Basic Science Grants

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand  (AFSH) have established grant funding to encourage young investigators to perform basic science research studies.  Our goal is to enable investigators to initiate pilot projects that will lead to subsequent funding from other sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The AFSH is committed to excellence in basic science research while maintaining the highest academic integrity and fiscal responsibility.  

Fraser J. Leversedge, MD - Research Division Director
Christopher J. Got, MD, Research Management Committee Co-Chair
Sanjeev Kakar, MD, Research Management Committee Co-Chair

About Basic Science Grants

These grants function similarly to the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R21). The R21 grant mechanism is intended to encourage exploratory/developmental research by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of project development.  See the R21 Grant Program Overview on the NIH website as background to learn more about the R21 grant mechanism.


  • Exploratory, novel studies that break new ground or extend previous discoveries toward new directions or applications.
  • High risk high reward studies that may lead to a breakthrough in a particular area, or result in novel techniques, agents, methodologies, models or applications that will impact biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.
  • Proposals covering any topic related to hand/upper limb are welcome to apply.


  • $20,000 award (direct costs only) for a one-year grant.
  • $15,000 is awarded at the start of the grant and final $5,000 is disbursed after the six-month progress report has been reviewed and approved by the Research Management Committee.

New! Special Emphasis Notice

The AFSH seeks to award a Special Emphasis grant in the following areas: opioid education/pain management strategy, simulation/novel training models, Touching Hands Project/outcomes research.  Designated funding is available for the 2019 grant cycle, and projects within these subject areas will receive special attention by the Research Management Committee.  

Special Emphasis Areas:

  • Opioid education for patients, surgeons and/or the development of protocols to study pain management strategies.
  • Hand/upper limb education with high consideration given to simulation or competency-guided training, Maintenance of Certification (MOC), and novel training models.  
  • Touching Hands Project (THP) and Outreach outcomes research to track patient outcomes related to THP.  Award may be used towards travel to THP brigade site(s) in U.S. or abroad.  

Special emphasis grants will be considered as part of the general pool of grant proposals reviewed this year.  Proposals covering any topic related to hand/upper limb are welcome to apply.

The deadline to apply for a Basic Science grant is March 25, 2019.