CDS Early Investigator Pilot Study Research Award


The Chicago Dermatological Society is pleased to offer research grants to early investigators with no previous record of major funding such as a Dermatology Foundation Award and/or NIH funding.  Grants typically support a project for a one-year period in amounts up to $7,000.  CDS members who are a maximum of six years from their final year of training, as well as dermatology residents, fellows, and medical students attending a Chicagoland program are eligible to apply.  It is required that residents, fellows and medical students who apply have a dermatology faculty mentor who is an active member of CDS.

The applicant is expected to submit a well-conceived proposal on a dermatological topic.  Dermatology research projects that involve medical education, clinical or laboratory-based projects, health disparities or rigorous large scale database reviews such as meta-analysis or scoping reviews are welcome.  This award funds pilot projects, so the application is not expected to have preliminary data.  The award will not be given to projects that already have received funding or already are in progress, or investigators who already have received major funding awards.  Winners are expected to present their findings to the membership at the CDS President’s meeting the following year.

The CDS Scientific Committee will consider applications in two cycles this year in the Spring and Fall of 2021.  Applications for the Spring cycle in 2021 are due on May 17, 2021.  Winners will be announced in June 2021.


Please submit the following documents:

1. A completed application form using the template form – CLICK HERE to download Word document 

2. A brief biographical sketch (NIH biosketch format preferred or 2-page sketch).  If the applicant is a resident, fellow or medical student, both the applicant and their mentor should submit a biographical sketch.  Please do not submit a full-length CV; only a brief 2-page sketch.

3. Letter of support from the mentor if the applicant is a resident, fellow or medical student.  (The mentor must be an active CDS member.)

4. Proposal — Suggested format… 5-page total:

  • Layman’s statement — 300 word maximum.  A brief paragraph that describes your project.  This may be used for announcements, award presentations or posted on the CDS website.
  • Specific Aims — approximately 1/2 page
    • What is the problem/topic you are interested in exploring and why is it important in dermatology?
    • What are your goals or do you intend to accomplish
  • Background/Significance — approximately 1/2 page
    • A succinct summary of any background information you believe the Scientific Committee should know.
    • Explain what your investigation could contribute to either the medical literature, patient care or even society.
  • Research Project Design — 3 pages maximum
    • Review the project design/methods
    • Review the evaluation methods/measures used in your data collection
    • Data analysis plan
  • Future Plans/Goals
    • Please explain to the committee how your data can be used to build on future projects.
    • Also, we strongly recommend including what journal you are targeting to publish your work or what scientific meeting, other than the CDS President’s meeting, you are planning on presenting your work.
  • References — not included in page limit
    • Maximum of 10 references
  • Budget — not included in page limit
    • CDS award funds may not be used for stipends/salaries for any investigators.  Costs to compensate a percent effort for statisticians, university librarians for reviews, or other specialized personnel for database reviews are permitted.
    • Maximum of $500 may be used for travel to a national dermatology meeting.  It is expected that a poster or other presentation of the project funded by this CDS award is occurring at that meeting.  For example, funding travel to a resident board review cours is not permitted.  Please be specific in the budget request about what meeting you expect to present your project.
  • Please include IRB submission or approval documents — not included in page limit.
    • Funds will not be released until CDS receives proof of IRB approval.

As noted above, the proposal should not exceed 5 pages total.  This does not include the biosketches and letter of support.  Please make every effort to be succinct.

Submit your final, completed application and supporting materials no later than 5 p.m. on May 17, 2021.  Late applications will not be considered.  Electronic format is greatly preferred.

  • Electronic submissions — Send in a single PDF file . . .
  • Paper submissions — Send ONE copy of the application form and attachments to:
         Chicago Dermatological Society
         Attn:  Scientific Committee
         10 W. Phillip Rd., Suite 120
         Vernon Hill, IL  60061-1730


The CDS Scientific Committee will review all submissions and make a recommendation to the CDS governing board (the Plans & Policies Committee) for final approval.

Post-Grant Reports

Final Report — Recipients of CDS Early Investigator Pilot Study Research Award are required to submit a report by the announced date a year following the award.  Typically, recipients are expected to submit their reports according to this schedule, and to present a summary of their research at the relevant CDS Conference the year following the award.  We will provide grant recipients additional information concerning the format and timing of reporting.

Financial accounting — In addition to the research findings, grant recipients are required to submit a summary of how the grant funds were utilized, including disclosure of any funds remaining.  Note — Unused funds must be returned to CDS.

Variations or Exceptions — If unexpected changes are required which represent a significant departure from your application, the grant recipient must communicate with the CDS Scientific Committee before proceeding.  Likewise, if additional time is needed, we ask that you contact CDS as soon as you realize an extension may be necessary.

Publications — We certainly hope that your research will result in appropriate recognition for your efforts through publication of your project in an appropriate journal.  Of course, we expect that you will provide proper credit for the funding provided by CDS.  In any event, CDS reserves the right to publish a summary of your results on our website.


The winners of any CDS award are expected to acknowledge CDS funding on their posters, published paper, or presentations.  Winners also are expected to submit copies of their papers/posters, etc., to the CDS office.


Contact the Chicago Dermatological Society

Phone:  847-680-1666

Email:   [email protected]

CDS Scientific Committee Chair — Claudia Hernandez, MD

CDS executive director — Richard Paul