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Grant Opportunity for Cutting-Edge Scientific Research

Oakland, Calif. – To inspire scientists to pursue out-of-the-box ideas and push the boundaries of mainstream Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation seeks Letters of Inquiry for its $100,000 Innovator Awards program. Submissions will be accepted online from January 15 through February 15, 2016.


Dr. Averil Ma, chair of the Rainin Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board

“We have found that funding innovative and new research ideas typically involves some risk and that’s something traditional funders do not easily embrace. The Rainin Foundation, in recognition of this void, made a decision early on that it would support scientists in pushing the envelope by funding pioneering, cutting-edge research,” said Dr. Averil Ma, chair of the Rainin Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. “We believe that these key investments in higher risk projects have enormous potential to lead to breakthroughs in IBD research.”

The Innovator Awards provide $100,000 grants for one-year proof of concept research projects that are potentially transformative to diagnosing, treating and curing IBD. The Foundation’s criteria for funding include innovation, scientific merit, collaboration, and capability to execute the project. The program is open to tenure track professors (or the equivalent) at all levels, in any scientific discipline, and from any non-profit research institution worldwide.

Letters of Inquiry are submitted through an online application and should describe the basic idea and central experiment. Applicants selected by the Foundation’s review panel of scientific advisors will be invited to submit a full proposal by May 16, 2016. For complete program information, eligibility requirements and application guidelines, visit

“We’re not interested in safe ideas. We are looking for novel concepts that have the potential to propel IBD research,” said Ma. “People suffering from IBD need relief and we believe that our support will generate scientific advancements in treatments and ultimately, in finding a cure.”

Investigators share their work and ideas with renowned guest speakers, international grantees and research colleagues during poster sessions at our annual Innovations Symposium.

Investigators share their ideas with leading scientists and research colleagues during poster sessions at the Innovations Symposium.

To further accelerate impact in IBD research, the Foundation will host its fifth annual Innovations Symposium, “Emerging IBD Strategies,” in San Francisco on July 21-22, 2016. This year’s event will feature leading scientists who will present their work and the implications for IBD therapeutics.

“We are committed to funding promising projects, and investing in ways to bring scientists together to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and collaborate on research that could potentially benefit IBD,” stated Dr. Jennifer Rainin, CEO of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “Year after year, our Innovations Symposium creates an opportunity for leading scientists, investigators and clinicians to foster collaborations, build our collective knowledge and bridge the gap among divergent areas of research.”

This year’s Innovations Symposium features a distinguished slate of international guest speakers and a selection of the Foundation’s grantees. Symposium attendees have exclusive eligibility to apply for the Synergy Award, which provides up to $300,000 in research support for a team of investigators. The deadline for Travel Awards, Call for Abstracts and the early bird discount is March 31, 2016. For more information and to register, visit

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