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Award Criteria

  • The competition is open to scientists at accredited academic medical centers, research institutions and universities in the U.S.
  • Applicants must have a PhD or MD (or equivalent)
  • Current target areas include all rare disease, but of particular interest are rare diseases in the areas of neurology and gastroenterology. Projects in the area of rare cancers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • In most cases, device development is not supported unless completely transformative or part of a therapeutic development project.

The awards are conditional on your meeting certain obligations and deliverables, including:

  • Willingness to work collaboratively with Harrington Discovery Institute's Innovation Support Center staff
  • Timely submission of financial and progress reports
  • Participation in the Annual Scientific Symposium, organized by Harrington Discovery Institute in Cleveland, Ohio

Sponsoring Institution Requirements

Investigators may apply from accredited academic medical centers, research institutions or universities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. Institutions must provide the necessary facilities and infrastructure for the research, and accept the conditions of the award, including the Budget & Use of Funds. They must also assure compliance with the prevailing national guidelines for animal and human studies and provide proper oversight of the Grant funds.

Sponsoring institutions must safeguard the rights and welfare of individuals who participate as subjects in research activities by reviewing proposed activities through an Institutional Review Board (IRB) as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protections, HHS OHRP. Additionally, the Grantee’s institution must assure appropriate governance of animal studies. IRB approval and IACUC numbers are not required at the time of application, but must be provided for final signature of the Grant Agreement, which will be sent to Grantees shortly after they have been selected.

Additionally, sponsoring institutions must adhere to current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines regarding financial conflict of interest, recombinant DNA, and research misconduct.

Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award Selection Process and Dates

The call for applications for the Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award opens May 24, 2017. For more information, please refer to the Dates to Know box or email HDIQuestions@HarringtonDiscovery.org.

Confidentiality in the Application Process

Members of Harrington Discovery Institute, Takeda, and the Rare Disease Scientific Advisory Board involved in reviewing applications for the Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Award are required to complete mutual Confidentiality & Disclosure Agreements with Harrington Discovery Institute.

Non-public applicant information is always kept confidential (and limited in distribution to the reviewers and Harrington Discovery Institute administrative team). The abstract summary, including the applicant’s name and institutional affiliation, for those selected as Harrington Rare Disease Scholars, may be used by Harrington Discovery Institute for publicity and marketing purposes (on the Harrington Discovery Institute website, news releases, etc.) at Harrington Discovery Institute's sole discretion.

Applicants acknowledge that University Hospitals Health System may conduct research that is related to or competitive with proposals submitted by applicants, but University Hospitals Health System commits not to use information submitted by applications in connection with such research.

Harrington Rare Disease Scholar Review Panel

The review panel will consist of subject matter experts with specialized scientific expertise in the area(s) designated in the application, as well as seasoned professionals with expertise in drug development and commercialization.

Projects will be assessed based on:

  • Quality of the science and the scientist
  • Novelty and innovative quality of the work
  • Potential for impact on human health

The Rare Disease Scientific Advisory Board at Harrington Discovery Institute will make the final selection of winners.

Applicants who fail to fill out their applications by the deadline and/or in accordance with the detailed instructions are subject to disqualification at the outset of the review period or any time during the review period.

Barring any unforeseen delays, winners will be announced in February 2018.

Comments from Review Committee

Harrington Discovery Institute is unable to provide reviewers’ comments or feedback.

Annual Scientific Symposium

  • Part of Harrington Discovery Institute’s mission is to build a broad connected community of scientist-innovators. Harrington Discovery Institute will hold an annual symposium that awardees are required to attend.
  • The Harrington Scientific Symposium, held in late spring in Cleveland, Ohio, will bring together drug development experts, national disease foundation leadership, and international leaders in medicine and Harrington Scholars. Awardees are expected to present their project and findings-to-date. A stipend for travel and lodging will be provided by Harrington Discovery Institute, subject to the terms of the Award Agreement.

Use of Funds

  • General: No more than $10,000 of the total grant can be used for capital expenditures or equipment. The award may only be used for direct project expenses, not for institutional overhead.
  • Salary: The award may be used to cover salaries for post-docs equivalent to the percent effort devoted to the project. Salaries or other compensation for students, including but not limited to both undergraduate and graduate students, are not allowed. Please note that PI’s salary is limited to 10 percent of the total award amount.
  • Travel: The award may not be used for travel, meetings, professional fees, publication fees, etc.

Intellectual Property Guidelines

  • Harrington Discovery Institute and Takeda represent that Scholar/Institution retain control of patents, copyrights or trademarks to Intellectual Property (“IP”) created as a result of work sponsored by Harrington Rare Disease Scholar grants.
  • On all aspects of Intellectual Property, Principal Investigators are encouraged to confer with their technology transfer office and/or office of sponsored programs for guidance. Harrington Rare Disease Scholars may seek input and advice on patent protection from Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center, which also claims no rights whatsoever to IP.
  • Awardees should take measures to ensure protection of any Intellectual Property in accord with Federal and institutional requirements.

Scientific Reporting and Review of Progress

Yearly renewal of the award is dependent on timely submission of a written progress report as well as attendance at Harrington Discovery Institute’s Annual Scientific Symposium.

Changes to Project

A significant change in the project scope or work should be discussed with Harrington Discovery Institute’s Program Director and Chief Scientific Officer.

Awards may be transferred to another institution that agrees to assume the Policies, Terms & Conditions of the agreement. Permission to transfer the award to another institution must be obtained from Harrington Discovery Institute’s Chief Scientific Officer.

Compliance and Administrative Matters

Awards are funded by Harrington Discovery Institute, on the recommendations of the Rare Disease Scientific Advisory Board. Harrington Discovery Institute staff will assure compliance with program policies and will be responsible for all administrative matters.

The Principal Investigator and his or her institution are solely responsible for execution of the project, including compliance with all relevant Federal and State laws and guidelines.

Harrington Discovery Institute reserves the right to refine and amend policies as required.


Questions should be directed to HDIquestions@HarringtonDiscovery.org.

The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development

Breakthrough Medicine