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Previous Rome-AGA Pilot Study Awards

The Rome Foundation has supported research projects to guide innovations in the development of diagnostic criteria and to establish the international representation of these disorders. In 2007, the Foundation took the first formal step in establishing a regular process for awarding grants to young investigators on an annual basis through an application process. We published guidelines to solicit applications and made a commitment to award an annual research grant of $30,000 to a young investigator. The goals of the awards were (1) to validate the Rome diagnostic criteria for functional GI disorders, (2) to increase knowledge on the prevalence, epidemiology, and pathophysiology of these disorders, and (3) to interest young investigators in pursuing research in this field. This process continued until 2013 when we partnered with the American Gastroenterological Association to add a second annual award and to rename these the AGA-Rome Foundation Functional GI and Motility Disorders Pilot Research Awards. Since 2014, the review committees have been composed of reviewers from both the AGA and the Rome Foundation membership. A list of research awards over the last 4 years is given below:

2019 Award Recipients

Joan W. Chen, MD, MS
Arpana Gupta, PhD

2018 Award Recipients

Faranak Fattahi, PhD
Shaoyong Yu, MD

2017 Award Recipients

Gianluca Cipriani, PhD
Geoffrey Preidis, MD, PhD

2016 Award Recipients

Izumi Kaji, PhD, RD
Ans Pauwels, MPharmSC, PhD

2015 Award Recipients

Madhusudan Grover, MBBS
Miranda van Tilburg, PhD


Two, one-year, $30,000 research grants are offered to two recipients at any career stage to support pilot research projects pertaining to functional GI and motility disorders. These awards are jointly sponsored by AGA and the Rome Foundation


The objective of this award is to provide investigators funds to help establish their research careers or support pilot projects that represent new research directions. The intent of the award is to stimulate research in the areas of functional GI and motility disorders by providing time for investigators to obtain new data that can ultimately lead to subsequent grant applications for more substantial funding and duration.


  • Candidates for this award must hold an MD, PhD or equivalent degree (e.g. MB, ChB, MBBS, DO) and a full-time faculty position at an accredited institution.
  • International candidates may apply for this award.
  • AGA membership is required at the time of application submission. However, candidates whose AGA membership applications are pending approval may apply for the award. Please visit or call 301-654-2055, extension 651, for membership information.
  • Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Rome Foundation board members are ineligible.


  • The proposed research must address the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and/or treatment of functional gastrointestinal or motility disorders.
  • One award is specifically allocated to clinical, and the second award to clinical or translational investigation, and the proposals will be evaluated regarding their potential to influence clinical management.
  • Applicants may not submit the same proposal to multiple AGA pilot awards offered in the same year.
  • Allowable Costs:
    • Applicant’s salary and benefits
    • Research assistants and/or laboratory technicians
    • Biostatistics support
    • Supplies and/or equipment
  • Unallowable Costs:
    • Preceptor’s salary and benefits
    • Travel costs
    • Indirect costs
  • Early career investigators are required to have a preceptor for this award. A preceptor will supervise the principal investigator’s research activities and will serve as a mentor.
    • MD applicants are considered “early career” if no more than seven years shall have elapsed following the completion of clinical training (GI fellowship or its equivalent) and the start date of this award.
    • PhD applicants are considered “early career” if no more than seven years have elapsed following the awarding of the PhD degree and the start date of this award.
    • A letter of recommendation from the Division Chief or Department Chair is required for all applicants at the Instructor or Assistant Professor level.
  • Established investigators who are applying for this award should state explicitly how the research being proposed is different from their previous line of research.
  • The application must indicate how the investigators will use the pilot data for an extension of their work by applying to another agency (e.g., NIH).
  • Upon notification of receipt of this award, the recipient must provide approval from the appropriate institution committee for use of human subjects or animals. If approval is not necessary, the recipient must provide an explanation.
  • A scientific and financial progress report must be submitted to AGA by the award recipient upon completion of the project, and as needed upon request.

Award Overlap

At the time of application submission, candidates may not hold awards directly related to the proposed research from other organizations. If the candidate is granted the award and notified of a comparable award from another organization (i.e. government agency, foundation, academic institution, professional society, etc.) prior to the first payment of this award, the recipient must select one of the two awards, (i.e. the recipient may not retain both awards).

Selection Criteria

The recipient will be selected based on novelty, importance, feasibility, environment and the overall likelihood that the project will lead to subsequent, more substantial grants in the areas of functional GI and motility disorders research.

Review Process

A selection committee comprised of equal representation of the AGA Research Awards Panel and Rome Foundation Research Awards Committee reviews the proposals and selects the award recipient.

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