Through the Emerging Research Grants (ERG) program, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) provides seed money to hearing and balance researchers who focus on researching underfunded areas of otology. Grantees advance scientific knowledge in the following under-researched areas: Hearing Loss in Children, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Hyperacusis, Tinnitus, Ménière’s disease, Usher syndrome, making cancer drugs less ototoxic, and the links between hearing loss and diabetes, heart and kidney disease.

ERG awards are one year in length and are renewable for a second year and governed by the Council of Scientific Trustees (CST). The CST is comprised of senior researchers and physicians from across the nation who review each application for scientific merit and relevance. The work of ERG alumni has led to dramatic innovations in hearing and balance science, with most going on to obtain grant awards from The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others. Our review process is so thorough that, on average, the NIH has matched $91 for every dollar HHF has invested in ERG researchers. For in-depth profiles on our ERG-funded investigators, see our Meet the Researcher series. 

Applying for a grant

Researchers interested in applying for an Emerging Research Grant, please visit Submitting an Application. Unsure you qualify? Please review our Policy on Emerging Research Grants

2016 Emerging Research Grantee Elizabeth McCullagh, Ph.D. (front), and colleague Achim Klug, Ph.D., University of Colorado

2016 Emerging Research Grantee Elizabeth McCullagh, Ph.D. (front), and colleague Achim Klug, Ph.D., University of Colorado

HHF plays a seminal role in launching the independent careers of many scientists in hearing research. The grants awarded by HHF provide the ‘seed’ support needed to obtain preliminary data that enables a grantee to apply for and get a larger grant award to expand their research resources and efforts.
— James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Former Director, NIDCD

MEET OUR RECENT erg Recipients

council of scientific trustees

The governing body of our Emerging Research Grants program, the Council of Scientific Trustees (CST), comprises senior national researchers and physicians who review each application for scientific merit and program relevance.

Anil K. Lalwani, M.D., Head of Council of Scientific Trustees
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Director, Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery
Director, Columbia Cochlear Implant Center
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Carey Balaban, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Jill B. Firszt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head-Neck Surgery
Director, Cochlear Implant and Hearing Loss Research Laboratory
Adjunct Faculty, Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences
Washington University School of Medicine

David S. Haynes, M.D., FACS
Professor of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery and Hearing and Speech Sciences
Neurotology Division/Fellowship Program/Cochlear Implant Program Director
Vanderbilt University

Matthew W. Kelley, Ph.D.
Chief, Section on Developmental Neuroscience
Chief, Laboratory of Cochlear Development
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institutes of Health

Sharon Kujawa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology
Harvard Medical School
Director of Audiology Research and Senior Scientist
Eaton-Peabody Laboratories
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Ruth Litovsky, Ph.D.
Professor, Communicative Sciences and Disorders and Surgery/Otolaryngology
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Cynthia Morton, PhD
Medical Geneticist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Yehoash Raphael, Ph.D.
Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
University of Michigan

Allen F. Ryan, Ph.D.
Professor of Surgery, Otolayrngology & Neurosciences
University of California, San Diego

Robert V. Shannon, Ph.D.
Research Professor
Univeristy of Southern California Biomedical Engineering

Jennifer Stone, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center
University of Washington

Peter S. Steyger, Ph.D
Director, Translational Hearing Center
Creighton University School of Medicine

Daniel J. Tollin, Ph.D
Department of Physiology & Biophysics
Department of Otolaryngology
University of Colorado School of Medicine