Misophonia Research Fund: Misophonia Research Grants

The Misophonia Research Fund (MRF), a program of the REAM Foundation, is dedicated to advancing a world where misophonia is scientifically understood, and effective treatments are available to help anyone suffering.

According to MRF, misophonia is a disorder of decreased tolerance to specific sounds or stimuli associated with those sounds. These stimuli, known as “triggers,” are experienced as unpleasant or distressing and tend to evoke strong negative emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses generally not experienced by other people. Trigger stimuli are often repetitive and primarily, but not exclusively, include stimuli generated by another individual, especially those produced by the human body (such as chewing or sniffing). The expression of misophonic symptoms varies, as does the severity, which ranges from mild to severe impairments.

The MRF has issued an RFP for projects to understand misophonia better, characterize symptomatology and associated impairments, and assess interventional strategies to treat those with the disorder. Up to 10 grants of up to $500,000 over two to three years will be awarded. Projects should display highly rigorous scientific design, present an innovative, interdisciplinary approach, and demonstrate strong potential impact to improve the understanding, characterization, and/or treatment of misophonia.

The MRF requests proposals that address clear gaps in the field and/or that generate new knowledge about misophonia and build upon previous findings using demonstrably rigorous study methods. The scientific focus of proposals should address one or more of the following three prioritized focus areas in human, animal, or relevant research models. Proposals can focus on a specific area or may address multiple of the following areas:

Characterization of misophonia: Proposals may include a wide range of approaches to examine the following: testable theories, basic animal models, and human translational models addressing why, how, and for whom misophonia develops; underlying biological, behavioral, and/or environmental mechanisms (and their interactions) underlying the etiology, longitudinal development, maintenance, and/or treatment of misophonia; expression and trajectory of symptoms, impairment, and related phenomena, including individual variability and trends within and between populations; the use of multiple measurement methods (e.g., questionnaires, behavioral and physiological measurements) and the development of diagnostic criteria according to these measurements; the epidemiology and prevalence of misophonia, as this may inform the scope and significance of misophonia as a public health problem; individual differences in demographic factors, especially with underrepresented and marginalized populations; characterization of non-Western and/or non-US/UK/Canadian populations to understand the role of culture in misophonia; and the influence of contextual factors on the development and expression of misophonia (e.g., family, friends, school, community).

Development of objective methods: Proposals may develop or validate physiological and/or behavioral methods (i.e., objective assessments) to assess misophonia.

Clinical and/or animal model study of interventional approaches: Proposals should use rigorous experimental methods to develop and/or evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of interventions for misophonia. Clinically-oriented proposals may collect pilot data to inform future, larger randomized controlled trials but must still include rigorously constructed control and experimental groups.

Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to support research projects led by independent investigators at qualifying research-based institutions that hold doctoral-level degrees (e.g., PhD, MD, PsyD, AuD). Postdoctoral researchers are eligible for a grant of up to $200,000 in total funding support for their research projects. These grants are intended to support postdoctoral researchers who will have earned their doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, MD, PsyD, AuD) by July 1, 2024, and are under the mentorship of a doctoral-level principal investigator at a qualifying research-based institution.

Letters of intent are due December 8, 2023, and selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal, due on March 9, 2024.

Please contact Gwen Allouch if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.