Obesity Society Grants

The Obesity Society's grants program demonstrates our commitment to promote, reward, and encourage research in the field of obesity. 


Current Grant Opportunities

Weight Watchers Karen Miller-Kovach Research Grant

Weight Watchers and The Obesity Society have partnered to create the Karen Miller-Kovach Research Grant. The grant will focus on the development of a scalable, behavioral weight-loss intervention that includes digital tools. One grant will be funded for $50,000 for a one-year period.

Eligibility criteria

  • All members of The Obesity Society (domestic or international) are eligible for the grant.
  • All career levels are eligible for the grant. 
  • Applications from post-doctoral research fellows must have a mentor who is a current TOS member and be a member in their own right.

Principal Investigators may only submit ONE application for this grant opportunity. All documents should be submitted to The Obesity Society by 11:59 am Eastern on July 29, 2015. Find additional details here


Other Research Grants

Early Career Research Grants

This program (formerly, New Investigator Research Grants) is offered by The Obesity Society as a member service to foster and stimulate new research ideas in any area of investigation related to obesity. The program targets junior-level investigators and postdoctoral trainees by funding proposals that demonstrate a high likelihood of resulting in new and innovative approaches in obesity research. Early Career members are defined as individuals who have received a PhD within the past five years or MD within the past eight years and who currently hold full-time, entry-level positions (e.g., post-doctoral fellow, instructor, assistant professor) at an established academic/research institution. Applicants may request up to $25,000. Find out more about the 2015 Early Career Research Grants here

The call for applications is announced annually in the spring.

View the past early-career research grant recipients here.


NEW! Early Career Research Grant Challenge

For the first time, this grant competition is offered by The Obesity Society as a member service to foster and stimulate new research ideas related to obesity. TOS accepted applications earlier this spring and will invite five finalists to pitch their research ideas on stage at the TOS Opening Session of ObesityWeek 2015. A panel of judges, as well as the audience, will select the winner. Each of the five finalists will receive complimentary registration to ObesityWeek 2015 and a $1500 travel grant. They will have five minutes to present their proposal and the winner will receive a $40,000 research grant.

The call for applications is announced annually in the spring.

Find out additional details about the grant and application process here


Named Research Grants

The Obesity Society offers the opportunity for Named Research Grants in obesity research. These grants can be structured to focus on particular aspects of obesity research to enrich the body of knowledge in the desired area. Grant amounts are established by the organization sponsoring the grant with a minimum of $25,000. The following organizations have sponsored grants through The Obesity Society's Grants Program. Please click to see lists of past recipients: Wrigley Scientific InstituteCovidienNutrisystem, Inc.GlaxoSmithKlineWeight Watchers, and the Egg Nutrition Center.

Membership is required to apply for these grants.

These grants are administered by The Obesity Society's Scientific Review Committee and are made available based on sponsorship from organizations. Please contact us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  for questions regarding these grants. See information about the current Named Research Grant, the Weight Watchers Karen Miller-Kovach Research Grant, above. 

There are currently no open opportunities for Named Research Grants. Information will be updated here as new opportunties become available. Grant opportunities are also announced in our weekly newsletter as they become available. Sign up here to receive the TOS eNews.


Pat Simons Travel Grants

As part of its commitment to young investigators in the field of obesity research, each year The Obesity Society awards a number of $500 travel grants to support young investigator attendance at the Annual Meeting. Barbara Rolls, TOS past President, created these special grants after losing her mother, Pat Simons, to obesity related disease.

Encouraged by the desire to make a difference in her mother's name, Barbara joined family and friends to identify the most appropriate means to honor her. She long recognized that the origin of her mother's disease was obesity, and while suggestions were made to donate to diabetes or heart associations, Barbara felt it was important to support the great work behind the research, treatment and prevention of obesity - the primary disease that took her mother's life. And, because Pat was an educator, Barbara specifically wanted to support the education of students in the field. With all of this in mind, the Pat Simons Travel Grants were created.

Eligibility Requirements

Each year, TOS Council determines the exact number of grants and winners are selected from the rankings of the abstracts submitted to TOS Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek. Finalists are only required to return a form signed by their institution acknowledging that the winner is either a graduate student or has received a PhD or MD less than 5 years ago. Membership is not required to apply for these grants.

How to Apply

Grant recipients for 2015 will be announced in summer 2015.

If you are interested in applying for the 2016 grants, be sure that you check the appropriate box when you submit your abstract via the ObesityWeek online submission system in spring 2016.


If you would like to donate to the Pat Simons Travel Grants, please submit your donation via one of the approved methods listed here, and specify that the donation should be applied to the grants.

Please contact the Annual Meeting Department at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  with any questions.


Bench to Bedside and Beyond Early Career Travel Grant

TOS Secretary-Treasurer and 2014 Atkinson-Stern recipient Martin Binks, PhD, FTOS, has created a new path to travel funding with the creation of the Bench to Bedside & Beyond travel grants. Addressing obesity requires an integrated, multipronged approach from all areas — including clinical, public health, policy and research.

With that in mind, Dr. Binks has created and agreed to fund two annual travel grants in the amount of $1000 each to recognize and provide opportunities for all those who fight obesity across the spectrum.

Bench to Bedside and Beyond travel grant recipients must meet TOS Early Career membership criteria and be in attendance at ObesityWeek. Recipients are chosen on-site based on a simple lottery.


FosterSchauer Award

Beginning at the inaugural ObesityWeek conference, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society announced a new travel grant for young investigators. This grant has been named in honor of Gary Foster, PhD and Philip Schauer, MD, the original ObesityWeek founders/chairs. Two winners will be selected, one from TOS and one from ASMBS, based on the quality and ranking of an abstract that has been accepted for presentation during ObesityWeek. The grant winners' abstracts should be of interest to the members of both societies, representing the goal of creating a multidisciplinary conference on obesity by bringing the ASMBS and TOS Annual Meetings together as ObesityWeek.

To qualify, candidates must reside/study outside of the United States, representing the goal of creating a conference international in scope, and be either a graduate student or have received a PhD or MD less than 5 years ago, representing the goal of creating a conference with a more international scope. Each winner is awarded a travel stipend of $2500, which is intended to offset the cost of travel to attend ObesityWeek.

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