International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health

ISSWSH Research Grant Program

The 2019 ISSWSH Research Grant submission is now open.

The ISSWSH Scholars in Women’s Sexual Health Research Grant Program is a novel and unique program which offers young investigators interested in qualified research in women's sexual health the opportunity to obtain funding from ISSWSH to support their research. It is our hope that this program will encourage ISSWSH members who mentor young researchers to become interested in women's sexual health research and make it a focal point of their young careers.

Application for this funding is a member benefit for mentors to help their mentees, and in turn hopefully encourage their students to join ISSWSH. This concept fits perfectly with the mission of ISSWSH as a multidisciplinary, academic, and scientific organization whose purposes are: to provide opportunities for communication among scholars, researchers, and practitioners about women's sexual function and sexual experience; to support the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in research, education, and clinical practice of women's sexuality; and to provide the public with accurate information about women's sexuality and sexual health.

Women's sexual health is a multi-disciplinary field that impacts almost every aspect of human endeavor. We encourage applications from aspiring researchers representing diverse backgrounds including but not limited to: anatomy, education, genetics, geriatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, molecular biology, physical therapy, physiology, psychiatry, psychology, public health, social work, urology, and endocrinology.

Applications will be evaluated by expert clinician-scientists and researchers in women’s sexual health using the NIH review criteria and scoring system. Recipients will be announced at the ISSWSH Business Meeting during the ISSWSH Annual Meeting. Recipients will receive membership in ISSWSH at no charge for one year.

Application Deadline: December 10, 2018

Value: The size of award will be commensurate with the experience of the scholar, the proposed duration of funding, and the scope and quality of the proposed research project. The maximum award amount is $7,500.


  • Applicant must be an undergraduate, graduate or medical student; resident in a graduate medical education training program; or a post-doctoral/post-residency fellow during the award. International grant applications are encouraged.
  • The applicant’s mentor must be an ISSWSH member.

Award Term

The award term is June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020. Applicants have the option to request an alternate timeframe on the Application Form.

Submission Requirements

Use Arial 12 point font with one inch margins for any written documentation. Page limits exclude references.

  • A completed Application Form by the specified deadline.
  • A Research Project Abstract (half-page limit), summarizing the background, key objectives, and potential impact of the project. A Research Proposal(Undergraduate or medical school-level students should submit a 2-page Research Proposal, while graduate students, residents or post-doctoral fellows should submit a 4-page Research Proposal.) divided into the following sections
    • Specific Aims and Hypotheses: Address the aims of the research and scope of the grant.
    • Background & Preliminary Data: Describe the background of the problem being addressed and include any data supporting your hypothesis or the feasibility of the proposed experiment.
    • Experimental Design: Outline the proposed investigation including expected results, potential problems, and alternative approaches that may be encountered.
    • Significance: Describe the significance of the project and its impact to the field of women’s sexual health.
    • Timeline: Include an estimated time to complete the proposed study.
    • ***Undergraduate or medical school-level students should submit a 2-page Research Proposal, while graduate students, residents or post-doctoral fellows should submit a 4-page Research Proposal. The research proposal must address items A-E above. Use Arial font in 12-point format, one-inch margins. Page limits exclude references.***
  • A one-page detailed and itemized Budget. Please note that salary and travel costs are ineligible costs.
  • A one-page Career Development Plan, addressing prior research experience, as well as research interests and career goals related to future endeavors in women’s sexual health.
  • A two-page CV highlighting relevant contributions in women’s sexual health.
  • A Letter of Support from a faculty mentor who is an ISSWSH member, and two additional Letters of Recommendation.

Post-Award Requirements

  • Recipients must submit a Mid-Project Progress Report by of the award year. An email reminder with a Progress Report template will be sent to recipients to aid in the completion of this requirement. The Research Grants Committee will review the progress report prior to approving the disbursement of the second half of the award. A final progress report will be due 30 days following the end of the award term. 
  • Grant recipients will be required to submit an abstract based on their research to an upcoming ISSWSH Annual Meeting.
  • Recipients are further encouraged to submit a manuscript with their results for publication in an official ISSWSH Journal: The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Sexual Medicine,or Sexual Medicine Reviews.
  • ISSWSH will be credited as a sponsor in any presentations and publications that result from the research project.

Award Disbursement

Awards will be paid to the sponsoring institution (medical school, hospital, university), and not to the individual recipient or mentor. Awards will be distributed in two payments, with the first 50% paid in early June, and the remaining amount paid the following January, unless an alternate timeline was requested via the Application Form. ISSWSH does not withhold taxes from the stipends (i.e., federal withholding, social security, local or state taxes, etc.). It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that appropriate federal and local taxes are accounted for. Recipients must submit a Mid-Project Progress Report by November 3 0 of the award year, which will be reviewed by the Research Grants Committee, before the second installment will be paid. Recipients will receive a reminder email about the Mid-Project Progress Report and a Progress Report template to aid in the completion of this requirement.

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For more information, please contact the ISSWSH Executive Office.