Submissions for ISSWSH Research Grants will open September 1, 2023 and will be accepted through October 31, 2023
The ISSWSH Scholars in Women’s Sexual Health Research Grant Program offers young investigators interested in research in women's sexual health the opportunity to obtain funding from ISSWSH to support their research. Over the next two years ISSWSH will be prioritizing its commitment to funding research in women’s sexual health. Everything that we do from increasing our membership, investments, donors, and more, will be for the purpose of making ISSWSH financially sustainable so that we can support both basic science inquiry and clinical outcomes research that will eventually enable better education and patient care. We encourage young researchers mentored by ISSWSH members to commit to women's sexual health research and make it a focal point of their young careers.
Application for funding is a member benefit for mentors to help their mentees, and in turn 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 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.
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 and is meant to fund direct costs related to the research project. Indirect expenses such as salary, travel, etc. would not be eligible for funding.
- 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.
The award term is July 1 - June 30 of the following year. Applicants have the option to request an alternate timeframe on the Application Form.
Complete the online application by the due date (October 31). Please have the following attachments ready to upload to your online application:
- A Research Abstract (half-page limit) summarizing the following: Background, key objectives, and potential impact of the project.
- A Detailed Research Proposal* describing the following:
- Specific Aims and Hypotheses, addressing the aims of the research and scope of the grant
- Background & Preliminary Data, describing the background of the problem being addressed and any data supporting your hypothesis or the feasibility of the proposed experiment.
- Experimental Design, outlining the proposed investigation including expected results, potential problems, and alternative approaches that may be encountered.
- Significance, describing the significance of the project and its impact to the field of women's sexual health.
- Timeline, including an estimate 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 the 5 items above. Use Arial font in 11-point format, one-inch margins. Page limits exclude references.
- A single paragraph (500 word limit) on how your project addresses issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in women's sexual health: DEI requirement would be fulfilled by:
- addressing a research area that fits into DEI, such as investigating differences in access to care or provision of services based on race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, etc., or
- by providing training to underrepresented persons in healthcare or science (applicant or other), or
- by providing a service or incentive to patients that would otherwise not be accessible to them based on health inequities or stigma.
- A one-page detailed and itemized Budget. Grant funding is meant to cover direct costs related to the research and is not meant to supplement expenses related to salary, travel, etc. Mentors must indicate other funding (if any) supporting the proposed project (must be verified by the mentor with their signature).
- 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.
- Two additional letters** of recommendation.
**Letters of support may be submitted directly to ISSWSH via email (
- Recipients must submit a Mid-Project Report by December 1 of the award year. An email reminder with a Progress Report template will be sent to the 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 funds. 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 one of the following journals: 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 fromt he research project.
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 at the beginning of the grant period (July) of the award year, and the remaining amount paid at the midpoint (January) of the grant period, unless an alternate timeline was requested via the application form. Recipients must submit a Mid-Project Progress Report by December 1 of the award year, which will be reviewed by the Research Grants Committee before the second installment may be paid.