BrightFocus Foundation: Grants for Brain & Mental Health

OVERVIEW: Formerly known as the American Health Assistance Foundation, BrightFocus supports research into Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

IP TAKE: BrightFocus is on the lookout for catalytic researchers that can take their ideas out of the lab and into practice. The foundation is open to funding researchers and scientists conducting innovative and experimental studies that may get overlooked by other funders due to the largely unproven nature of their work.

PROFILE: Based in Clarksburg, Maryland, BrightFocus Foundation has been supporting brain and vision research since 1973, focusing on early-stage research conducted by scientists and researchers all over the world. Its research grants mainly go toward the support of Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma research. 

The foundation’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research grants are given as Standard Awards or Postdoctoral Fellowships. Standard Awards are given to researchers that have already produced preliminary data but need more funding to continue their progress. Grants from this program are capped at $300,000 and are awarded over a three-year period.

The Postdoctoral Fellowship awards go to young researchers in the process of exiting their mentored training. Grants out of this program are limited to $100,000 and are awarded over a two-year period.

Both BrightFocus’s Macular degeneration and glaucoma grant programs offer grants of $160,000 and $150,000, respectively. Again, this funding supports researchers that have already generated preliminary data in their fields of study. Macular degeneration and glaucoma grants are awarded over the course of two years.

BrightFocus awards the majority of its Alzheimer's disease research grants to individuals working through American university systems, but researchers outside of the United States are eligible for awards as well. Interested researchers can apply directly through the website. Scholars applying for Macular Degeneration Research Grants must first submit letters of intent.

Scholars doing research that falls outside of these three areas are invited to contact the foundation's scientific affairs staff to discuss ideas. 

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