Research Centers and Programs

Academic Enrichment Fund

The purpose of the Academic Enrichment Fund (AEF) Program is to cultivate and support the scholarship and research of clinicians who devote the majority of their effort to clinical service.

The AEF Program is supported by Seattle Children’s Hospital with the goal of providing Seattle Children’s based services to investigators – thus supporting investigations taking place at Seattle Children’s sites and using Seattle Children’s Core Services (e.g., BEAR Core).  The program is administered by the Center Business Office. Applicants can be a member of any Seattle Children’s Research Institute research center.

The fund supports a wide range of clinical and basic science investigations including hypothesis-driven projects and research related to patient safety and quality improvement (that follow the SQUIRE guidelines).

Applications for the 2024 Summer Cycle AEF Program are due June 28, 2024 (5 p.m. Pacific).

Examples of recently funded projects include:

  • Impact of pre-existing pulmonary hypertension on outcome after pediatric heart transplantation
  • Neonatal CMV infection: a comparative effectiveness study of transfusion safety
  • Advanced MR cartilage mapping in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Effect of active utilization management on the value and cost of genetic testing

Key Dates

  • Program announcement: January 2024
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024 (5 p.m. Pacific)
  • Awards announced: September 2024
  • Earliest funding begins: October 1, 2024

Applicant may delay start of funding to January 1, 2025, to allow sufficient time for IRB or IACUC.

Award Details

The fund will be administered by the Chief Academic Officer based on recommendations from the Academic Enrichment Fund Committee. The committee, comprised of Seattle Children’s clinicians from varied hospital departments, will review and rank the applications.

Beginning with the 2022 award cycle, at least one award will be given to a proposal that is focused on health disparities.


  • Amount awarded will be a maximum of $25,000 for studies with a single Principal Investigator (PI). Projects that involve more than one PI from different divisions or departments can apply for up to $40,000. Projects are two years in length.
  • Payment of indirect costs, PI salary, and membership dues are not allowed.
  • Department/Division Chair must support the awarded recipient in helping to retain and protect adequate non-clinical time to complete the awarded AEF project.

Allowable costs

  • Non-PI Personnel (PI salary not allowed)
  • Travel (lodging, meals, transport, airfare, etc.) for the PI to present findings related to the awarded project (limited to $2,500 per individual; limited to $5,000 for dual PIs). Travel must abide by the SCH travel and reimbursement policies, including any COVID-related restrictions. You must attach your abstract to your travel request to demonstrate that you are using travel monies for the purpose of presenting your work.
  • Supplies and research equipment
  • Other expenses, such as fees for core services
    • * Seattle Children’s/University of Washington core services must be used when available. Detailed justification is required for core service requests outside of Seattle Children’s or the University of Washington.

See the AEF Award Terms and Conditions for more information.


All of the following criteria must be met by the PI/Co-PI to be eligible for an award.

  • Total FTE – must be a minimum of 0.6 FTE.
  • Clinical FTE - Must have 60% of total designated FTE dedicated to clinical service providing patient care at Seattle Children’s Hospital or a Seattle Children’s satellite.
    • **If not yet appointed as a faculty member, a letter from the division head/department chair should be supplied stating the date of appointment will commence at or before the time that AEF funding begins.
  • No active extramural research support as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI (includes federal, external non-profit, or industry funding) at the time of application submission.
  • Candidates who are not PI, but who are co-investigators on extramurally funded awards with less than 0.10 total combined FTE/salary support are eligible to apply.
  • Candidates with intramural support are eligible to apply.
  • Clinical faculty and staff (e.g., physicians, nurses, therapists, dietitians and other allied health professionals) are eligible. 
  • Fellows or other trainees are not eligible.
  • Applicants may not have active AEF support at the time of application submission. Candidates who completed AEF supported projects on/before the application due date are eligible to apply as long as final progress reports have been submitted and approved.
  • Academic Enrichment Fund Committee members are not eligible to apply.

Note: The funds are not intended to support the research of established investigators. An individual who does not meet one or more of these criteria may serve as project “mentor,” provided the independent nature of the principal investigator’s project are clearly delineated in a supporting letter to accompany the application.

Have questions? Review the Frequently Asked Questions section in the AEF Application Packet (DOCX).

More Information

Katherine Weybright
AEF Program Administrator

Eileen Klein, MD, MPH
AEF Committee Chair