MARCH OF DIMES ANNOUNCES REQUESTS FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS TO ADDRESS MATERNAL AND INFANT HEALTH NEEDS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

COVID-19 Fund Established in March Makes Research Investments Possible

Arlington, VA | Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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March of Dimes, the nation’s leader in the fight for the health of all moms and babies, is pleased to announce the availability of funds for research grants to address the health threats facing pregnant women and babies during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the organization established the COVID-19 Intervention and Support Fund to address the urgent need for this research, as well as advocacy and education, to protect mom and babies from COVID-19 and its unknown future effects.

“March of Dimes has a long history of pioneering research to find solutions to the biggest health threats facing moms and babies, and right now the uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic is posing a clear threat,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Senior Vice President and Interim Chief Scientific Officer at March of Dimes.  “While we’re learning more about the virus each day, we have limited pregnancy-specific data. That’s why this research is critical in our fight to protect moms and babies in their time of need.” 

March of Dimes is seeking proposals that involve translational and actionable science that will lead directly to improved diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately prevention for mothers and infants during this public health emergency. The organization intends to fund one application from the following priority categories for $100,000 to $125,000 each: 

  • Clinical characteristics: Includes proposals that examine clinical and socio-demographic predictors of perinatal health outcomes (electronic health information) and treatments associated with COVID-19 infection for the mom-baby dyad. Predictability may include, the role of the placenta in pregnancy outcomes in women who are infected and/or use of a ventilator in treating COVID-19 infection.
  • Maternal Immunity and Neonatal Health: Includes proposals examining the role of antibody testing in birth planning and postpartum care, sustainability of antibodies/immunity in mom-baby dyad, the viability of passive immunity through breastmilk, and mom-to-baby contact.

“We’re thrilled to announce these research investments only four short months after establishing the COVID-19 fund and grateful to all those who have supported it through their donations,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO at March of Dimes. “The public’s support during these tough economic times confirms the urgent need to find answers to the pressing issues facing expectant moms and babies.”

Eligibility and How to Apply

The organization invites health professionals, health researchers, epidemiologists, and social scientists with doctoral or terminal academic degrees with a faculty appointment or equivalent at academic universities, hospitals and research institutions to apply. In addition, March of Dimes welcomes submissions from small businesses or startup companies in biotech and/or pharmaceuticals, committed to research in the area of maternal and child health.

Application guidelines, forms and templates are available on the March of Dimes website. Completed applications are due September 4, 2020 and must be submitted via email to Research Grants Administrator, Rachel Hauser, at [email protected]. Applicants will be notified of awards on October 7, 2020.

The Mom and Baby COVID-19 Intervention and Support Fund

March of Dimes is using money raised from the fund to support research for necessary interventions to prevent or treat COVID-19, advocate on behalf of moms and babies on this issue and educate the public about precautionary measures. In addition to supporting research to learn how moms and babies are impacted by COVID-19, the organization is calling on government officials to close the research gap in vaccine development and include pregnant women and lactating women in clinical trials for COVID-19. The fund is also providing postpartum care to pregnant and lactating women, as well as critical items including face masks, blood pressure cuffs and breast pumps. 

For more information about the fund and how to support this initiative, visit marchofdimes.org/covid19fund.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.