BCM
Roderick D. MacDonald Research Fund and Fellowship Awards
The purpose of MacDonald support is to facilitate research at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and to help investigators working in the St. Luke’s environment develop fundable and creative research programs. The fund provides financial support to investigators conducting original research or collecting preliminary data that will lead to external funding.

Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and Texas Medical Center researchers derive great benefit from The Roderick Duncan MacDonald General Research Fund. The MacDonald family’s contribution to the research efforts of the hospital is providing seed money for a number of significant research protocols conducted at BSLMC. The Roderick Duncan MacDonald General Research Fund gratefully accepts additional gifts to further advance the research efforts of BSLMC physicians. To make a contribution, please contact St. Luke’s Foundation, P.O. Box 20269 (MC 3-206), Houston, TX 77225 or by calling (832) 355-6822. You may also visit the web site at www.supportstlukes.org.

Two funding mechanisms are available:
  • Roderick D. MacDonald Fund
  • Roderick D. Macdonald Fellowship

The MacDonald Fund customarily makes one type of award for single-year research proposals. There is no assurance that new funds will be made available for a second year although by sending a letter to the Chair toward the end of year one, a second year no cost extension to the grant will be granted. The purpose of MacDonald support is to facilitate research at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and to help investigators working in the St. Luke’s environment to develop fundable and creative research programs. Rarely one-year fellowships will be funded when a mentor on the medical staff of St. Luke’s has clear institutional plans for the trainee.

Purpose: The purpose of the fund is to provide financial support to investigators in conducting original research or in collecting preliminary data that will lead to external funding.

  • Grants up to $50,000 are available for a one-year period. Smaller grant requests are encouraged to allow multiple grant awards. The funds are to be used for supplies, technical, computer and data management
  • Funds for salaries and fringe benefits of the principal investigator and other co-Investigators must not exceed $10,000 in total. Equipment less than $5,000 may be purchased. Use of funds for larger equipment items will not be approved. Rental of special equipment needed for the project is acceptable. Funds ordinarily will not be approved for items for basic office or laboratory infrastructure, such as computers, refrigerators and freezers. It is assumed that the investigator has a pre-existing and functional research environment. Funds for travel, publications and indirect costs (overhead) will not be approved
  • At the end of the second year after the grant is awarded, the principal investigator must submit an annual report with a detailed accounting of the expended funds. Any funds not expended will be returned to the MacDonald Fund, unless a one-year extension is requested and approved. An extension will not be granted beyond a second year
  • The MacDonald Fund Committee anticipates that St. Luke’s investigators will be able to carry out innovative research with the encouragement and startup money provided. The funding will allow the completion of a limited scientific study or lead to a more permanent funding base
  • Members of the BSLMC professional hospital staff or associated investigators are encouraged to submit proposals for research studies. Health care professionals from other institutions with collaborative research projects involving St. Luke’s staff members are encouraged to submit applications. The actual clinical investigations must take place within BSLMC and its affiliated institutions or with BSLMC patients
  • It is expected that awarded projects will lead to presentation, publication and external grant application. On all publications including abstracts reflecting sponsored work, the investigator must acknowledge support from the Roderick D. MacDonald Research Fund at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center

  • The Committee expects that the research proposal focuses on hypothesis-driven, original research questions with strong likelihood of completion in the time period of the funding
  • Proposals are expected to generate preliminary data that could be important to the investigator in efforts to acquire external funding from another, usually national funding agency
  • The proposal must demonstrate an appropriate sample size to test the hypothesis
  • Ordinarily research should be carried out at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center with hospital patients or with biologic materials derived from hospital patients
  • Projects that have clinical application that have the potential to improve the quality of patient care or safety of hospitalized patients at BSLMC are given highest priority
  • Research programs with an opportunity to expand project scope by receipt of matching funds from another granting source are of special interest to the committee
  • Evaluations, surveys or retrospective studies are usually not given sufficient priority to receive funding

Before the MacDonald Fund will consider a proposal for financial support, an investigator must obtain approval for the research protocol by a St. Luke’s-accepted IRB (BRANY, Baylor, UT, and CHI).
  • IRB information can be obtained from the St. Luke’s research website at https://www.chistlukeshealth.org/conducting-research-at-bslmc or from the Coordinator at (713)798-6064. The website contains guidelines for submitting the protocol for BSLMC administrative review
  • If partial funding support is available from another source, a copy of the investigator’s agreement, and letter of indemnification from the sponsor will be submitted with the IRB application
  • For proposals from nursing staff members, review and approval must be obtained from the Nursing Research Committee from the Division of Nursing prior to application to the IRB
  • For projects involving medical record reviews, a request should be made along with a complete description of the study in lieu of a proposal which will also require IRB approval
  • Following IRB review, the principal investigator receives a letter of notification concerning approval status
The following information is to be included in MacDonald application request:
  • Title of proposal
  • Principal Investigator(s) (include contact information)
  • Co-Investigator(s) and Consultants
  • BSLMC Department or Clinical Service
  • Sponsoring/Granting Agency (if applicable)
  • Time period for granted funds (maximum 12 months)
  • Costs to subjects, BSLMC and collaborating hospitals or institutions.
The outline of the research proposal will include:
  • Introduction
  • Hypothesis being tested (one sentence)
  • Lay Abstract that includes a brief summary of background, study methods, expected outcome and potential importance of the project using lay terminology and concepts.
  • Background and Preliminary Studies
  • Study design
  • Sample size calculation
  • Method of data analysis
  • Relevance to St. Luke’s
  • Informed consent procedure
  • Budget and budget justification
  • Plans for project development for future research grant application.
  • Other external grant or contract applications for this project.
  • Biographical sketch (not to exceed two pages) for each PI and Co-PI that contains: name, current position, education/training, positions/honors, selected peer review publications, and other research support
The application should be limited to four pages or less in length, with additional appendices to support the proposal. Deadlines for submitting proposals are January 7, March 9, August 7, November 9, 2020. Submit 20 copies of the application to the office of the Chair of the MacDonald Fund Committee:
Herbert L. DuPont, M.D.
6501 Fannin St., Suite NA300 (NA332A)
Houston, Texas 77030
In addition to submitting this online electronic application, the applications must be delivered to the Office of Research located on the 3rd floor of the Neurosensory Building

The MacDonald Fund Committee meets 5 times per year, normally within three weeks after proposal deadlines, to review proposals for financial support. Investigators will be given the opportunity to briefly discuss their proposal with the membership and answer questions posed by the Committee. Principal Investigators (PI) are not required to meet with the Committee to answer questions about the proposal but if the committee has important questions about methods, consideration of the proposal will be postponed until the next meeting when the issues can be addressed.
  • For all submitted awards, a letter will be sent to the PI from the committee chair within two weeks of the meeting indicating whether the proposal was approved with requested level of support or with a reduced budget, whether it was approved without funding or if the proposal was not approved
  • For proposals not approved the PI will be informed about major committee concerns. If the committee feels the proposal could possibly be improved to meet an approvable status with funding, this may be included in the letter
  • Once a protocol is approved, the investigator will receive ¼ of the total award. ½ of the budget will be paid when the PI has made successful progress on the project and makes the request. The final ¼ of the budget is paid when the project is well underway and the PI is assured of completing the project
  • PIs of all approved and funded proposals must submit an annual report on the progress of the research while the funding is active and on the first anniversary after termination of funding
  • Any assets acquired during research will remain the property of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center at conclusion of the research. Investigators are advised to keep all receipts and supporting documentation for a period of at least two years, since all grants are subject to audit
  • The PI may obtain approval of carrying over funds to the second year by writing the MacDonald Fund Chair requesting a no-cost extension. In no circumstances will funds be available beyond two years
Under special situations the MacDonald Fund Committee will approve support for a one-year research fellowship. The research planned must be scientifically important and the institution must have plans for grooming the fellow for a later full time research position. Fellow candidates planning research dealing with quality of medical care or patient safety will be given special consideration.
  • The fellowship is in the amount of $50,000 per year for one year. A majority of the dollars are to be used to pay the fellow’s salary with remaining funds available to cover the costs for laboratory supplies, travel, etc.
  • Equipment and indirect costs (overhead) are not allowable expenses.
  • Acceptable applicants are individuals who have completed their clinical training or who are interrupting their clinical training to carry out a research fellowship.
  • The research fellow must have a M.D., DO or Ph.D. degree
  • The research fellow will be required to spend at least 90% of their time conducting research under supervision at BSLMC. Private practice or employment outside the scope of the clinical research project during the time of the award or clinical training is not allowed
  • Mentors are limited to support for one fellow at a time. Priority is given to hospital areas not previously supported when candidates of equal caliber are being evaluated. The MacDonald Committee recognizes that an award may need to be made up to 18 months before the research fellowship is to begin
  • The application must identify institutional plans for the fellow after the period of training

The following information should be provided by the applicant’s mentor in the application request:
  • Name of the fellow candidate
  • Fellow’s mentor at BSLMC
  • One-page description of research
  • Brief plan for the individual once the fellowship is completed
  • Fellow’s and Mentor’s Curriculum Vitae and list of publications
The candidate will be evaluated on a number of factors:
  • Background and potential for growth
  • Scientific merit of the program to be undertaken
  • Track record of the mentor
  • Future institutional plans for the candidate
The research fellow must submit scientific data for publication in a peer-reviewed journal during the time of the fellowship. The candidate also must list themselves as a Roderick D. MacDonald Research Fellow at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in all correspondence and publications.
Deadlines for submitting applications are January 7, March 9, August 7, November 9, 2020. Submit 20 copies of the application to the Office of the Chair of the MacDonald Fund Committee:
Herbert L. DuPont, M.D.
6501 Fannin St., Suite NA300 (NA332A)
Houston, Texas 77030
In addition to submitting this online electronic application, the applications must be delivered to the Office of Research located on the 3rd floor of the Neurosensory Building

The MacDonald Fund Committee meets 5 times per year, normally within three weeks after proposal deadlines, to review proposals for financial support.
  • Once a fellowship is approved, the mentor will submit an annual report on the progress of the fellow on the first anniversary after termination of funding
  • Mentors are advised to keep all receipts and supporting documentation for a period of at least two years, since all grants are subject to audit
  • Mentors for research fellowships will receive a letter within two weeks of the quarterly Committee meeting which will detail approval status and level of funding for research proposals
  • The research fellow will acknowledge the Roderick D. MacDonald Research Fund and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center on all presentations and publications of research supported by these funds

  • A final report is due within two years of the granting the award and the following information is required:
  • Project title, award number, and investigator name
  • Brief description of the project
  • Detailed results obtained with MacDonald support including all available tables and figures
  • Summary of major findings in bullet form
  • List of all formal presentations of data obtained through MacDonald support including copies of published abstracts
  • List of all publications of data including copies of published papers and typed manuscripts in press
  • Indicate plans for project and how data obtained will be used in the future including plans for application for Federal grants and contracts and grants with Industry
  • If you have applied for or obtained a funded grant as a result of MacDonald funding, please detail this
  • Accounting of funds (unused funds must be returned)



Submit Application




Important Deadlines

Application Submission: 

May 7, 2020

August 7, 2020

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