We recently introduced you to the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation, a research-focused funder that prioritizes innovative efforts in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina. This is a great funder for start-up projects and seed money to stimulate brain tumor research.
But to scratch a little further beyond the surface of this highly focused funder’s strategy, I connected with the foundation’s executive director, Geri-Dee Shaffer, to ask a few questions.
What is the theory of change behind your grantmaking?
Change is constant and healthy. Foundations must constantly morph to their environment and their constituents. The SBFT embraces change and our existence is really based on change; changing the landscape of brain tumor research so that curative therapies can be found is constant. Research constantly finds new treatments and modalities, and researchers present those new treatments to us. So change is good and provides us the opportunity to fund exciting research.
What characteristics do your grantees tend to share?
Our grantees are naturally inquisitive and brilliant, and are some of the best in their fields. In addition, they share characteristics of compassion for their patients as well as a passion about their (respective) roles in helping to serve others.
There aren’t any new programs or initiatives at the foundation right now, but as Shaffer mentioned, it does embrace the spirit of change, especially when it comes to new ideas for treatments and therapies. So in the year ahead and beyond, expect to see a laser-focused foundation that’s solely committed finding a cure for brain cancer and brain tumors.
Shaffer says the most important thing that grantseekers should know about applying for a SBTF grant is that they should “follow its research grant application guidelines and be as specific as possible in your submission.” This is a funder that’s always on the lookout for new grantees and wants to encourage the very best researchers to connect with it and apply.
We’ll leave you with a final piece of advice from Geri-Dee Shaffer about working with this funder and applying for a grant.
Make sure your research grant applications are relevant and not just a submission (to fill an academic need). We want to receive applications which show promise, innovation, and potential for research outcomes to be translated into clinical trials and ultimately curative therapies. Our vision is that seed funding from the SBTF will foster the continued development of emerging concepts, treatments, and therapies so that researchers in the area of brain tumors/brain cancer can garner national recognition and funding from lager funding agencies, such as the American Cancer Society or the National Institutes of Health.
To learn even more about this foundation and what it funds, read our full profile, Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation: Grants for Brain Research & Treatment.