Emerging Investigator Program

The 2020 Emerging Investigator (EI) Guided Research Program

Applications for the 2020 EI Guided Research Program will open May 2020 (applications open to those affiliated with the Network).

About the Program

The Emerging Investigator Guided Research Training Program has a goal of bringing investigators new to CYSHCN research into the field. Junior investigators (within five years of their terminal degree) and experienced investigators who are interested in switching fields are targets for this program.

Length of Program
Through a competitive process, three EIs will each receive the award to help them pay for a 12-month long research project of their choice that maps to the National Research Agenda and MCHB Core Outcomes.

Award Amount
The EI Award provides up to $15,000 to address an important area of concern for the health or healthcare of children or youth with special healthcare needs and their families.

Project Mentor Requirements
Emerging investigators are connected to a project mentor who is a content expert for a 12-month period during which EIs attend webinars, works-in-progress sessions (WIPS), and monthly meetings with their project mentors. EIs are required to have mentors from their home institution to guide them through the day-to-day workings of the project. CYSHCNet Network leaders are also available as content experts and connectors to other researchers from the Network.

The award is open to investigators from CYSHCNet member sites only.

  1. UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital
  2. Mass General Hospital
  3. American Family Hospital, Wisconsin
  4. Oishei Children’s Hospital
  5. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  6. Lurie Children’s Hospital
  7. Children’s Hospital Colorado
  8. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
  9. Boston Children’s Hospital

Proposals are welcome from those who are:

  • Fellows from any discipline that serves CYSHCN, e.g. nurses, social workers, physicians, pharmacists, social scientists, etc.
  • Faculty members no more than 5 years out from completion of all training (fellowship or post-doc)
  • More experienced investigators who are new to the field of CYSHCN (with documentation about their change of field)

 Below is a partial list of  topic areas in which mentoring is available:

  • Community Based Participatory Research
  • Coordination with MCH Title V Programs
  • Family Engagement
  • Health Care Transitions
  • Health Systems
  • Home Care Systems Research
  • Home Nursing
  • Life Course Health Science
  • Medicaid Spending Research
  • Medical Complexity in Children: Health Care Delivery, Improving Care
  • National Data Set -Secondary Analysis
  • Pediatric to Adult Transitions
  • Person Reported Outcomes
  • Qualitative Methods: Grounded Theory
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quantitative Methods: STATA
  • Telehealth

The below information can be downloaded as a PDF: emerging-investigator-faq1

1. What is the definition of an Emerging Investigator?
CYSHCNet Young Investigators are defined as:

  • Faculty members who are no more than 5 years out from completion of all training as of
    the date proposals are due (fellowship or post-doc)
  • Fellows
  • Residents
  • Experienced investigators who are new to the field

2. Who can apply?
Only applicants from the following CYSHCNet member institutions are eligible to apply. Those
institutions are:

  • UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital
  • Mass General Hospital
  • American Family Hospital, Wisconsin
  • Oishei Children’s Hospital
  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

3. Does the Emerging Investigators Program accept applications from others who are not physicians?

4. Can two applicants from the same institution submit proposals to the Emerging Investigators
Yes, however, only one proposal from each institution will be considered for the award.

5. Can previous awardees apply?
No, but previous applicants who are still eligible are encouraged to reapply.

Proposals & Application Process
1. How do I log into the application?
The application is accessible on the CYSHCNet web site. No log-in is necessary.

2. Should checklists be submitted with the initial and full proposals?
No, your application checklist is intended to assure you prepare all necessary materials and should
not be submitted.

3. What is the Participation Statement?
The participation statement is included on the bottom of the Cover Page to be submitted with your
proposal. Should an applicant receive funding through the Emerging Investigators Program, they
must commit to attending any conference calls or in-person meetings as part of their chosen
funding path.

4. Where do I send my proposal?
Please submit all materials through the online application.

5. What format should I use for my biosketch?
The biosketch should use the standard NIH biosketch form and may not exceed five pages.
Instructions for completing the biosketch form can be found here. The NIH biosketch includes a
Personal Statement. As part of this statement, please describe how the proposal relates to and will
help to facilitate the investigator’s career path for this purpose as it relates to the proposed
research agenda. Please include a biosketch for both the applicant and primary mentor.

1. Will a mentor be assigned to me or do I find my own mentor?
Both. You should have a mentor from your institution. The Network will also pair you with a mentor
who is a content expert in your field.

1. Is travel to a regional or national conference required?
You are required to submit an abstract to a conference. If it is accepted, the Network will fund up to
$1,500 of travel expenses for you. These funds include conference registration and are part (10%) of
your total award. Funds may also be applied for your family partner’s travel.

2. My institution requires that I include indirect costs. Is this acceptable?
Indirect costs will be negotiated with the institution.

3. Can I include myself or my mentor in the budget to cover time spent on the project?
Neither an applicant nor mentor may have effort.

4. Can I include funds for a statistician in my budget?
Yes, direct costs for statisticians are acceptable, as long as they are properly justified in the
submitted proposal.

Transferring Institutions
1. I am transferring institutions. What is the process for transferring my award funds?
Please notify the CYSHCNET of institutional changes via written notice on institutional letterhead.
Include your name, contact information, project title, funding track, and the contact information of
the administrator handling your award funds at your current institution. Any unused funds at your
current institution should be returned via check to the CYSHCNET Central Office by mail:
The written notice may be sent by email to Charlene.Shelton@UCDenver.edu
CYSHCNET will disburse your remaining award funds after receipt of payment information for your
new institution. Please note this may take a couple of months pending your institution’s internal

2. Mentorship relationship after transfer should be verified: will you keep the same mentor? What
level of commitment will s/he be able to provide? If you secure a new mentor, s/he should send a
letter with information on the level of commitment to the project that s/he is able to provide.

Family/Caregiver Involvement
1. How should I involve families/caregivers in my study?
Families/caregivers of CYSHCN should be involved in a meaningful way. They should have the
opportunity to participate in the design of the study, if possible, or they should be consulted about
the project. Having families/caregivers as respondents only is not sufficient. Specific questions about
how to involve families/caregivers should be directed to the Network.

Publication and Data
1. Am I required to share data with the Network?
No. The Network is currently not a data repository.

2. How will findings be disseminated?
At least one paper submission to a peer-reviewed journal is expected. Findings may also be posted
on the Network’s website and/or other social media platforms. The PI is expected to translate
findings into non-technical language that is accessible to the broader community of stakeholders,
for publication on the Network’s website. We will also ask for a short narrative to put on website.

3. Are reports due to the Network?
Yes. Since the Network is funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau, reports are required. A form
will be sent to the PI by the Network Program Manager with complete instructions and due dates.

Current Emerging Investigator Projects

Emerging Investigator: Stefanie Ames, MD
Project Title: Assessment of caregiver experiences and unmet healthcare needs following discharge home after a critical illness in a child or youth with special healthcare needs
Family Partner: Amanda Mueller

Emerging Investigator: Arda Hotz, MD
Project Title: Use of Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies in Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs
Family Partner: Theresa Applegate

Previous Emerging Investigator Projects


Emerging Investigator: Molly Easterlin, MD
Project Title: Understanding the effects of chronic medical procedures in children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD): A qualitative study of patient,parent, and nurse perspectives
Family Partner: Lauren Agoratus

Emerging Investigators:Morgan Crossman, PhD & Olivia Lindly, PhD
Project Title:
 High quality health care, IDEA services and adverse family impact for U.S. CSHCN: The role of prematurity in early childhood
Family Partners: Amber Klevin & Kristen Earl
Location: MassGeneral Hospital for Children 

Emerging Investigators: Nicole Werner, PhD
Project Title: Creation of an adaptive taxonomy of barriers and facilitators to in-home care of children with cerebral palsy
Family Partner: Barbara Katz
Location: University of Wisconsin, Madison