Since 2002, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation has been committed to improving the lives of those impacted by spinal cord injuries. Inspired by its founder, Craig H. Neilsen, who suffered from a high-level spinal cord injury for more than twenty years (until his death in 2006), the foundation supports organizations that are driving creative scientific research, education, training, and innovative programing for those impacted by spinal cord injuries.
To that end, the foundation welcomes applications for its Spinal Cord Injury Research on the Translational Spectrum (SCIRTS) grants program. Through the program, grants of up to $150,000 per year over two years will be awarded in support of novel approaches designed to improve function and the development of curative therapies after SCI. The research shou be focused on improving understanding and advancing the treatment of acute and chronic SCI and include mechanistic, preclinical, translational, and/or clinical studies. This portfolio emphasizes SCI (vs. spinal cord disease or related disorders) and is intended to fill gaps in the field and to further develop new strategies to restore function resulting from SCI.
SCIRTS Grants support research projects that include but are not limited to:
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 — Including 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 of innovative rehabilitation strategies and devices in persons with SCI.
Eligible candidates must have a doctoral or equivalent terminal degree such as an MD, DVM, or PhD and be conducting 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 11. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application by November 16, 2021.
See the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation website for complete program instructions and application instructions.