The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is committed to funding the most promising kidney disease research in Illinois, granting more than $1.6 million in support since 1989.

Our endowment is funded by individual gifts, the Tony Noel Memorial Research Fund, the Noel Foundation and a portion from past Gift of Life Gala events. The NKF, its affiliates and divisions are leaders in research, funding over one third of all medical research for kidney disease in the United States.

Research Grant for the Young Investigator

The NKFI Research Grant program funds young investigators who have research projects that will increase the understanding of kidney, urologic and related diseases and transplantation as well as improve the clinical management and treatment or cure of these diseases. Grant submissions are reviewed and selected by the NKFI Research Review Committee on a biennial basis. Creation of a second grant is underway. Check back for updates in the future. 

Sample application guidelines and instructions can be found here.

For more information, please contact Megan Craig at or (312) 321-1500.

2017 Research Grantee

Gal Finer, MD
Northwestern University/Lurie Children's Hospital
Elucidating the Role of Transcription Factor 21 in Kidney Development - Implications for Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and Urinary Tract

2015 Research Grantee

Rupal Mehta, MD
Northwestern Unversity
Mineral Metabolites and Risk of Retinal Abnormalities

2013 Research Grantee

Jason Wertheim, MD, PhD
Northwestern University
A Micro-sized Bioscaffold Derived from Kidney Extracellular Matrix Tissue To Evaluate Renal Progenitor Cell Differentiation for Tissue Engineering Applications

2011 Research Grantees

Sanjeev Akkina, MD
University of Illinois at Chicago
Gene Expression in Kidney Transplant Recipients with Interstitial Fibrosis/Tubular Atrophy

Aaron James Polichnowski
Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Blood Pressure Dependent and Independent Mechanisms of Chronic Kidney Disease Progression Associated with Podocyte Injury and Reduced Nitric Oxide Availability