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Congratulations to FSR’s 2023-2025 FSR Fellowship Awardee:

Dr. Christen Vagts

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) is pleased to announce that the FSR Sarcoidosis Research Fellowship for 2023-2025 is being awarded to Dr. Christen Vagts from FSR Global Sarcoidosis Clinic Alliance Founding Member, University of Illinois Hospital and Clinic, for her outstanding proposal, Immune Mediators of Active Advanced Pulmonary Sarcoidosis.

FSR has awarded over $1.2 million through the FSR Sarcoidosis Research Fellowship Grant program and is thrilled to award Dr. Vagts a fellowship in the amount of $150,000 over two-years to continue FSR’s investment in support of promising early career investigators. FSR’s Sarcoidosis Research Fellowship program was initiated in 2018 and has helped to support the research of eight fellows to build the pipeline for the next generation of sarcoidosis researchers. The FSR Fellowship Grant provides an opportunity for early-stage investigators to develop specialized skills and gain direct experience within the field of sarcoidosis.

“I am so honored to be the recipient of the FSR Fellowship grant,” said Dr. Vagts. “Improved understanding of how sarcoidosis-related inflammation drives pulmonary fibrosis is critical for new drug development and the creation of clinical strategies to help mitigate the risk of advance lung fibrosis.”

Click here to read the full announcement. 

Watch our recent Grant Writing Webinar to receive exemplary tips, techniques, and examples from past fellowship awardees. Speakers include: FSR CEO, Mary McGowan, Dr. Paula Barreras, 2021-2023 FSR Fellowship funding recipient from Johns Hopkins University, and mentor of Dr. Barreras, Dr. Carlos Pardo-Villamizar of Johns Hopkins University.  




Fellowship Eligibility Criteria

  • FSR will fund fellowships for a two-year period. Total funding is $75,000 per year per fellow ($150,000 per Fellow over a two-year period).
    • Applicant must include a detailed budget, as well as a budget justification.
  • Applicants must provide a personal statement which includes their career development plan as well as a description of their career goals relating to a long-term commitment to sarcoidosis research and clinical care.
  • Fellow and Mentor’s NIH Biosketch must be included in submission
  • The funding, restricted to the compensation package of the Fellow, will be provided directly to the hosting institute in two payments for each year. Funding does not allow overhead.
  • As funded by FSR, host will provide stipend or salary for a year, at a locally competitive rate, payable directly to the Fellow
  • There is no obligation by a potential Host Institution to make an offer or by a Fellow to accept an employment offer beyond the Fellowship agreement.
  • Applicants may be either U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or non-U.S. citizens. International applicants must have the ability to obtain the appropriate visas, as applicable.
    • Fellowships currently only allowed at US institutions.
    • Applicants must include description of institutional environment and demonstrate the institutions commitment to training.
  • Applicants must include their research project summary.
  • Letter of recommendations must be included, as well as a letter of support from mentor. If mentor is the one applying, any fellows working on the project or wish to work on the project, must include a personal letter.
  • Applicants may submit only one grant application per fellowship cycle
  • Applicants must submit proof of IRB submission or IRB approval before funding is provided.
  • All applications must follow NIH Fellowship Grant formatting and page limit guidelines, where applicable.
  • Formatting and page limits follow NIH Early Career Investigator (K) Grant guidelines. These guidelines can be found here.

Allowable Costs

Budget Expenditures- Direct Cost Only

Salaries *mentor efforts are NOT covered

Fellow (50-80% effort requested) salary + fringe benefits

Materials and Supplies

This can include cell reagents, arrays, kits, and other lab supplies. Categories must be detailed and explained when supplying the budget. If research includes animals, budget should include number of animals expected to be used, price for the animals, and per diem for animal care, as well as details on the length of time the animals will be used for.

Grant Writing Webinar

Watch our Grant Writing Webinar on YouTube.

Speakers included: 2020-2022 FSR fellowship funding recipient:  Dr. Shu-Yi Liao of National Jewish Health and FSR’s Scientific Advisory Board member and mentor of Dr. Liao – Dr. Lisa Maier of National Jewish Health, and FSR CEO Mary McGowan.


FSR-Funded Fellows Research Update Webinar

Watch our Fellowship Update Webinar on YouTube.

Speakers included: 2018-2020 FSR fellowship funding recipient:  Dr. Bryan Young of Yale University and 2018-2020 FSR fellowship funding recipient: Dr. Changwan Ryu of Yale University, and FSR CEO Mary McGowan.



Fellowship Grant Webinar – 2021

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) hosted a webinar in 2021 on how to write a successful proposal for FSR’s Fellowship Grant.  This webinar highlight’s FSR’s 2021-2023 fellowship program, what a good grant application looks like, and tips and tricks from a fellowship awardee and their mentor.

Speakers included:  Dr. Elliott Crouser from Ohio State University and FSR’s Scientific Advisory Board Chair,  Dr. Erica Herzog from Yale University and mentor to grant awardee,  Dr. Changwon Ryu from Yale University and 2018-2020 FSR Fellowship Recipient.

To view the recording of this webinar, click here.

2022-2024 Fellowship Program Awardee(s):

Dr. Nancy Lin, National Jewish Health

  • Defining MicroRNA Biomarkers in Sarcoidosis

“I am so appreciative of being awarded the FSR Fellowship Grant. This grant will allow me to continue developing my expertise in complex cases of sarcoidosis and will assist me in achieving my goal of becoming an expert [in sarcoidosis]. Additionally, this grant enables me to continue my research in genomic biomarkers in sarcoidosis. With support from the FSR, I hope this research will lead to improvements in the clinical management of individuals with sarcoidosis.”


2021-2023 Fellowship Program Awardee(s):

Dr. Paula Berreras, Johns Hopkins University Hospital

  • Discovering pathogens in neurosarcoidosis: using next generation immunological and metagenomic methods for unbiased pathogen detection and antimicrobial antibody profiling.

2020-2022 Fellowship Program Awardee(s):

Shu-Yi Liao, National Jewish Health- Mentored by Dr. Lisa Maier

  • An omics precision medicine approach to explore the susceptibility and phenotypes of sarcoidosis

2018 – 2020 Fellowship Program Awardee(s):

Dr. Ozioma Chioma, Vanderbilt University Medical Center- Mentored by Dr. Wonder Drake

  • Microbiome and transcriptomic analysis of sarcoidosis pulmonary biopsies aiming to signify disease outcome.

Dr. Lori Garman, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation- Mentored by Dr. Courtney Montgomery

  • Studying how genetic and environmental factors affect immune cells that possibly predispose individuals to sarcoidosis.

Dr. Changwan Ryu, Yale University – Mentored by Dr. Erica Herzog

  • Understanding the racial disparities of sarcoidosis by elucidating the mechanistic relationship between innate immune mechanisms driven by DNA derived from mitochondria (mtDNA) and clinical phenotypes

Dr. Bryan Young, Yale University – Mentored by Dr. Edward Miller

  • Novel patient-centered research in imaging and biomarkers of cardiac and thoracic sarcoidosis

FSR Fellowship Grant Contact:

For questions regarding our Fellowship Grant, please contact FSR at

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