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ADA Pathway Accelerator Award

General Information

Program Description

The ADA Pathway Accelerator Award is intended to provide flexible, long-term salary and research support to early career researchers who are proposing innovative and ambitious diabetes-related research programs, and who have distinguished themselves as exceptionally talented and promising research investigators. These awards are intended to support particularly innovative and transformational ideas that have the potential to have an exceptional impact in diabetes with an emphasis on the investigator’s potential to significantly transform diabetes through translational research (“moving the needle”) to improve the lives of people with diabetes.


Schools may submit one (1) application for Penn’s internal competition.


  • Must hold full-time independent faculty position.
  • Must have demonstrated independent productivity in diabetes research, including senior author publications.
  • May currently hold independent NIH funding (K, U or R awards, including an initial R01/U01), but must not have applied for, or received, an R01/U01 renewal or a second R01/U01 award.
  • Must devote at least 75 percent of their total time and effort to research during the funding period (with 25-50 percent effort to the ADA project).
  • For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see Penn’s PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible. 

Award Information

  • A research award of $325,000 /year for up to five years for a total of $1,625,000.
  • Support: Project support and PI salary.
  • Indirect support: Up to 30 percent of directs.
  • Project percent effort required: 25-50 percent effort to the ADA project.

Review Process

Selection Criteria

The University has been invited to nominate 1 Postdoctoral Fellow. A committee, established by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR), will determine the final nominees to represent the University. This call for nominations will prioritize translational applications that move knowledge and discovery gained from basic research to its eventual translation into patient and population benefit. The ideal applicant will propose innovative research that will be an important step towards the eventual goal of improving the lives of people at risk of diabetes or living with the disease – and the pathway to this impact is clear.

OVPR Internal Review Process

Applications must include the following:

  1. Cover Page which includes: 
    • Proposal Title
    • Candidate’s name, academic rank, department, email address, phone number and campus address.   
  2. Letter of Institutional Nomination (maximum 1 page): The letter should delineate the institution’s nomination and commitment to the applicant.
  3. Letters of Recommendation (maximum 1 page): Three Letters of Recommendation assessing the scientific abilities and potential of the applicant are required and must be uploaded to the application at the time of submission.
  4. Research Proposal (maximum 3 pages): including project title, aims and objectives. References should also be included to support the proposal but are not counted in the three-page limit. 
  5. A CV (Using NIH format) (maximum 5 pages), which includes educational background, professional appointments, awards and honors. Include all current research support (start-up and external) and pending support, including dollar amounts and start/end dates.
  6. All materials must be submitted in a single pdf document in the above order to 
  7. Subject line of the email should be, ADA_Accelerator_applicant LAST name_applicant FIRST name.