Investigator Development Grant

The purpose of this grant is to support the work of a young faculty member in facial plastic surgery conducting significant clinical or laboratory research and involved in the training of resident surgeons in research. This grant is endowed by funds from Leslie Bernstein, MD, DDS. 

Candidates for this grant should reside in the U.S. or Canada, must be a member of good standing of the AAFPRS, involved in the training of resident surgeons, and have completed their clinical training in 10 years or less. Previous AAO-HNS Foundation research grant recipients are not eligible to compete for this grant. Candidates who have successfully obtained funding from a private or federal funding agency as the Principal Investigator for the same research are also ineligible. Candidates who have applied for support of the same research from other funding sources, and who are notified of an award from both another agency and from the AAFPRS Foundation must demonstrate that the funding will be complementary, without budgetary overlap. Applications submitted by ineligible PIs will NOT be reviewed by the AAFPRS Foundation RISE Review Group.

Research supported by this grant should be specifically directed toward the advancement of the state of knowledge in the theory, techniques, and application of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. While not specifically required, proposals, which aim to introduce new knowledge and methodology from other disciplines to research in facial plastic and/or reconstructive surgery, or which demonstrate collaborative effort with members of other related disciplines are encouraged. Projects must be designed so as to yield useful information within the period of award, but priority will be given to projects that are also innovative with promise to develop into new long-range or expanded research programs capable of attracting funding from other sources.

Each year the Board of Directors and/or the AAFPRS Research Committee may identify research areas of strategic importance to the Academy and the specialty. Submissions in these identified areas may receive additional consideration in the final evaluation process.  Please contact the Foundation for additional information at

A letter of support from the Chair of the candidate’s academic department must accompany the application. This letter is to indicate a general level of support of the applicant, and to demonstrate the fact that the Department will make time, space, and other resources accessible for completion of the project.   Applicants must obtain letters of support/understanding from all key personnel on the project. Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed by the AAFPRS Foundation RISE Review Group.

  1. Amount - $15,000 maximum, subject to availability of funds.
  2. Period - Projects must be completed within three years of the award date; no-cost extensions are available upon written request. Projects are not renewable.
  3. Use of Funds - A detailed budget and budget justification constitute part of the application and will be evaluated as part of the review process. Allowable expenses include salary support for the Principal Investigator, research assistants or other technical personnel; computer software or hardware; purchase and maintenance of experimental animals; laboratory supplies and services; domestic travel directly related to the project; and expenses related to publication of results directly related to the supported project, exclusive of reprint costs. Equipment and supplies purchased with this grant become the property of the recipient institution.  The AAFPRS Foundation is a not-for-profit organization under tax code 501(c)(3). As such, all research grant monies are provided to fund direct costs related to the research proposed in the application. If university policy stipulates that a portion of this very modest award must go toward institutional indirect costs, no more than ten percent (10%) of the total costs may be applied for indirect costs. In no case may the total award exceed $15,000. The Foundation reserves the right to withhold up to ten per cent (10%) of the grant until such time that the research project is completed, and all requirements have been meet, as outlined in section L; Reporting Requirements.
  4. Review - Applications will be reviewed by AAFPRS Foundation RISE Group and recommendations will be approved by the EBM/Research Committee. Recommendations for funding of the Leslie Bernstein Investigator Development Grant must be submitted to the AAFPRS Foundation Board for final approval. 
  5. Notification - The AAFPRS Foundation office will send letters of notification normally by July 1 of the award year. Please do not call the AAFPRS office prior to that time to inquire about results. 
  6. Start Date - The recipient of the AAFPRS Foundation Leslie Bernstein Investigator Development Grant will be announced by the AAFPRS. The earliest start date for the award is July 1.

The Leslie Bernstein Investigator Development Grant s a career development award. In addition to the Significance, Innovation, and Approach components of the Research Strategy, Career Development Award applicants must include:

  • Candidate’s Background
  • Career Goals and Objectives
  • Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period
  • Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

More information is provided in the Research Strategy instructions, which will be accessible after approval of Letter of Intent.

Applications are in a similar format to the National Institutes of Health. All applications must be completed and submitted online at AAFPRS Research and Awards Center .

The Principal Investigator, Department Chairman, and Institution official are required to sign the original grant application (all signatures must appear on copies). The AAFPRS Foundation Leslie Bernstein Investigator Development Grant is legally awarded to the institution with which the Principal Investigator is affiliated, not to the investigator or his/her Division or Department. For this reason, it is very important that applicants comply with their home institution’s policies on pre-submission processing of grant applications. This can take time, so it is wise to plan ahead, allowing adequate time for processing and approvals. Applicants are advised to consult their institution’s offices of research administration or sponsored projects for information on processing requirements for an application prior to its submission. 

If the proposed research involves human subjects or vertebrate animals at any time, the project must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This approval should be obtained prior to submission and submitted with the application.  If such approval is unavoidably delayed, enter “pending” instead of the approval date. Grant applications that are not supported by evidence of the appropriate IRB or IACUC approvals will not receive funding until such approval letters are submitted. Any changes in the proposed work required by an IRB or IACUC to secure approval must be submitted to the AAFPRS Foundation with the follow-up certification, prior to review or after the work is in progress. 

All applicants must submit a Letter of Intent no later than midnight Eastern Standard Time December 15, or the nearest Monday of each year. Click here to begin the letter of intent process. The letter of intent includes the title of the project, the principal investigator, and an abstract of the work. This will facilitate planning review requirements.

Allow yourself enough time to have the appropriate individuals review your application. Once your application is complete, print your cover page and have all of the necessary individuals sign.  Keep in mind that it may take a few days to obtain all of the necessary signatures.  The AAFPRS grants program is paperless, so no hard copies of the signature page are to be mailed. Once all signatures have been obtained, you should scan the document as a .pdf and submit it the AAFPRS RISE review group and retain the original for your files if needed. Once all required documents have been received,  you will receive a confirmation email indicating that your proposal has officially been submitted.  SUBMIT FORMS AND IMAGES

ALL materials must be submitted online by midnight, Eastern Standard Time, January 15, or the nearest Monday of any given year.

In carrying out its stewardship of the research programs, the AAFPRS Foundation may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program. Accordingly, the recipient is hereby notified that s/he may be contacted after the completion of the grant award for periodic updates on various aspects of employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program. 

Recipients of the Investigator Development Grant are required to:
  1. Complete and upload an interim report every year until the completion of the project.
  2. Within six months of completion of the project, submit a final report suitable for publication in Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine (formerly JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery)
  3. Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine has right of first refusal of manuscripts resulting from the funded work
  4. Should Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine decline to publish, the researcher may submit to other publications
  5. Submit a financial status report within ninety (90) days after the close of the grant period (financial report form provided by the AAFPRS Foundation)
  6. Submit an abstract to present at the AAFPRS educational meeting that best relates to the specific content (whether the best educational meeting venue might be the Annual Meeting, COSM, the Rhinoplasty Meeting or Facial Rejuvenation meeting.)
  7. If not already on the Research Committee, recipients should submit name for addition to the committee during the annual call for committee members each fall.
  8.  Recipients are expected to participate in the annual RISE Review of grant applicants for three years after receipt of grant.
If you have questions regarding this Grant Description, please email
Download and Submit Forms
Letter of Intent  
Submit Forms and Images

To apply for this grant, download and complete the required forms by the indicated deadline and send to AAFPRS via the “Submit Forms and Images” link above.