Request for Applications 2020 Research Program

AWARD DETAILS

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. For more than 80 years, March of Dimes has empowered families with programs, information and tools to have healthy pregnancies. Today we’re building on that legacy to level the playing field for all moms and babies, no matter their age, socio-economic background or demographics. We support moms throughout their pregnancy, even when things do not go according to plan. We advocate for policies that prioritize the health of moms and babies and pioneer research to find solutions to the biggest health threats they face. 

In 2018, we invested $17 million to fund six university-based March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centers, numerous Basil O’Connor awards and select individual research programs that specifically addressed premature birth.

March of Dimes made the difficult decision in 2018 to reduce grant awards to researchers whose work doesn’t directly impact the prevention and treatment of premature birth and the maternal/infant health conditions that lead to prematurity. This decision was made so that we could direct resources to research programs that directly align with our mission. 

We request applications that propose research in one of the following priority areas:  

RESEARCH GRANT PRIORITIES/AREAS OF INTEREST

  • Pregnancy-related disorders: Prevention and treatment of diseases in either mom, dad or baby that lead to premature birth, including studies addressing rising rates of infant and maternal mortality globally. This may include studies related to the period of preconception, gestation or the postpartum. Studies investigating environmental factors including stress and their effects on pregnancy and neonatal health are also welcome.  These studies addressing all these pregnancy-related disorders must have the potential to improve clinical care to prevent adverse maternal and child outcomes.
  • Genetic and environmentally-induced birth defects: Research leading to clinical impact in the areas of birth defect prevention and treatment. These studies must have the direct potential to improve the quality of life of those with birth defects and disabilities.
  • Opioid exposure and dependency: Research involving the behavioral, pharmacologic or mechanistic aspects of exposure to opioid and other harmful substances and resulting in interventions and therapies for moms and babies. These studies must have the potential to make a clinical impact in maternal and child health.
  • Health disparities surrounding all of the above areas: These studies must have the potential to make a clinical impact in maternal and child health.

March of Dimes is looking for proposals that involve translational and actionable science that will lead directly to interventions or preventions. These should include human studies or studies with human tissue. Models systems research is discouraged, but mouse studies are eligibile if they are to validate novel human disease processes. These studies may also involve information and communications technology innovations. Our goal is to turn observations in the laboratory and clinic into interventions, drugs and devices that improve the health of moms and babies.

We invite health professionals, health researchers, epidemiologists and social scientists with doctoral or Masters-level academic degrees and either a faculty appointment or equivalent at academic universities, hospitals and research institutions; or employees of small businesses, startup companies, non-profit organizations or pharmaceutical companies committed to research in the area of maternal and child health. These applications are not limited to U.S. citizens and are open to global applicants.  Applicants may not hold any other concurrent MOD grants when applying.

The applications must fit in to one of three broad categories:

RESEARCH GRANT CATEGORIES

Innovative Challenge Grants: Translational proposals in which a treatment/product/ intervention is the endpoint. The grant will be distributed in the following fashion: $50,000 for the first 6 months with clear cut deliverables defined in the application.  If these deliverables are achieved, the possibility of a second tranche in the amount of $100,000-500,000 will be awarded for 12 months, with the option of another 12 months of support if significant progress is made.  Each 12 month extension grant will have to be submitted as a new grant.  This mechanism will be similar to Phase I of a Small Business Innovation Research grant (NIH SBIR grant application) with the possibility of Phase II funding.

Novel Discovery Grants: Traditional research grants in translational or clinical science. These proposals should cover the translational spectrum from translation to humans, translation to patients, translation to practice and translation to population health. Animal model studies will not be funded unless they aim to validate something already established as a novel finding in humans or human tissues. The grant will be distributed in the following fashion: $50,000-100,000 for 12 months with the option of another 12 months of support if significant progress is made.  The 12 month extension grant will have to be submitted as a new grant.

Clinical and Social Science Challenge Grants: Clinical and social science proposals in the areas of maternal and child health. Topics requested include those exploring health equity in this area in order to reduce disparities, opioid dependency in mom, dad and baby to mitigate the rise in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and premature birth and maternal/infant mortality. All studies must be novel and have the potential to significantly impact clinical care. The grant will be distributed in the following fashion: $50,000-100,000 for the first 6 months with clear cut deliverables defined in the application.  If these deliverables are achieved, the possibility of a second tranche in the amount of $100,000-500,000 will be awarded for 12 months, with the option of another 12 months of support if significant progress is made.  Each 12 month extension grant will have to be submitted as a new grant.

KEY DATES

March 15, 2019………………..Application portal opened
April 19, 2019…………..……..Letter of Intent due
July 30, 2019…..……..…….Invitation to submit application
September 4, 2019.……….Full application due
January 1, 2020…………..…..Award start date

SUBMISSION PROCESS

The entire process must be completed online at https://modresearchgrants.aibs-scores.org.

Applicants may only submit one Letter of Intent to one of the Research Grant Categories.

REQUIRED INFORMATION FROM THE APPLICANT:

  • Letter of Intent for the proposed research (template provided), which includes the following information in this order:
    1. Title of proposal
    2. Hypothesis
    3. Preliminary data
    4. Statement of specific aims and methods of procedure
    5. Current financial support: list each current grant or contract for the conduct of this research. If there is no current support, state “NONE”
      Items 1-5 may not exceed 3 pages
  • Candidate’s biographical sketch
  • Facilities available 

QUESTIONS

Please direct any questions to researchgrantssupport@marchofdimes.org.