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

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

IP TAKE: Proposal-wise, the key word is holistic. Too many studies, the BTFC website says, have leaned heavily on using rat and mouse models to draw conclusions about treating humans. The BTFC wants to go beyond animal models, to work that sheds light on care and treatment of humans with brain cancers.

PROFILE: The Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative is made up of five philanthropic organizations that have decided to pool their clout in the interest of accelerating brain cancer research. The BTFC was formed over the course of two years, back in 2005-2006. Of the eight initial founding organizations, five members remain.

The organization puts out RFAs only about once every four years, which makes it doubly conservative about selecting recipients for its money. Generally, the BTFC is forward-looking and progressive. It was formed, after all, out of dissatisfaction with the mainstream, conventional brain cancer research that was taking place in the United States and Canada, and so it seeks outside-the-box thinking.

The collaborative wants truly human-centric insights into brain cancer treatment. A sense of what sorts of projects and organizations they fund can be found in their announcements page, and in their list of funded grants. If your research fits the group's current research initiative and focuses on breakthroughs into human treatment, submit your concise, jargon-free application via the BTFC website.


  • The BTFC doesn't have staff or even a president, but rather relies on an eight-member advisory panel comprised of doctors and researchers stationed at big universities in the United States, Canada, and Germany.