$1 Million Available To Two Early Career Researchers - Kenneth Rainin Foundation

$1 Million Available To Two Early Career Researchers

Two scientists working together in a research lab Photo credit: Marco VDM

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation invites Letters of Inquiry for the Early Career Catalyst Award from March 1 through March 29, 2024. The Foundation is making these one-time awards, totaling $1 million, to commemorate our 15th anniversary of formal grantmaking. The Early Career Catalyst Award will provide $500,000 each to support the work of two early career investigators, in any field, whose research has the potential to improve the lives of people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). One grant will support a basic research project, and the other grant will support a translational/therapeutic research project.

Dr. Laura Wilson, Director of Health Strategy & Ventures

Ensuring a robust pipeline of scientists is essential to finding a cure for IBD. Early career researchers bring new lines of thinking and introduce technologies and directions that are invigorating the field and enhancing quality of life for IBD patients. Building their capacity and programs is beneficial and essential to scientific discoveries and innovations.

“The Rainin Foundation funds novel ideas across a wide range of research areas and fields that could lead to groundbreaking advancements in preventing and treating IBD. Marking our 15th anniversary by supporting early career researchers and broadening research perspectives is an investment in finding a cure for IBD,” said Dr. Laura Wilson, Director of Health Strategy & Ventures.

Funding Criteria

Both basic and translational projects must be conceptually and/or technically innovative. Priority for translational projects will be given to applicants using human samples and/or datasets in their aims and objectives.  


  • Applicant must be an Assistant Professor or equivalent. If an applicant is not currently a faculty member but will be by October 1, 2024, they will need to include a letter from the institution to confirm the institution’s commitment to the applicant and the applicant’s official start date.
  • Applicant must be an independent researcher, with a doctoral degree and no more than five years from the time of appointment to an independent faculty position, including institutional support of at least $750,000 and lab space. If an applicant has had time off for family or personal reasons, this time will not count toward the five years.
  • We encourage investigators from underrepresented groups in science to apply.
  • Researchers from any scientific discipline worldwide are eligible for funding.

Application Process

Applying for an Early Career Catalyst Award is a two-step process.

  1. Letters of Inquiry addressing project aims and objectives, and a biosketch/CV, will be accepted online from March 1 through March 29, 2024. Applicants selected by the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board will be notified by May 1 and invited to submit a full proposal.
  2. Selected applicants will submit a full proposal by Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Interviews with finalists will be conducted on Sunday, July 14, 2024.

Awards will be announced by July 30, 2024, and the grant start date is October 1, 2024. All grant funds must be expended within five years. This one-time award is not eligible for renewal.

Explore the Early Career Catalyst Awards’ funding criteria, eligibility requirements, guidelines and application questions. Learn more about our vision for solving IBD, areas of interest and the extraordinary scientists we support on the Rainin IBD website.