what the researcher wants to do, including how long it will take and what they will do with the bridge grant funding

Applicants must also send:

  • Investigator name, institution and contact information
  • Purpose and impact of the research project and expected results
  • Description of research practice, including the principal actions to be undertaken
  • A detailed initial project budget, including any corresponding sources of funding, cash flow expectations and needs summary

AAFA only funds direct expenses and does not pay for institutional overhead for these grants. AAFA Investigator Grant Award recipients must send mid- and end-of-year project reports. They also must send a final report on the expenditure of the grant funding by the completion of the grant period.

This award was named in memory of AAFA co-founder, President Emeritus and long-time supporter of AAFA's research program, the late Sheldon C. Siegel, MD.


AAFA Fellowship Award

In 2012, AAFA offered a new two-year, $60,000-per-year award. This award supports an academic research career in allergy and immunology. This supports advanced training in allergy and immunology and promotes research leading to the understanding of:

  1. Why the early life experience of an unfortunate few lead to allergies to otherwise harmless foods and airborne substances, while the majority somehow learn to tolerate these substances
  2. What influence viral and bacterial respiratory infections have during the pre-school years on the development of asthma

This award is given to a third- or fourth-year fellow-in-training (MD, MD/PhD or DO) or to new allergy/immunology junior faculty whose initial faculty appointment as an Instructor or Assistant Professor begins on or after the beginning of the funding term. Applicants must be certified or working on certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (ABAI). The person who receives the award must do research at a United States organization.

While the AAFA Research Fellowship is awarded to an individual researcher, AAFA chooses an academic program  with which to collaborate in selecting a Fellow. AAFA notifies allergy and immunology programs in the United States and chooses from program directors’ letters of interest.

How to Apply:

The award application should be organized as follows:

  • Sponsor’s Statement of Purpose

This letter should be from the program director, division or department chair sponsoring the applicant. It must have:

  • A description of current or proposed programs in allergy/immunology research and education
  • Program support available or intended for the term of the award including the percentage of protected time for research
  • The program’s placement in the institution and any activities in two or more areas
  • The candidate’s role and academic roles
  • Further training required by the candidate, according to the proper academic official
  • Plans and potential for the applicant to become an independently funded investigator
  • Applicant’s Statement of Purpose

This letter should outline the award and career objectives of the applicant toward asthma and allergy research. This letter should include:

  • Current and future asthma and allergy research goals
  • Further training requested by the candidate
  • Candidate’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Must include all grants and awards currently received or pending
  • Research Plan

Thorough statement of the candidate’s proposed research plan in asthma and allergic diseases, which must not be more than six pages for sections A-F or smaller than Arial 11-point font, including:

  • Specific aims
  • Background and significance
  • Initial results (if available)
  • Methods and processes
  • Anticipated outcomes
  • Long-term objectives
  • References
  • Research project budget

You must include documentation, if applicable, that the proposed research experience was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the grantee institution.

  • Facilities

Description of the facilities for research and training facilities needed by the candidate

  • Personal References

Letters of recommendation from three persons familiar with the candidate's qualifications must be included with the application

Submitting the Application

You must send your application through the Internet. Send it to .

For more details, contact .


Review and Award Process

Applications are reviewed by leaders in asthma and allergic diseases. Scores are based on the scientific merit of the research proposal and commitment to a career in allergy and immunology. The AAFA Research Review Panel will review, rank and select the top application. Priority will be given to those applicants who document a career plan for obtaining future research funding such as  with NIH RO1 or K Award, VA merit award or a private foundation equivalent.

This two-year award is for $60,000 per year for salary, supplies and equipment. Funds may not be used for institutional indirect costs.

Note: The AAFA Research Fellowship supports a new fellowship slot. It is not offered to a fellow already accepted into the training program.

Reviewing Applications

The review looks at:

  • Novelty of the research
  • That specific aims of the application are well-designed and clearly presented
  • Feasibility of producing meaningful research results within two years of the grant
  • Scientific design
  • Feasibility of meeting budgetary constraints
  • Adequacy of proposed timeline and schedule of deliverables

Find out more about AAFA's Research Award Recipients.