Epilepsy Foundation: Grants for Brain Research & Treatment

OVERVIEW: This is the largest non-governmental funder of epilepsy research. It supports researchers at universities and corporations working to stop seizures, to find a cure for this brain condition, and to overcome daily challenges for people living with epilepsy.

IP TAKE: Pitch a research program seeking to eliminate seizures or other side effects of epilepsy, address the cognitive and psychological effects of epilepsy, or focus on specific demographics like youth or seniors.

PROFILE: The Epilepsy Foundation’s research funding is devoted to advancing the understanding of epilepsy and development of treatments, prevention methods and cures. It funds researchers at all levels of expertise, from students through established investigators. There are two main funding programs at the foundation: New Therapy Commercialization Grants and Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence.

The New Therapy Commercialization Grants program is a catalyst program aimed at moving therapies from labs to patients. 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. However, the foundation encourages applicants to seek matching grant opportunities to accelerate the pace of advances in therapy. The foundation likes to see proposals from organizations that already have commercial partners established.

Meanwhile, the purpose of Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence awards is to take new therapies to the next level, including medicines, biologics, devices, and other types of therapy. The foundation seeks to take research from labs to patients, so your research proposal must clearly demonstrate how this can happen. It’s a highly competitive award that involves an extensive review from the foundation's scientific and business advisory boards. The award provides $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.

The Epilepsy Foundation is the largest non-government funder of epilepsy research. Grant cycles typically fall in the spring and fall, and past grant cycles have funded between $348,000 and $1,277,643 per cycle. You can view a list of Past Grantees on the foundation website.

Topics of interest within the realm of epilepsy research include the following:

  • Eliminating seizures
  • Management and prevention
  • Severe symptomatic epilepsy
  • Cognitive and psychiatric aspects of epilepsy
  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Epilepsy in youth, women and seniors

In addition to grant funding, the foundation also supports advocacy and policy efforts to increase federal funding of this type of research. Consult the How to Apply page of foundation website for current deadlines and application instructions.

Scientific questions from applicants should be directed to Liz Schreiber at lschreiber@efa.org, and letters of intent should be submitted electronically to grants@efa.org. LOIs are reviewed within about two weeks of the submission deadlines, and then applicants are notified whether to submit a full application or not. The foundation is based in Landover, Maryland, and can be reached by phone at 800-322-1000 or by email at ContactUs@efa.org.  

PEOPLE:

  • Phil Gattone, President and CEO
  • Liz Schreiber, Program Manager, Professional Advisory Board
  • Angela Ostrom, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Public Policy
  • M. Vaneeda Bennett, Chief Development Officer

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