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Seed Grant Research Program

Dr. Peter Lee of Stanford University

Kayla Jelinek, of the Michigan State University College of
Osteopathic Medicine, 2015 seed grant recipient.

The AMA Foundation established the Seed Grant Research Program in 2000 to encourage medical students, physician residents and fellows to enter the research field. The program provides grants to support medical students, physician residents, and fellows in conducting small research projects.

With a generous contribution from Genentech, Inc., in 2016 the AMA Foundation will be awarding grants of up to $2,500 in the areas of cardiovascular/pulmonary diseases and pancreatic cancer and $5,000 in the area of neoplastic diseases for small research projects.

The 2016 Seed Grant Research Program application is now available. Please submit applications to amafoundation@ama-assn.org by December 4, 2015 at 5pm CST.

Eligibility and funding restrictions

  • Seed grant funds cannot be used for salary or stipend, indirect/administrative costs, to hire a consultant or contractor, for general equipment expenses (laptops, ipads, printers, etc.), or solely for travel.
  • Seed grants will not be awarded to any applicant who has previously received an AMA Foundation seed grant in the research category in which they are applying.
  • Applicants must be a medical student, physician resident or fellow of an accredited US medical school or institution; they must also be either a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US. Projects must be applicant-conceived, rather than ongoing research of their mentor or Principal Investigator.
  • This program is open to both AMA and non-AMA members. Membership with the AMA does not factor into the grant selection process.

Recipient information

List of 2015 recipients

List of 2014 recipients

List of 2013 recipients

List of 2012 recipients

List of 2011 recipients

List of 2010 recipients

List of 2009 recipients

List of 2008 recipients

List of 2007 recipients

List of 2006 recipients

List of 2005 recipients

List of 2004 recipients

List of 2003 recipients

List of 2002 recipients

List of 2001 recipients

List of 2000 recipients

Upon completion of their projects, all grant recipients must submit a Final Report Form. Forms should be sent to the AMA Foundation office via mail, e-mail or fax.

Program Impact
Beyond the actual grant dollars, this program also facilitates positive and rewarding experiences with research, and helps build crucial grant-writing and professional development skills for the future.  A follow-up survey of past recipients found that after having received their seed grant, they:

  • Were inspired and encouraged to continue doing research (96%)
  • Felt more prepared and confident in applying for other grants (83%)
  • Saved their research mentor money which s/he would have had to spend to help them do their projects (69%)
  • Presented their research at a poster session or got invited to speak at a scientific meeting (64%)
  • Felt like they gained "reputational capital" because of the AMA Foundation name [opened doors for them, led to additional awards, honors, opportunities, etc.] (62%)
  • Secured grants from other funders (44%)
  • Got their research published in a scientific journal (36%) 

In their own words

Recipient Quotes

Scott Thomas Robinson

"The AMA Foundation seed grant has been an essential source of funding to provide the reagents necessary for these experiments. I am incredibly grateful to have received this grant, and am indebted to the AMA for its support of medical student research. Many Thanks!"

—Scott Thomas Robinson, 2013 recipient

Pranoti Hiremath

"The AMA Foundation Seed Grant made my research possible through funding to perform my project. It also gave me motivation and support to continue this work, providing a critical starting point that gave me confidence to proceed with research as a medical student and during further medical training."

—Pranoti Hiremath, 2013 recipient

Amy Cunningham-Bussel

"I appreciated the AMA seed money both because it gave me the opportunity to pursue an aspect of my project that is beyond the usual practices within my laboratory and also because it was a great opportunity to learn about grant writing. The funding contributed to two manuscripts that we are currently writing and will submit shortly."

—Amy Cunningham-Bussel, PhD, 2012 recipient


If you have questions about the Seed Grant Research Program, please e-mail or call (312) 464-4200.

Donate now

"Giving to the AMA Foundation's Future of Medicine Fund allows one to give back to those that need. The Fund may be used to…help a young physician investigator with a seed grant to start his research career. The future of our entire profession benefits."

—Howard Chodash, MD, Springfield, Ill.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Physician researchers not only gain a deeper understanding of medicine and disease mechanisms, but many go on to become faculty at medical schools and research institutes. By donating to the Seed Grant Research Program, you will be helping physicians and physicians-in-training make important scientific discoveries and advances in health care.