March of Dimes is proud to be a research-focused organization, funding millions of dollars of original scientific research each year.
March of Dimes Research

We're transforming birth outcomes through research

Achieving our research objectives

Achieving our research objectives

Our research goals, while scientifically ambitious and complex, are simple in theory and realistic in scope: to end preventable maternal and infant death, to discover the causes of preterm birth and to achieve birth equity for all mothers, regardless of race or class.

March of Dimes provides annual funding to our five Prematurity Research Centers (PRCs) and four research grants mechanisms (including two career development grant programs). We also fund two annual awards which recognize distinguished achievement in the maternal-fetal health field.

Research Newsletter

March of Dimes Research updates

Read about our ongoing research and achievements in the latest March of Dimes Newsletters.

Learn more

Explore grants and awards

The four March of Dimes research grant mechanisms move along a seniority and experience spectrum, with in-training investigators receiving the PSDP (Pediatric Scientist Development Program) or RSDP (Reproductive Scientist Development Program) grants. Next, early career investigators receive the Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, while established career scientists receive the Discovery Grants.

To complement these research grants, the Agnes Higgins Award and the March of Dimes and Richard B. Johnston, Jr., MD Prize in Developmental Biology recognize lifetime achievements in nutrition and maternal fetal health research, respectively. 

Offered to two recipients annually, these awards are for early career scientists and doctors and meant to support outstanding researchers who are embarking, or continuing, on their independent research careers.
Awarded to seasoned researchers seeking to make consequential translational discoveries that will drastically alter clinical care for pregnant women and babies.
Offered to young doctors and scientists in the field of OB-GYN who are early in their careers and recently graduated from medical school or are in the middle of their residency or subspecialty training.
Offered to young doctors and scientists in the field of pediatrics who are early in their careers and recently graduated from medical school or are in the middle of their residency or subspecialty training.
One of two March of Dimes awards to lifetime scholars in the field of maternal fetal health, which recognizes distinguished achievement in research, education or clinical services in the field of maternal-fetal nutrition.
The March of Dimes and Richard B. Johnston, Jr., MD Prize in Developmental Biology. The Prize recognizes recognizes an outstanding scientist who has profoundly advanced the science around prenatal development, pregnancy and birth.

Making an impact with research

March of Dimes research is focused on making an impact NOW to end preventable preterm birth. We do this by approaching research in several key ways—at both the bench and bedside through descriptive research that aims to characterize and understand the factors that lead to preterm birth and other adverse outcomes; and through work that leads to mitigation and prevention of preterm birth through therapeutics, diagnostics and/or policy changes. 

We know that pregnancy is complex. March of Dimes' research approach takes a whole-system view and brings the best talent and minds to bear so we can make a difference in our lifetime. 


Recent examples

  • How we're making a difference: March of Dimes research programs have made discoveries that lead to direct impact on the health of moms, babies and their families.
  • PRC microbiome studies leading to bedside testing; rapid, low cost predictive testing.
  • Early detection of preeclampsia and other adverse pregnancy outcomes through several approaches, including cell-free RNA, data analytics and other diagnostic markers.
  • Understanding maternal-infant nutrition, to wit, NEC and how breastfeeding can improve outcomes   

Your support helps us fund research

There are a number of ways to support research at March of Dimes. Your time⁠—through volunteering at events, raising awareness in your community and recruiting new and impactful researcher to our network; your attention⁠—by focused attention on how research can impact your community, your country and the global family; and your resources⁠—by way of funding, access to your network and getting involved in research directly. 

We need your help to continue developing diagnostics, therapeutics and understanding of the complex factors that lead to preterm birth, maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, and overall adverse outcomes in pregnancy. Moms, babies and their Families can’t wait for you to step up and get involved. 

Join our amazing volunteer community and make a difference in maternal and infant health across the country.

Advocate for healthy moms and strong babies with March of Dimes. Join our network and make a difference in maternal and infant health.

March of Dimes donations go towards lifesaving research and advocating policies that prioritize the health of moms and babies. Your donation to our nonprofit can help improve the lives of moms and babies everywhere. Donate to March of Dimes today.