Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: The Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative tends to fund scientists who work outside mainstream brain cancer research, but in a specific area and time.

IP TAKE: BTFC’s grants may be substantial, but they are not available every year. When available, the BTFC’s grants focus on specific research interests.

PROFILE: The Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative is “an international group of philanthropic and advocacy organizations who remain committed to seeing meaningful improvements in brain tumor treatment and outcomes.” It first formed over the course of two years, in 2005-2006. Of the eight initial founding organizations, five members remain: the American Brain Tumor Association, the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada, the James McDonnell Foundation, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, and the Sontag Foundation. Each of these organizations has its own funding programs, but BTFC periodically releases calls for proposals with highly specific research interests.

BTFC releases a Request for Proposals approximately once every four years. These RFPs are highly specific and competitive. For instance, in 2018, the foundation announced that it was seeking proposals on Immunotherapy for Primary Human Brain Tumors. It seeks to support “research on the role of the neuro-immune system in the origin and progression of the immune responses in primary human brain tumors with the hope of developing immunotherapies for treatment of these tumors in patients.” In 2013, BTFC’s RFP sought proposals for “research taking a more careful and comprehensive analysis of the characteristics of a suite of pertinent factors related to long–term survivors of GBM [glioblastoma multiforme].” In 2009, the foundation sought to “invest in the development of new tools and approaches that would lead to the non-invasive (or minimally-invasive) determination of tumor responsiveness to experimental interventions in clinical trials and the treatment of brain tumors in patients.”

BTFC grants range from $100,000 to $1 million per year for up to three years. Interested grantseekers should review the foundations announcements and funded grants pages to get a better idea of the projects BTFC prefers to support.

The foundation only releases one Request for Proposals every four to five years, and the number and value of grants offered has varied widely in the past. Grantseekers should also consider seeking support directly from BTFC’s member organizations.

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