Klarman Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: Klarman’s mental health grants support eating disorder research, with current priorities in anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders.

IP TAKE: This foundation supports innovative treatments and trials for eating disorders, including but not limited to experimental therapeutics, repurposing approved pharmaceuticals, and new non-psychotherapeutic interventions.

PROFILE: The Klarman Foundation started with a mission to “help make measurable progress in improving the lives of others.” The foundation has narrowed that broad goal to three main grantmaking priorities, one of which is improving the understanding of health and illness on a biological basis. In terms of mental health grants, Klarman is squarely focused on eating disorders.

Klarman established the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, with researchers from the United States, Sweden, Australia and Denmark participating in what the foundation calls the “largest genetic investigation of eating disorders ever conducted.” The goal of the initiative is to increase and transform knowledge regarding the causes of eating disorders and to build better understanding. The ultimate goal is to discover a cure for disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders. The foundation expects its ANGI research to expand the study of other psychiatric illnesses, as well.

The foundation has also established the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The observatory "is a pilot effort to systematically define cellular circuits in mammalian cells."

In addition to ANGI, Klarman runs an Eating Disorders Research Grants Program. The program awards two-year grants for a total of $400,000 ($200,000 per year) and one-year, $150,000 grants to support pilot studies by investigators working at nonprofit academic, medical, and research institutions located in the United States, Canada or Israel. The current long-term focus of the funding is to accelerate the development of treatments for anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders. In the short term, the foundation supports research into the basic biology of those disorders.

The Klarman Foundation accepts unsolicited proposals for its Eating Disorder Research program. Applicants need not be nominated by their institutions but they must hold faculty appointments at their institutions. Applications are deadline driven, so grantseekers should watch the foundation’s website for the announcement of those dates. The Eating Disorder Research program is the only program for which the foundation accepts unsolicited LOIs and proposals.

PEOPLE: 

  • Kim Philbrick McCabe, Executive Director 

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