National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: This funder awards grants to support multiple sclerosis studies through research, training, pilot research, commercial funding, patient management/care/rehabilitation research, and health care delivery/policy research.

IP TAKE: There are quite a few funding programs at NMSS, and each one has its own deadlines and staff to contact. Take some time to review the procedures and reach out to the correct person.

PROFILE: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) was founded in 1946, and today provides a wide range of information, support, resources, and research grants that support studies into the progression of multiple sclerosis, prevention, and improving quality of life. It awards grants for training, pilot studies, and commercial funding. It also provides research grants for patient management, care, and rehabilitation, and health care delivery and policy research contracts. Its range of funding opportunities include general research grants, training grants and fellowships, pilot research grants, commercial research grants, collaborative research centers, patient management and care, health care delivery and policy, special awards, and outside meeting support.

Grantseekers working in the field of MS should review the following programs to find the best fit for their project or organization:

  • Research Grants support “studies related to multiple sclerosis that may serve to advance our mission of stopping MS progression, restoring function and improving quality of life, and preventing MS.” This includes “fundamental as well as applied studies, non-clinical or clinical in nature, including projects in patient management, care and rehabilitation.”

  • Training Grants and Fellowships entail “a full spectrum of research and clinical training programs and early career support.” NMSS offers nearly a dozen of these fellowships and awards.

  • Pilot Research Grants are high-risk grants designed to “test innovative, cutting-edge ideas or untested methods, and to gather sufficient preliminary data to apply for longer-term funding.”

  • Commercial Research Grants are “high-impact early-stage investments to accelerate commercial Research and Development for new therapies and diagnostics for MS.”

  • Collaborative MS Research Centers work to “help stimulate collaboration and interaction in MS research among independent investigators, strengthen the ties between basic and clinical research, and stimulate recruitment of researchers from other fields into MS research.”

  • Patient Management, Care, and Rehabilitation Grants support “research projects dealing with psychosocial issues, management of symptoms, care and rehabilitation, bioengineering and other topics related to improving the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis.” Note that depending on the size and scope of the project, NMSS suggests grantseekers consider regular research or pilot grants.

  • Healthcare Delivery and Policy Contracts aim to “provide results that can be influential in improving government and private sector policies, service and benefit programs nationwide” by studying “issues of health care access and quality.” Note that this program is currently on hold and not accepting further applications.

  • Special Awards and Prizes include three prizes aimed at individuals who have made outstanding contributions to MS research.

  • Outside Meeting Support are modest grants to fund “meetings, workshops and conferences that are open to all participants and whose topics have clear relevance to research on multiple sclerosis.” This funding is intended for organizational costs surrounding such meetings.

NMSS generally awards grants up to $50,000. The foundation has an open, on-line application process for most of its grants. Guidelines and deadlines may vary significantly, so interested grantseekers should review the various programs carefully to find the one that is right for them.


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