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Preparing and Submitting Your Full Application

Preparing and Submitting Your Full Application

All CORE grant applications must be submitted electronically via ProposalCentral, our online application submission site.

Full applications are due by January 16, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

Preparing Your Full Application

Pre-Application Preparation:

  • Take the time to familiarize yourself with ProposalCentral. We suggest if you haven’t used it before to review the “tutorial for submitting applications: under the “Related Files” link to the right.
  • Be very familiar with the funding opportunity announcements of the grant you are applying for. Each grant has a 4-5 page eligibility document that can be downloaded from the Funding Opportunities page.
  • Review the CORE Frequently Asked Questions.

Visit CORE Grant Tips for the Principal Investigator for helpful information.


  • The applicant’s name should always be in the top “HEADER” portion of all templates (upper left corner).
  • Use English only and avoid excessive jargon and unusual abbreviations.
  • Font size must be 11 points or larger. Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is acceptable as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch.
  • Line spacing must be no more than six lines per vertical inch.
  • Text color must be black. Color text in figures, graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, footnotes and headings is acceptable.
  • Use standard paper size (8 ½” x 11”). Use at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages. No information should appear in the margins.
  • The following fonts are recommended: Arial, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, Times New Roman, Verdana. Symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters; the font size requirement still applies.

Research Strategy Information:

  • Use the template provided in ProposalCentral to construct your Research Strategy.
  • There is a 6-page limit for Research Grants; 12-page limit for Career Development Grants. Failure to adhere to the specified page limitations may result in an application being administratively withdrawn.
  • Career Development applications must include an educational plan.
  • Charts, tables, graphs, and photos essential to your application should be included in the Research Strategy and will be counted in your page limits. All graphs, diagrams, tables, and charts should be in black ink.
  • Photographs, oversized documents, supplementary charts, tables, and graphs and bibliography/references should be included in the Appendix. The optional Appendix will not be counted against your page limit but should not be used to circumvent page limits.

Templates and Forms:

  • Download the MS Word templates from ProposalCentral then convert the files to Adobe Acrobat PDF format to upload.
  • Include the cover sheet with appropriate signatures in a scanned PDF file
  • Do not mail hard copies to the AAO-HNS office.

Human and Animal Subjects:

  • Documentation concerning IRB or IACUC approvals should be included in the application
  • All required documents are due prior to the date an award commences.
  • Grants without final IRB or IACUC approval will not be issued.
  • Animal Subjects requires accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), the Public Health Service (PHS) Animal Welfare Assurance, the United States Department of Agriculture, or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC)

If you will not have your final IRB/IACUC approval letter prior to the January 17th application deadline, then submit the associated documentation that you do have (e.g. what you have provided to your IRB/IACUC committee, when they will be meeting to review and the date you anticipate obtaining the final approval). We understand that some committees only meet quarterly or have very full agendas and it may take some time for you to get on their schedule. If needed, in ProposalCentral, you may upload a placeholder page with “IRB/IACUC approval placeholder noted on it, convert it to a PDF and upload it to your account in order to submit your application by January 16th. Once you receive the final approval (after the Jan 16th deadline), please scan the PDF document and email to [email protected] to upload to your application no later than February 16. Please be advised that no grants will be awarded without the final IRB/IACUC approval.


The applicant is responsible for selecting a research preceptor at an academic or nonprofit research institution and for making arrangements to work with that person. The designated preceptor must be the faculty member who will directly supervise the proposed research training and evaluate the awardee’s progress. An applicant may have a co-preceptor if his/her research interests cross areas of expertise. Selection of a preceptor is a key step in the application process and will constitute an important review criterion. In general, the applicant should seek a successful clinical researcher who has recent publications in the area of research, experience in the research techniques to be studied, and, optimally, external grant support from NIH or other major agencies.

Location in a department that will provide a stimulating and supportive research environment is an additional factor to consider. The applicant’s preceptor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate’s research. The preceptor must document the availability of staff, research support, and the curriculum and facilities for high-quality clinical research training. The proposed training shall be designed in collaboration with the designated mentor and approved by the applicant’s Department/Division Chair and institution. Training should be specifically focused on the acquisition and refinement of patient-oriented clinical research skills and may include both didactic coursework and applied experience. A structured program of study (as opposed to informal directed readings) will be reviewed most favorably.

Applications must be accompanied by letters of support from both the applicant’s preceptor and from the Department/Division Chair, verifying that the applicant will be permitted to devote the specified amount of time to the proposed research and research training activities.

A preceptor is required for the following grants:

  • AAO-HNSF Resident Research Award
  • AMD Resident Research Grant
  • ARS New Investigator Award
  • AHNS/ AAO-HNSF Young Investigators Combined Grant
  • ARS Resident Research Grant

Letters of Support:

Letters should be obtained from the following:

  • Co-Investigator
  • Preceptor (if applicable)
  • Mentor (if applicable)
  • Consultant
  • Collaborator: If a co-investigator, preceptor, or mentor will play a key role in the project, a letter of understanding from that individual must be submitted, stating what the arrangement will be and what role s/he will play in the project. Also, include an appropriate letter from each consultant and collaborator confirming his/her role in the project. Include Biographical Sketch pages for each consultant and collaborator.
  • Department/Chair Head: A Chairman’s letter must be included with all applications. Applications must include a letter of reference and support from the applicant’s Chairman confirming the applicant’s availability for the required period of time, the support of the Department or Division for the project, and availability of resources for the project. For residents, the Chairman’s letter must verify that the resident applicant will be permitted to spend the specified time on the project. Plan to scan your letters so that they may be uploaded to the application site. In general, if an individual’s biosketch is included in your application, plan to obtain a letter from that person.
  • If applying for an ASPO grant, a letter of support from an ASPO member must accompany the application
  • IF applying for the Bobby R. Alford, MD Endowed Research Grant, see Preceptor/Mentor Instructions in the online application

Biographical Sketches (Biosketch):

Include a biosketch for all key personnel. Start with the principal investigator. List any collaborating investigators who participate in the scientific development/execution of the project. Include all degrees for every individual. Biographical sketches and other support must be included for each individual named.  Sample biosketches are available in the online application.

Other Support:

Other support includes all financial resources, active and pending. Include a section for each of the key personnel you have listed, even if they have no currently active support. Clearly, indicate whether support for the submitted project is being sought after from other funding agencies or organizations.

Submitting Your Full Application

Prepare to submit:

Electronic submission requires Grants/Contracts Officials to register your institution with Principal Investigators (PIs) will also need to make sure they are registered. Tutorials for how to register your institution or yourself as a PI are provided at the bottom of the ProposalCentral login webpage.

Signatures for the Cover Sheet:

At a minimum, the application must be signed by the applicant, the sponsor or department head, an authorized official of the institution, and an authorized fiscal official of the institution. The online application will allow you to print a cover page which will indicate the signatures you need to obtain. Signatures must be original (not stamped or electronic signatures). It is the AAO-HNSF’s expectation that each person who signs the application has reviewed the application contents and accepts responsibility for accuracy prior to submission. By signing the application, the Principal Investigator and other officials are stating that they have reviewed the final proposal for compliance with the CORE format and requirements.

What if I cannot obtain all required signatures by January 16th, 2024?

We understand that getting the final signature page signed by all of the necessary staff may take some time. If you do not have all of the signatures by the January 16th deadline, please upload what you do have to ProposalCentral. ProposalCentral will not let you submit your application if you omit the required pages. You may upload a placeholder page in ProposalCentral with “Signature Page Placeholder” noted on it, convert it to a PDF, and upload it to your account in order to submit your application by the January 17th deadline. Once you have the fully signed signature page, please scan the PDF document and email to [email protected] to upload the signed document to your application no later than February 16. Please be advised that no grants will be awarded without a fully signed signature page.

Incomplete Applications:

An application will be considered incomplete if:

  1. It fails to follow the instructions;
  2. The material presented is insufficient to permit an adequate review; or
  3. The appropriate institutional approvals for use of human or animal subjects are not pending or in place prior to review. No award can be made until evidence of the IRB/IACUC approval has been submitted.

Unless specifically required by these instructions (e.g., IRB or IACUC approvals, change in other support), do not send supplementary or corrective material pertinent to an application after the receipt date without its being specifically solicited or agreed to by prior discussion with the CORE administrative staff. Applications must be completed in ProposalCentral by midnight eastern standard time on January 16th. This receipt date cannot be waived. Please allow time to obtain the necessary approvals and signatures.


Please email [email protected] for assistance.

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