National Brain Tumor Society: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: The National Brain Tumor Society awards grants to affect systematic change that will work toward quickening the pace of brain tumor drug development and discovery. Though it is the, "largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States," it is extremely choosy about the projects it supports.

IP TAKE: NBTS doesn’t award a huge number of grants annually; however the grants they do award are typically of the multi-year variety. Another plus: NBTS does not seem to award grants based on career stage so investigators in every phase of their careers are eligible to apply for a grant.

PROFILE: The National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) was established in 2008, but its history dates back to the 1980s. In 1981, a group of healthcare providers out of San Francisco founded the National Brain Tumor Foundation. In 1989, after suffering the loss of her son, Seth to a brain tumor, Bonnie Feldman along with a group of like-minded people established the Brain Tumor Society in Boston. In 2008, the two organizations joined up to create the NBTS. Two years later, NBTS was joined by the Kelly Heinz-Grundner Foundation, a Delaware based outfit dedicated to raising awareness about brain tumors.

NBTS is dedicated to “improving the lives of all those affected by brain tumors,” and it does so through “catalytic funding models, robust research collaborations, and a focused public policy agenda.” A main goal for NBTS is to affect systematic change that will work toward hastening the pace of brain tumor drug development and discovery.

The organization directly supports brain tumor research through its grantmaking but it also joins up with other funding organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to achieve its brain tumor goals.

NBTS is engaged in several multi-faceted Integrated Initiatives addressing brain tumor drug discovery and development on multiple fronts including research, industry engagement, and public policy. The organization supports work ranging from basic science to post-clinical trials.

In terms of grants, the society’s goals are somewhat different from its overarching mission in that it awards grants to “support rigorous scientific investigation and drive progress toward treatments and the discovery of a cure.” NBTS posts current grant opportunities on its website. At times, those opportunities can be few and far between, so grantseekers need to keep a close watch.

A word of advice when considering submitting an LOI—the grant application review process at NBTS is based on that of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) standards. Would-be grantees should brush up on those standards prior to submission.

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