Top Things to Know before the Epilepsy Foundation’s March Deadline

The next letter of intent deadline for the Epilepsy Foundation’s two grant programs is March 7, 2016. Whether you’re a student researcher, university investigator, or doing research at a corporation, here are the details to know about applying for an Epilepsy Foundation grant.

The first grantmaking opportunity here is the New Therapy Commercialization Grants program, which is a catalyst program aimed at moving therapies from the laboratory to the bedside. To be eligible for these grants, you must have an M.D. or Ph.D. and adequate research training. Investigators at both corporations and universities are considered. The foundation encourages grantees to seek matching grant opportunities to accelerate the pace of advances in therapy.

Past research grants for early career investigators involved the following topics:

  • Neurotrophins and fetal anticonvulsant syndrome
  • The role of miRNA-mediated regulation of Kv4.2 during status epilepticus
  • Contribution of cortical interneurons to epilepsy
  • Interaction between TrkB signaling in interneurons and epilepsy
  • Potential for seizure control of isovaline in epilepsy
  • Ultra High Resolution of the Hippocampus in Epilepsy.

The foundation likes to see proposals from organizations that already have commercial partners established. It also likes to provide funding for investigators in the early stages of their careers and awards seed grants for one- and two-year periods.

Check out the foundation’s list of funded research grants to get a better idea of the types of projects it tends to support. There are also targeted research initiatives about morbidity and mortality and cannabidiol and epilepsy that you might be able to get in on.

The second grant opportunity here is the Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence award, which aims to take new therapies to the next level, including medicines, biologics, devices, and other types of therapy. Again, the focus, here, is to take research from labs to patients, and your research proposal must clearly demonstrate how this can happen.

General areas of interest for the awards include the following:

  • Novel approaches to treatment.
  • Platform technology to advance screening techniques that can be utilized by multiple laboratories, including utility of techniques for early proof-of-concept trials.
  • Adaptation of treatment in development for another therapeutic area to assess utility for epilepsy (while maintaining patent protection).

It’s a highly competitive award that involves an extensive review from the Scientific and Business Advisory Boards. The award is $25,000 for one year and is renewable upon application for a total of four years. The foundation looks for applicants that have research budgets between $1 million and $5 million. Questions from applicants about the scientific appropriateness of a proposal should be directed to Liz Schreiber at lschreiber@efa.org.

Grant proposals are considered from researchers in any part of the world. Instructions for letters of intent can be found on the foundation’s How to Apply page. LOIs should be no more than two pages with a minimum 10-point font and emailed to grants@efa.org. Applicants can expect to receive a response to their LOI by about March 21 and then full grant proposals will be due by April 22.

This is the largest non-governmental epilepsy funder and a great one to know for researchers of all levels. To learn more about this funder, read IP's full profile, Epilepsy Foundation: Grants for Brain Research & Treatment.