Skip Navigation

Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation Trailblazer Awards

Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation Trailblazer Award

The Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation (IAMI) Trailblazer Award provides grant funding and other support for clinical and translational research across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The objective of this pilot program is to support new and innovative ideas that will lead to externally funded awards. The Frontiers IAMI Trailblazer Award addresses this goal by providing funds to help investigators carry out early-stage project development of novel drugs, devices, and diagnostics. The overall intent is to acquire research results that are disseminated in impactful publications, support successful extramural funding applications, and yield products to be entered into our product development pipeline.

Up to two awards are given annually for $25,000 each. 

IAMI Research Focus Areas

Experimental Therapeutics Trials

Eligible research activities include a) clinical validation of a drug target; b) clinical pharmacology (e.g., drug metabolism, bioanalysis, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenomics, allometric scaling); c) clinical proof of concept of a novel therapeutic or a repurposed FDA-approved or abandoned drug. Eligible awardees must have demonstrated proof of principle in validated in vitro and/or in vivo preclinical models.

Drug and Medical Device Development

Eligible research activity includes high throughput screening; generation and optimization of small molecule lead candidates; discovery of macromolecule therapeutics; synthesis of sufficient quantities of active pharmaceutical ingredient required for animal testing; conduct of preclinical safety, pharmacokinetic and proof of principle studies in validated animal models of disease; formulation development (including analytical chemistry support); as well as creation of prototype medical devices as well as necessary device testing.

Biomarker Discovery and Validation

Eligible research activities include a) biospecimen collection; b) patient registry development; c) genetic, genomic, proteomic and metabolomic analysis of patient specimens, and d) analysis of patient specimens using established and investigational methods to discover and validate biomarkers of drug activity.

Entrepreneurship Activities Consistent with IAMI’s Mission

Eligible research activities defining the investment thesis for potential product development opportunities, including unmet medical need, proposed solution, market, competitive landscape, patent position and strategy, summary of existing data, product development and regulatory planning, marketing and licensing strategy, as well as support for obtaining key opinion leader input.

While not required, special consideration will be given to applications which address the CTSA priority of research into the needs of the rare disease community.

Research Plan Template

Request for Applications


Frontiers IAMI Trailblazer Awards support multidisciplinary translational research projects that address all diseases and include academic disciplines such as chemistry, molecular biology, medicine, pharmacy, allied health professions, nursing, veterinary medicine, and other areas that impact clinical and translational science.

Faculty investigators from all Frontiers institutions are invited to apply. All funding decisions and actual start dates for Trailblazer Awards are contingent upon receipt of the NCATS Notice of Award for Year 5 funding.

Key Dates

Applications Accepted: Dec. 1, 2023

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM (CT)

Funding Decision Notifications: late April 2024

Official Announcement: July 2024

Any questions regarding Frontiers IAMI Trailblazer Awards should be directed to Carolyn Vivian, IAMI Navigator.

Back to Top