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 two grant categories, general March of Dimes Research Grants and Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC) which are summarized below. 

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. Click here for a list of current grants.

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.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome State Surveillance Project

The March of Dimes (MOD), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will award up to six grants for the “Building on Existing Infrastructure of Population-based Birth Defects Surveillance Systems to Estimate the Incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)” project. Awardees will conduct active (or passive case-finding with case confirmation), population-based surveillance for infants with NAS over a one year period and link cases to vital records and hospital discharge data. The main goal of the project will be to obtain state-level, population-based estimates of NAS incidence, with a secondary goal to describe health service utilization and outcomes among infants with NAS.

Several resources are available to assist you with your application:

See also: Policies for Research Grants (dated 2/2/2017), March of Dimes research RFP, Basil O’Connor RFP, Application Instructions / Guidelines, Apply for a research grant