Craig H. Neilsen Foundation: Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation invites applications for its Spinal Cord Injury Research on the Translational Spectrum (SCIRTS) grants program. Through the program, grants will be awarded to novel approaches to improving function and developing curative therapies after SCI. SCIRTS Grants support research projects that include but are not limited to the following areas: 

Mechanistic Research: Including the development of novel strategies aimed at neuroprotection and/or elucidation of the pathological mechanisms that occur after SCI; pathophysiology of the injured spinal cord; promotion of neuronal survival, axonal regeneration, synaptogenesis, myelination, and functional connectivity after SCI; transplantation strategies for SCI recovery; pharmacological therapies to improve function after SCI; bioengineering solutions to improve function in persons with SCI; and chronic SCI treatment and issues related to aging with SCI. 

Preclinical, Translational Research: Research that will enable future clinical trials, such as the effects of SCI and novel interventions on sensory and motor function; use of preclinical models of SCI to develop interventions to alleviate complications of SCI including, bowel, bladder, sexual, and other autonomic dysfunctions, respiratory dysfunction, neuropathic pain, pressure sores, osteoporosis, and the effects of aging with SCI; and trial-enabling studies, (e.g., to confirm the mechanism of action for novel therapeutics, dosing, toxicity, etc.). 

Clinical Research: Includes studies to establish the natural history and progression of functional outcomes over time after SCI; efforts to develop and validate outcome measures needed to facilitate definitive clinical trials in SCI populations; and testing  innovative rehabilitation strategies and devices in persons with SCI.

Three types of grants will be awarded: 

Postdoctoral Fellowships: Grants of $100,00 per year for up to two years will be awarded to encourage early-career training and specialization in spinal cord injury research.

Pilot Research Grants: Grants of up to $200,000 per year for up to two years will be awarded to establish new investigators in spinal cord injury research and assume the risk inherent when established investigators undertake new directions in their work.

Senior Research Grants: Grants of up to $800,000 over up to three years will be awarded to encourage senior-level investigators to expand the scope of their work into new directions through targeted studies with high potential to move the field forward.

Eligible candidates must have a doctoral or equivalent terminal degree such as an MD, DVM, or PhD and conduct research at a nonprofit academic and/or research institution or rehabilitation facility in the United States or Canada. 

Letters of intent must be received by June 9, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application, due November 10, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. ET.