Breakthrough research starts with a good idea. Research seed grants provide funding that enables researchers to investigate promising but untested ideas. They can also facilitate research that investigates or confirms clinical findings that are applicable to patient care. By supporting these projects, seed grants can lead to clinically valuable information and also provide preliminary data that can result in obtaining much larger grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other funding agencies. Funding is difficult to secure but these seed grants make it much more possible.
The fellowship research seed grants, as those supported by Barbara and Joel Marcus and others, provide funds to UCLA's GI fellows for just such a purpose - to conduct important studies in gastroenterology and hepatology for which alternative sources of funding are not readily available. These seed grants ensure that fellows have the opportunity to conduct high-quality research. The grants help to fund statistical services, laboratory assays, nursing support, and other research needs.