Endocrine Global FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the ASPIRE research awards?
The Advancing Science through Pfizer - Investigator Research Exchange (ASPIRE) program is a competitive grants program sponsored by Pfizer. ASPIRE seeks to support basic science, translational and clinical research that advances medical knowledge in the pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of selected diseases. (top)


Who is eligible to apply for ASPIRE Research awards?
Each ASPIRE research award program has established its own eligibility & research criteria. Check with the specific ASPIRE Research Awards in Endocrinology program for more information.(top)


What is the role of Pfizer in the ASPIRE Endocrine Research awards?
Pfizer is fully funding the ASPIRE Research Awards in Endocrinology. Additionally, Pfizer is providing the infrastructure and administrative support required to facilitate the application process.(top)


Who reviews, awards the research proposals?
The ASPIRE applications will be reviewed by an independent, external review committee comprised of medical and scientific experts.(top)


How many Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research awards are available?
In 2017, Pfizer is funding fiveresearch awards up to a maximum of $50,000 USD/ each for one year, inclusive of overhead costs.(top)


When will the Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research awards for 2017 be announced?
The successful awardees will be notified in August 2017 (top)


Is the funding a per-annum or per-study amount?
Each award funds the entire research period, and is not a sum paid per year.(top)


Does the funding include institutional overhead costs and direct costs?
Yes, the maximum funding for each type of award ($50,000 USD) includes direct costs, and institutional overhead costs. Final budgets of those studies awarded a grant will be reviewed for fair market value before the contracting process begins.(top)


What are indirect costs?
Indirect costs are additional study expenses such as costs for publication, IRB/IEC review fees, supplies, software license fees, and travel.(top)


What are institutional overhead costs?
Institutional overhead costs, are costs to the institution for the support of your study. They are not easily identifiable in an economically feasible way as exclusively related to a particular project but are necessary to conduct the grant. Some examples of these costs are human resources department costs, payroll processing and accounting costs, janitorial services, utilities, property taxes, property and liability insurance, and building maintenance.(top)


How are the funds dispersed?
The awards will be paid in milestones. Initial payment will be up to 50% of the total grant and there will be payments made based on enrollment or other milestones depending on study type. Final payment will be 15% upon receipt of study results.(top)


How may the Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research funding be used?
Funds may be used to cover the awardees’ salary and fringe benefits, as well as other direct expenses incurred during the research project. Direct expenses may include the salary of technical associates; the purchase of relevant laboratory supplies; direct expenses necessary for proper conduct of research (e.g. subject-related costs, study-related personnel costs, diagnostic fees/services, data management expenses). Indirect costs may include and travel expenses to scientific meetings, software licensing fees, publication costs etc.

No other government, non-governmental, or industry-sponsored projects may cover the same work scope as the grant application to the Global ASPIRE Program. However, an ASPIRE Endocrine Research Program grant may be related to other funding from foundations or government agencies, as long as there is no direct overlap. It is the responsibility of the applicant to justify the novelty of the proposal and provide evidence that the application does not overlap with any current or pending funding.

**Due to the competitive nature of these awards, Pfizer cannot provide any additional funding and/or drug support beyond what has been requested and approved by the external review panel.(top)


Can Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research funding be used to purchase equipment?
No. Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research funds may not be used to purchase equipment, although the purchase of relevant laboratory supplies is allowed.(top)


Are the Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research awards renewable?
No. Each Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research award is a one-time, non-renewable research grant.(top)


Are the Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research awards open to researchers working any wherein the world?
Yes. The 2017 Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research awards are open to researchers working in any geographical region.


What areas of research meet the criteria for Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research funding?
The 2017 Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research Programs seeks to generate exploratory data to better understand disease mechanisms and could include any of the following: genetic factors involved in disease development, factors affecting the response to therapeutic agents, identification of novel biomarkers, identification of novel therapeutic targets or therapeutic approaches; special interest in novel approaches to identify poor responders and non-adherence to treatment.


Are there any specific research areas that are excluded from ASPIRE Endocrine Research funding?
The following topics fall outside the scope of the ASPIRE Endocrine Research Program:

  • General education and / or training
  • Support for ongoing clinical programs that are part of an organization’s routine operations

What project deliverables are required?
Projects are expected to yield results that will enhance the understanding of endocrine diseases in children and adults as described above. It is expected that results will be presented at scientific meetings and published in peer reviewed journals.(top)


Will non-drug research proposals be considered?
Yes. Both drug and non-drug proposals will be considered for funding.(top)


If the study uses a Pfizer drug, what are Pfizer’s procedures for reporting of Serious Adverse Events?
Reporting of Serious Adverse Events is a key responsibility of the Research Award Principal Investigator

Reporting of Serious Adverse Events. Within 24 hours of first awareness of the event (immediately if the event is fatal or life-threatening), Principal Investigator will report to Pfizer by facsimile any Serious Adverse Event (“SAE,” as defined below) for which reporting is required under this provision (as described below). Such SAEs are to be reported for (1) Study subjects who are assigned or, in the case of a blinded Study, possibly assigned to receive the Pfizer Product or (2) individuals otherwise exposed to the Pfizer Product as described below. Principal Investigator should report SAEs as soon as they are determined to meet the definition, even if complete information is not yet available.


  1. Reporting Forms. Principal Investigator will report SAEs using one of the following forms: (1) a reporting form approved by the local regulatory authority, (2) a CIOMS form, (3) a Pfizer-provided Investigator-Initiated Research Serious Adverse Event Form, or (4) any other form prospectively approved by Pfizer. The Reportable Event Fax Cover Sheet provided by Pfizer must also be included with each SAE submitted.
  2. SAE Definition. An SAE is any adverse event, without regard to causality, that is life-threatening (i.e., causes an immediate risk of death) or that results in any of the following outcomes: death; in-patient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization; persistent or significant disability or incapacity (i.e., substantial disruption of the ability to conduct normal life functions); or a congenital anomaly or birth defect. Any other medical event that, in the medical judgment of the Principal Investigator, may jeopardize the subject or may require medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the outcomes listed above is also considered an SAE. A planned medical or surgical procedure is not, in itself, an SAE
  3. Exposure During Pregnancy, Exposure During Lactation, Occupational Exposure, and Lack Of Effect. Even though there may not be an associated SAE, exposure to the Pfizer Product during pregnancy, exposure to the Pfizer Product during lactation, and occupational exposure to the Pfizer Product are reportable, and lack of effect of the Pfizer Product may also be reportable. These requirements are further explained in the training material provided by Pfizer (see Pfizer-Provided Training, below). As used in this Agreement, the term SAE will be understood to include exposure during pregnancy, exposure during lactation, occupational exposure, and reportable instances of lack of effect.
  4. Hy’s Law Cases. Cases of potential drug-induced liver injury as assessed by laboratory test values (“Hy’s Law Cases”) are also reportable to Pfizer. If a Study subject develops abnormal values in aspartate transaminase (AST) or alanine transaminase or both, concurrent with abnormal elevations in total bilirubin and no other known cause of liver injury, that event would be classified as a Hy’s Law Case. This reporting requirement is further explained in the training material provided by Pfizer (see Pfizer-Provided Training, below). As used in this Agreement, the term SAE will be understood to also include Hy’s Law Cases.
  5. Exclusions from SAE Reporting Requirements. Specifically excluded from the reporting requirements for SAEs under this provision is any SAE identified in the Protocol as anticipated to occur in the Study population at some frequency independent of drug exposure, unless the Principal Investigator assesses such an event as related to the Pfizer Product.
  6. SAE Reporting Period. The SAEs that are subject to this reporting provision are those that occur from after the first dose of the Pfizer Product through 28 calendar days after the last administration of the Pfizer Product, or longer if so specified in the Protocol. In addition, if Principal Investigator becomes aware of an SAE occurring any time after the administration of the last dose of the Pfizer Product, Principal Investigator should report that SAE to Pfizer if the Principal Investigator suspects a causal relationship between the Pfizer Product and the SAE.
  7. Follow-Up Information. Principal Investigator will assist Pfizer in investigating any SAE and will provide any follow-up information reasonably requested by Pfizer.
  8. Regulatory Reporting. Reporting an SAE to Pfizer does not relieve Principal Investigator of responsibility for reporting it to appropriate regulatory authorities, if such reporting is required.
  1. Pfizer-Provided Training. Pfizer will make available training material that provides information about the SAE reporting requirements for IIR studies. Principal Investigator will review this material and share it with any Study staff engaged in the reporting of SAEs.

In addition, for any non-interventional study with sites in the EU, the following requirements also apply:
Reporting of Non-Serious Adverse Events. Certain Non-Serious Adverse Events (“NS-AEs,” as defined below) must also be reported to Pfizer. The NS-AEs that are reportable to Pfizer are those that (1) were specified in the Protocol as being reportable and (2) occur during the NS-AE reporting period (as defined below). Within 24 hours of first awareness of the event, Principal Investigator will report to Pfizer by facsimile any such NS-AE. Principal Investigator should report these NS-AEs as soon as they are determined to meet the definition and reportability criteria, even if complete information is not yet available.



  1. Reporting Forms. Principal Investigator will report NS-AEs on one of the following forms: (1) a reporting form approved by the local regulatory authority, (2) a CIOMS form, (3) a Pfizer-provided Investigator-Initiated Research Non-Interventional Study Adverse Event Report Form, or (4) any other form prospectively approved by Pfizer. The Reportable Event Fax Cover Sheet provided by Pfizer must also be included with each NS-AE submitted.
  2. AE and NS-AE Definitions. An Adverse Event (“AE”) is any untoward medical occurrence in a Study subject receiving the Pfizer Product or an individual otherwise exposed to the Pfizer Product, without regard to whether there is a causal relationship between the Pfizer Product and the medical occurrence. A Non-Serious AE (“NS-AE”) is any AE that does not meet the definition of an SAE (see Section 3.7.b, SAE Definition). For this Study, only NS-AEs identified in the Study Protocol as reportable must be submitted to Pfizer.
  3. NS-AE Reporting Period. Unless the Protocol specifies a longer period, the NS-AEs that are subject to this reporting provision are those that occur from after the first dose of the Pfizer Product or the Study subject’s enrolment in the Study (whichever is later) through 28 calendar days after the last administration of the Pfizer Product or the subject’s last Study visit (whichever is earlier).
  4. Follow-Up Information. Institution will assist Pfizer in investigating any NS-AE if Pfizer considers it necessary and will provide any follow-up information reasonably requested by Pfizer.
  5. Regulatory Reporting. Reporting an NS-AE to Pfizer does not relieve Institution of responsibility for reporting it to appropriate regulatory authorities, if such reporting is required.
  6. Pfizer-Provided NS-AE Training. Further information about the NS-AE reporting requirements for non-interventional IIR studies conducted within the European Union is provided in the Pfizer-provided training referenced in Section 3.7, above. Principal Investigator will review this material and share it with any Study staff engaged in the reporting of NS-AEs. (top)

I’m still not sure if my proposed research i.e. meets the criteria, how can I find out?
Please contact the ASPIRE Coordinator with a brief description of your proposed research area.
Email: questions.aspireresearch-Endocrine@pfizer.com


Is there a time limit for conducting the funded research?
Study results are expected before December, 2018. (top)


How do I apply for a Global ASPIRE Endocrine Research award?
Applications forms are available here and are to be submitted to Pfizer through an online submission website. Please click on the link below to be routed to Pfizer’s global investigator-initiated research website. Click on “Submit an IIR Request” and follow the online instructions. If this is your first time visiting the portal you must first “Create an Account”.

Applicants must select “2017 GLOBAL ASPIRE ENDOCRINE” from the drop down list of Competitive Grants Programs


What if I don’t fully understand the ASPIRE application process?
Please refer to the application guide. If you still have questions, please e-mail the coordinator
questions.aspireresearch-endocrine@pfizer.com (top)


What is the deadline for application?
Applications must be received by 11:59pm EST on June 2, 2017. (top)


When will I hear whether my application has been successful?
Successful applicants will be notified in August 2017. (top)


If my application is successful, when will the funding commence?
Awards will commence on or around September/October 2017, pending receipt of all required documents noted on the application form. Contracts that are unable to be executed by the end of the calendar year are subject to loss of funding. (top)


Will I receive a copy of the Review Committee’s evaluation of my grant proposal?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide applicants with comments by the ASPIRE Review Committee. Our objective is to keep our administrative costs as low as possible, preserving the bulk of our budget for actual grants. (top)


I have a question that is not covered here?
If you require clarification on an issue not addressed here, please contact the ASPIRE Coordinator,
email: questions.aspireresearch-endocrine@pfizer.com


Can I be notified when future ASPIRE competitive grants program become available?
Visit www.aspireresearch.org and complete the contact information section to receive future program notifications. (top)