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Scholarships and grants

  • The March of Dimes awards community-based program grants.
  • Scholarships are available for graduate perinatal nurses.
  • The Agnes Higgins Award spotlights maternal-fetal nutrition.
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Program grants

The March of Dimes funds maternal-child health program grants in collaboration with our local chapters. External organizations can apply for funding to support programs working to improve the health of mothers and babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Priority is given to projects that, based on community needs, address increased access to health care or prevention services to help reduce disparities in preterm birth.

Annually, March of Dimes chapters provide over $6 million to support program grants. Top funded categories include group prenatal care, interconception education, quality improvement and enhanced prenatal care. Grants range generally from one to three years and from $10,000 to $25,000. To find out more about program grants, contact your local chapter.

Funding Priorities
All grant proposals must address the March of Dimes mission of improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Priority will be given to projects that, based on community needs, address increased access to health care and/or prevention services to help reduce disparities in preterm birth. Project interventions may be provider- and/or consumer-focused.

For women of childbearing age: Availability and quality of health care/prevention services

  • Increasing risk-reduction education and/or services (excluding billable services). This may include women at high risk due to previous adverse pregnancy outcomes, chronic conditions, or other risk factors in which preconception, interconception, or prenatal care could help prevent adverse outcomes. Learn more about preconception health.
  • Increasing education and services (excluding billable services) for urinary and reproductive tract infections identified before or during pregnancy. This may include sexually transmitted infections.

For pregnant women: Availability and quality of health care/prevention services

  • Increasing participation in state or local maternal child health programs (e.g., Medicaid SCHIP, WIC) through enhanced outreach, education and public awareness.
  • Catalyzing systems change by initiating a quality improvement program related to prematurity.
  • Enhancing education and support services that focus on reducing disparities in birth outcomes. This may include March of Dimes programs such as Stork's Nest (created in partnership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.) and Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien®.
  • Enhancing care for pregnant women through the group prenatal care model and providing training for providers.
  • Increasing smoking cessation services. Preference will be given to prenatal health education and information/referral services that utilize the "5 A's" counseling approach. For more information on this approach, visit American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
  • Increasing health education and information/referral services available to pregnant women who use alcohol or other drugs.
  • Increasing professional education about progesterone treatment for women who have had a previous singleton preterm birth.

Availability of genetics services and folic acid education

  • Enhancing the availability, quality and utilization of genetics services and/or other patient services related to preventable birth defects.
  • Increasing folic acid education and use of multivitamins among women of childbearing age.

SIDS education

  • Increasing education related to reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in high-risk communities, consistent with the 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

Last reviewed August 2012

Prenatal statistics

Get maternal and infant health data for the United States, individual states, counties and cities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualifications required to apply for a Prematurity Research Initiative Grant?

An applicant for a Prematurity Research Initiative Grant must hold a faculty appointment or the equivalent at a not-for-profit institution, such as a university, hospital or research institution.

What is the deadline to apply for a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award?

Letters of Nomination for the Basil O'Connor Research Program are due annually on March 15 for possible funding to begin on the following February 1.

What is the term of a MOD Research Grant?

MOD Research Grants are usually awarded for three years.

Have questions?