The Incyte Ingenuity Awards in GVHD

Supporting the graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) community

The 2023 Incyte Ingenuity Awards in GVHD are now open for applications! This year brings a new and improved application process. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.

Offering Two Awards for Outstanding Initiatives

One for $35,000 and another for $100,000

The Incyte Ingenuity Awards aim to support the graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) community by funding two novel initiatives that address challenges faced by GVHD patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers.

GVHD is a life-threatening condition that occurs when donor immune cells attack the recipient's organs and tissues after an allogeneic stem cell transplant. There are two major forms of GVHD, acute and chronic, that can affect multiple organ systems, including the skin, digestive tract, and the liver. Both acute and chronic GVHD are associated with significant morbidity and mortality.

Incyte is deeply dedicated to improving the lives of patients with serious diseases, including GVHD. As a part of this commitment, the company is excited to re-open the Incyte Ingenuity Awards in GVHD application period to continue to foster collaboration amongst key stakeholders to address the specific needs of the GVHD community.

Submit your application by June 24, 2023 for the chance to be awarded up to $100,000 to help people living with GVHD.


Eligibility Information

The following groups and individuals are eligible to apply for the Incyte Ingenuity Awards in GVHD:

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Non-profit 501(c)(3), patient, policy, and caregiver organizations

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Healthcare providers and mid-level/junior faculty of healthcare organizations*

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Individuals or other companies collaborating with these organizations and institutions**

Programs must be independent of any ongoing activities, with the exception of considerably expanding an existing program. Additionally, programs cannot include indirect costs with the proposed budget. To be eligible, you and your organization must be US based (including Washington DC and Puerto Rico).

*Applications must be submitted in the name of an institution, not on behalf of an individual.

**Individuals or other companies interested in applying must partner with either a non-profit organization or a healthcare facility (i.e., hospitals, academic research centers, etc.) to be eligible.

Applications will be disqualified if:

  • Focus is on a particular therapeutic agent, translational research, or clinical research that is interventional in nature.
  • Program is based on an existing initiative, with no evidence of ingenuity.
  • Organization is improperly identified as a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Application is submitted by a healthcare professional as an individual (individuals will need to partner with a not-for-profit or other organization to be considered).
  • Defined scope does not serve or plan to address a specific need of the GVHD community.
  • Request in funding exceeds 25% of an organization’s overall funding and/or includes indirect costs.
  • Application is submitted by an employee of Incyte, VOZ Advisors, and/or other vendors, or members of the immediate family of any such persons.
  • Program is duplicated, with multiple copies of an application submitted by the same organization.
  • Program exceeds the maximum application limit per organization (more than five).

Incyte reserves the right to modify the eligibility requirements at any time.

Have additional questions? Check out our FAQ page.

Meet the Judges

Meet the Judges

Meet our 2023 Incyte Ingenuity Awards in GVHD judging panel!

Image of Meredith Cowden, MA, LPCC-S

Meredith Cowden, MA, LPCC-S

Meredith Cowden, MA, LPCC-S, received her Master of Arts degree in Art
Therapy and Counseling from Ursuline College in Ohio in 2011. She is working as a psychotherapist in private practice with LifeStance Health, Inc. Her therapeutic work is primarily focused on trauma, building personal resilience, and living with chronic illness. Meredith is a cancer survivor of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and had an allogeneic bone marrow transplant in 2001. This subsequently led to the development of chronic GVHD, which she has been living with for 20 years. Since this diagnosis, Meredith has focused on education and support for those who are living with the aftereffects of a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Her family started The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation in 2007 to address educational and support needs surrounding blood cancers, HSCT, and GVHD. The Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness of the impact of leukemia and GVHD, to fund research for GVHD, and to provide financial support for nonmedical expenses associated with blood cancers. Meredith has collaborated with nbmtLINK, BMTinfonet, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and several additional national and international organizations, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, specifically presenting on life post-transplant and living with chronic GVHD. Additionally, she has been a member of the NIH GVHD Consensus Consortium Steering Committee and led the 2020 NIH Chronic GVHD Consensus Conference Patient Advocacy Summit. She is currently chairing the NIH Patient Advocacy Advisory Committee (PAAC), working to address unmet needs of patients.

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Areej El-Jawahri, MD

Dr El-Jawahri serves as the Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Survivorship Program, the Associate Director of the Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program (CORE), and the Director of Digital Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. She graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She subsequently completed her hematology-oncology fellowship at the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center Fellowship Program. Dr El-Jawahri is an oncologist specializing in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and adoptive cellular therapy. Her goal is to improve the lived experience of patients with hematologic malignancies and their families. Her research interests include investigating patient-reported outcomes, developing interventions to enhance patient-centered decision-making, and designing supportive, palliative, and digital health interventions to improve the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and their families. Dr El-Jawahri and her organization were also the recipients of the inaugural 2020 Incyte Ingenuity Award. Learn more about her award-winning project.

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Alice Houk

Alice Houk is the Senior Director of Patient and Professional Services of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation (AAMDS). The mission of AAMDS is to support patients and families living with aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), and related bone marrow failure diseases. At AAMDS, Houk plans and develops all medical education programs, including symposia at national medical conferences, the biennial AAMDS scientific symposium, and web-based programs. She also oversees AAMDS patient education programs and services. Houk serves as liaison to the Foundation’s medical advisory board and with other professional and patient organizations, and she manages the Foundation’s research grant program. She holds a master's degree in Health Policy from the University of Maryland and a Nonprofit Executive Management Certificate from Georgetown University. Houk and AAMDS were also the recipients of the 2021 Incyte ingenuity Awards in GVHD. Learn more about her award-winning project.

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Barbara Abernathy, PhD, LMHC

Dr Barbara Abernathy is the President and CEO of the Pediatric Oncology Support Team, Inc. (POST), a nonprofit helping children and their families cope with the devastating effects of cancer. She has 35 years’ experience in nonprofits, 25 of those years at POST. Being a cancer survivor herself, she brings a personal touch to the children and families battling childhood cancer. She is also a vigorous advocate for those fighting blood cancer, facing a bone marrow transplant, or dealing with GVHD. She is adjunct faculty at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Florida Atlantic University and has authored scholarly peer-reviewed articles. Dr Abernathy has been an invited speaker at many national and international professional conferences, including being the keynote speaker for the BMT Infonet conference in 2019.

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Doris Ponce, MD

Dr Doris Ponce is an Associate Professor of Medicine as well as the GVHD Program Director at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her research experience focuses on allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) with an emphasis on GVHD. She conducts research for the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic GVHD, including investigator-initiated translational studies. Dr Ponce established a multidisciplinary GVHD clinic at her institution that currently serves a wide catchment area. Dr Ponce has been the recipient of several funding awards and her work has been featured in the journal Blood and presented in national and international meetings.


Incyte will not provide any advice or input during the judging process, and all decisions made by the judging panel are made independently and are final. These judges will receive compensation for their services from Incyte, based on fair market value.

Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria

Our independent judging panel will consider the following criteria when evaluating each award application:

Checkmark iconDoes the applicant meet the eligibility requirements?

Handshake iconDid the applicant collaborate with any other organizations to optimize the success of the initiative?

Documents iconDoes the application contain all of the necessary details and supporting documents?

Puzzle piece iconDoes the proposal exhibit a thoughtful, creative and innovative approach to address a specific need within the GVHD community?

Stopwatch iconCan the proposal be completed within the one-year time frame?

Target iconDoes the proposal demonstrate a clear purpose and rationale?

Dollar sign iconDoes the proposal include a realistic and appropriate budget?

Upward pointing arrow iconDoes the proposal have clear and measurable outcomes? Does it follow the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) methodology for setting goals?

Incyte reserves the right to change the judging criteria at any time.

Program Rules

Program Rules

The application process will occur in two rounds:

Icon of the number 1Round one

Complete a letter of intent that introduces your proposal that includes the following:

  • Confirmation of eligibility criteria
  • Contact and organization information
  • Indicate which award the project is applying for
  • Project proposal, including project name, objectives and summary of how it addresses a specific need for the GVHD community
  • Identification of any collaboration and connection to the GVHD community

Icon of the number 2Round two

Applicants who progress to round two will be asked to complete an additional form, further detailing their proposal, as well as specific questions from the judging panel via email that address:

  • Realistic budget breakdown and timeline of milestones to execute initiative within one year of selection
  • Measurable elements and anticipated outcomes that will define success and demonstrate impact
  • Identification of any organizational challenges in execution
  • Specific questions, unique to each application, based on information the judging panel members would like the applicant to clarify and/or expand upon

Have additional questions? Check out our FAQ page.