Research grants

When Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes in 1938, he chose research to be one of the cornerstones of the effort to defeat polio. Seventeen years and more than $25 million in research later, the polio vaccine was declared safe and highly effective.

Today, our research investments are vital to the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The three grant categories, general March of Dimes Research Grants, Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) and Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC) are summarized below. To view a list of current research grants, click here.

General research grants

The general March of Dimes research portfolio funds many different areas of research on topics related to our mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. These investigations include — but are not limited to — basic biological processes of development, genetics, clinical studies, studies of reproductive health, environmental toxicology, and studies in social and behavioral sciences that focus on factors contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and on consequences of birth defects and prematurity.

Prematurity Research Initiative

The Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) is a special program dedicated to grant support for projects related to causes of prematurity. Initiated as part of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, these projects aim to provide new insight into the large, and increasing, proportion of premature births in which the causes, and the means of prevention, remain unknown.

Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards

The Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC) are funded in a program specifically designed to support scientists just embarking on their independent research careers. Created in 1973 and named for the first March of Dimes chairman and president, this program provides funding to young investigators to start their own research projects on topics related to the March of Dimes mission.

Congenital Heart Surveillance To Recognize Outcomes, Needs and well-being(CHSTRONG) project

The March of Dimes (MOD), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will award up to two grants to identify adults with congenital heart defects (CHD) originally included in U.S. state birth defects surveillance systems and to collect information regarding barriers to health care, quality of life, social and educational outcomes, and transition of care from childhood to adulthood. The information collected from this population-based survey will be used to inform current knowledge of the healthcare needs of the adult population with CHDs. You can access a document of Frequently Asked Questions here.

The deadline has been extended until Monday, September 14, 2015 at 5:00PM EDT to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the Congenital Heart Surveillance To Recognize Outcomes, Needs, and well-beinG (CHSTRONG) Project. LOIs should be emailed to birthdefectsresearch@marchofdimes.org. Submitting an LOI does not obligate you to submit a full application.

A bidders’ conference call was held on August 13, 2015. You can access a recording of the conference call here.

You can access the bidders’ conference call slides here. 

See also: Policies and instructions for research grants (PDF, 102kb), March of Dimes research RFP (PDF, 147kb), Basil O’Connor RFP(PDF, 149kb), Apply for a research grant

When Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes in 1938, he chose research to be one of the cornerstones of the effort to defeat polio. Seventeen years and more than $25 million in research later, the polio vaccine was declared safe and highly effective.

Today, our research investments are vital to the March of Dimes mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The three grant categories, general March of Dimes Research Grants, Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) and Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC) are summarized below. To view a list of current research grants, click here.

General research grants

The general March of Dimes research portfolio funds many different areas of research on topics related to our mission to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. These investigations include — but are not limited to — basic biological processes of development, genetics, clinical studies, studies of reproductive health, environmental toxicology, and studies in social and behavioral sciences that focus on factors contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and on consequences of birth defects and prematurity.

Prematurity Research Initiative

The Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) is a special program dedicated to grant support for projects related to causes of prematurity. Initiated as part of the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign, these projects aim to provide new insight into the large, and increasing, proportion of premature births in which the causes, and the means of prevention, remain unknown.

Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards

The Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC) are funded in a program specifically designed to support scientists just embarking on their independent research careers. Created in 1973 and named for the first March of Dimes chairman and president, this program provides funding to young investigators to start their own research projects on topics related to the March of Dimes mission.

Congenital Heart Surveillance To Recognize Outcomes, Needs and well-being(CHSTRONG) project

The March of Dimes (MOD), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will award up to two grants to identify adults with congenital heart defects (CHD) originally included in U.S. state birth defects surveillance systems and to collect information regarding barriers to health care, quality of life, social and educational outcomes, and transition of care from childhood to adulthood. The information collected from this population-based survey will be used to inform current knowledge of the healthcare needs of the adult population with CHDs. You can access a document of Frequently Asked Questions here.

The deadline has been extended until Monday, September 14, 2015 at 5:00PM EDT to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the Congenital Heart Surveillance To Recognize Outcomes, Needs, and well-beinG (CHSTRONG) Project. LOIs should be emailed to birthdefectsresearch@marchofdimes.org. Submitting an LOI does not obligate you to submit a full application.

A bidders’ conference call was held on August 13, 2015. You can access a recording of the conference call here.

You can access the bidders’ conference call slides here. 

See also: Policies and instructions for research grants (PDF, 102kb), March of Dimes research RFP (PDF, 147kb), Basil O’Connor RFP(PDF, 149kb), Apply for a research grant