Letter from the Director

Dear Applicant,

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is delighted to announce that our Synergy Award application opens May 21, 2018.

The spirit of this award is to forge partnerships in the field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Collaboration is a key requirement of our Synergy Award. Throughout the application, it is essential to demonstrate that the end product of the proposed research could not be achieved without collaboration.

Providing samples and data will be necessary; however, the basis of the applicants’ success goes beyond this requirement. A clear and essential contribution from each of the groups involved in the application must be clearly explained in terms of:

  • percentage contribution
  • materials shared
  • quality of science achieved as a collaboration that is not attainable individually
  • quantification of milestones upon which the project will be measured after one year
  • potential benefit to the IBD patient as a result of the collaborative efforts

Our goal is to increase the likelihood of your funding success and delivery, with the possibility of renewal after the first year if the above criteria are met. I strongly encourage you to be in touch with me to discuss your ideas for your Synergy Award application. I’m also available to answer any questions or concerns you may have as you develop your proposal.


Laura Wilson Signature_8.15.2016
Laura Wilson, PhD
Director of Health, Strategy & Ventures
p. 510-463-6501 e. laura.wilson@krfoundation.org



We encourage potential Synergy Award applicants to attend the Innovations Symposium to network with potential collaborators, learn more about the research the Foundation supports, and hear about our strategic priorities.

Synergy Awards may have up to three investigators at the same or different institutions. Grants will be awarded to a single lead institution that will need to generate a subaward(s). Researchers from any scientific discipline are eligible for funding. Typically, the researchers we fund hold advanced degrees (MD, PhD or the equivalent) and academic positions at universities, medical centers or research institutions.

Eligible Institutions
All non-profit institutions that are funded must provide evidence of tax exempt 501(c)3 status and must be classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a)(3). For institutions outside of the United States, if your proposal is selected to be funded, NGOSource will conduct an Equivalency Determination. For-profit institutions must demonstrate that their proposed project furthers the Foundation’s charitable mission of promoting scientific and medical research. The Foundation may upon occasion make grants to government and public agencies, as well as to independent projects that have a qualified tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.

The Foundation does not fund: direct assistance to individuals or individual sponsorships; sports, athletic events or league sponsorships; advertising or promotional sponsorships; deficits or retroactive funding; fraternal organizations; organizations that discriminate based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender.

Use of Human and Animal Subjects
Grant recipients using human or animal subjects must provide documentation of approval from the appropriate review committee within 90 days of award start date.


Proposals Accepted Online: Opens May 21, 2018 and closes September 17, 2018 at 5:00 PM (PDT).  Please refer to the Awards Calendar for this year’s schedule.

Application Process

The Synergy application is currently closed.


Synergy Award Proposal
Proposals consist of description of project objectives, methodologies, milestones to test your innovative idea within a period of one year, description of how the research team will collaborate and work synergistically to achieve their goals, project budget, and disclosure of other financial support.

  • The goals outlined in the proposal should be achievable within a year. Synergy Award recipients may be eligible for additional funding, based on their progress.
  • A NIH biosketch from each investigator is required at the time of proposal submission. NIH template and instructions.
  • Disclosure of all past and present financial support (e.g. NIH, CCFA, Helmsley Charitable Trust, etc.) must be included in the NIH biosketch with the proposal.

Budget Guidelines

Synergy Award proposals must include a budget and description using the template provided. All necessary research costs can be budgeted, including personnel, reagents, supplies and equipment.

Please download the Synergy Award Budget Template to submit with your proposal.

Budget Amount
Synergy awards are given in increments of $100,000 USD for each investigator, with a maximum value of $300,000 USD.

Investigator Salary
The maximum amount allowed for each investigator salary is $10,000 USD, with a maximum of $30,000 USD. This maximum value does not apply to other research personnel (e.g. post-doctoral fellows, research associates, students) to be funded by the award.

Indirect Costs
The maximum indirect costs (overhead) that can be requested is 10% of total direct costs. In the case of subawards, 10% indirect costs may be charged on the first $25,000 USD of the subaward. Once a grant has been awarded, funds cannot be transferred out of direct costs to cover indirect or overhead costs, even if the indirect cost was less than the maximum allowed.

At least one investigator from the team is required to attend Rainin Foundation’s annual grantee convening and Innovations Symposium  in July 2019 of the award. Travel costs to attend the Rainin Foundation’s annual meeting must be included in the proposal budget.

  • A maximum of $5,000 can be budgeted for travel to the annual meeting. Eligible costs include: Economy/coach airfare and ground transportation for each investigator. Hotel expenses for grantees will be hosted by the Rainin Foundation.
  • Synergy Award funding cannot be used to cover travel to attend other scientific meetings.

Award Period

The award period starts March 1, 2019 and ends February 28, 2020.


Progress Reports
A mid-year narrative and budget progress report  must be submitted using the Foundation’s online grants management system. Synergy Award recipients may be invited to provide oral presentations to the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Final Reports
A final budget and technical report must be submitted to the Foundation within 60 days of the grant end date using the Foundation’s online grants management system.

If you have questions about the Synergy Award, please contact Laura Wilson, PhD.