Rita Allen Foundation: Grants for Brain Research

OVERVIEW: The Rita Allen Foundation focuses its research-related grantmaking on early-career scientists studying cancer, immunology, and neuroscience.

IP TAKE: Allen backs a wide range of groundbreaking research in the field of neuroscience. Grantseekers looking to approach this funder should expect a good amount of competition.

PROFILE: While the Rita Allen Foundation has been around since 1953, it was not until 2009 that it hired its first CEO and opened its first office. Rita Allen has been pursuing “discoveries in their earliest stages that will ultimately improve human health, democracy and understanding,” especially prioritizing “early-career biomedical scholars doing pioneering research.” Rita Allen funds both Biomedical Research and Civic Engagement.

The Rita Allen Scholars program funds “basic biomedical research in the fields of cancer, immunology and neuroscience.” The funds may be used to help scientists establish their own labs and “pursue research directions with above-average risk and promise.” Rita Allen Foundation also awards grants for pain research in collaboration with the American Pain Society. Scholar program funds must be used for direct project expenses, which includes up to 50 percent of the grantee’s salary.

Rita Allen’s grants range from $50,000 to $110,000 per year for three to five years. To get a broader sense of the types of brain research Allen backs, browse its listing of recent scholars. In general, the Rita Allen Foundation takes a proactive approach to its grantmaking by identifying organizations for funding.

The foundation reviews unsolicited letters of inquiry (LOIs) twice per year, from December 1 to January 15, and from May 15 to June 30.


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