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Grants to USA, Canada, and International Graduate Students
and Postdoctoral Fellows for Research in Neurofibromatosis

Young Investigator Award (YIA)

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Children's Tumor Foundation (CTF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/04/22 5:00 PM EST


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for assistance in establishing careers as investigators in the field of neurofibromatosis. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to applying. Grant recipients will receive two to three years of salary stipends as well as mentoring support from the Children's Tumor Foundation.

The Young Investigator Award (YIA), CTF’s longest-running competitive award program from the mid 1980s, has traditionally provided two years of funding to early-career NF researchers. The goal is to enable these trainees to become established independent investigators in NF-related fields. The YIA program provides seed funding to attract researchers to the field and to produce data to secure larger grants, such as from the NIH and CDMRP NFRP. Several former YIAs are now leaders in the NF research and clinical communities. In fact, CTF’s ‘seeding’ of the NF field with new talent has been hailed as one of the key reasons for rapid advancements in NF research in recent years. 

The YIA mechanism supports basic and translational research towards -

  • Understanding cellular, genetic, and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis phenotypes
  • Identifying and/or testing novel therapeutic targets
  • Testing candidate therapeutics
  • Analysis of natural history of NF

The focus of YIA research includes but is not limited to –

  • NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis
  • Manifestations such as –
    • Neurofibromas, schwannomas, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, other brain and nervous system tumors
    • Bone abnormalities
    • Cardiovascular abnormalities
    • Learning disorders
    • Pain

CTF will assign an external mentor for each YIA awardee. This mentor, an expert in the NF field, will interact at least twice a year with the awardee and his/her mentor, to provide guidance for the science and/or career development as needed. One of those interactions should be the annual NF Conference.

Award amounts are inclusive of up to 10% indirect costs. Indirect costs are those overhead administrative and facility costs that are not readily identifiable with the project, but are nevertheless necessary for general operation. Examples of indirect costs include salary and related benefits of administrative personnel, office supplies, rent, tuition for YIA predoctoral fellows, depreciation, and utilities. 

Awardees are required to attend CTF’s annual NF Conference for the two years (or three years if a postdoctoral YIA is approved for the third year) in which they are a YIA recipient. Travel will be funded by the CTF as described in the Supplemental Travel Allowance section on page 8 of the Guidelines, in Supporting Documents, below. Awardees are also encouraged to present the progress of their research as a poster or an oral presentation at the NF Conference. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139429

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Predoctoral awards provide a flat rate of $32,000 of stipend support for each of two years (total two-year budget $64,000, including 10% Indirect costs).
- Awardees are eligible for a supplemental travel allowance of up to $5,000 (and an additional $2,500 if a postdoctoral YIA is approved for the third year) for the duration of the YIA, which is disbursed as reimbursement of eligible travel expenses.

Postdoctoral awards: Rates are commensurate with experience. See the table on page 3 of the Guidelines document in Supporting Documents below.

Term of Contract:

From 2021, CTF started a pilot program to provide postdoctoral YIA salary support for up to three years. The third year of funding will be contingent upon satisfactory progress of the first two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

CTF is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. CTF embraces and encourages applicants differences in backgrounds, experiences, race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, family or marital status, physical, mental and/or intellectual abilities, age, military or veteran status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and socioeconomic status.

1. Applicant must be one of the following:
a. A postdoctoral fellow (MD, Ph.D., or equivalent), but no more than seven years past the completion of his/her first doctoral degree, OR
b. A graduate student pursuing his/her MD, Ph.D., or equivalent

Note: This mechanism is NOT for individuals holding an independent faculty position.

2. Applicant must be affiliated with the laboratory of a senior researcher who is the applicant’s research sponsor. The sponsor must offer a training environment that is conducive for the growth and education of an early NF career researcher. As part of the application, the mentor is asked to describe the intended training plan.

3. In a given year, more than one member of a laboratory can apply for a YIA, but only one application per laboratory per year will be funded.

4. There are no citizenship requirements for this program. The Foundation seeks and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals worldwide.

Note: An individual may not receive more than one postdoctoral YIA in his/her career. Having had a prior CTF predoctoral YIA award does NOT preclude receiving a postdoctoral YIA award.

Pre-Application Information:

Dates to note for upcoming YIA cycle:
- Monday, December 6, 2021 - YIA Letter of Intent (LOI) form goes live
- Monday, January 3, 2022 - YIA LOIs due by 5:00 pm EST
- Friday, January 21, 2022 - YIA invitation to full application
- Friday, March 4, 2022 - YIA full applications due by 5:00 pm EST
- Week of May 20, 2022 - YIA decision notifications

CTF requires all applicants to acquire a personal ORCID ID ( to allow an easy transfer of information between the Foundation and the applicant record. All applicants are strongly encouraged to keep their ORCID ID record up to date especially in the Education, Funding and Works (publications) sections.

Awardees are required to sign CTF’s Patent Policy before the YIA can be activated.

Payments will be disbursed throughout the award period at 6-month intervals, with 50% of Year 1 funds released at activation of award. Payments are contingent on receipt of satisfactory annual progress reports.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

If you have any questions please email

Children's Tumor Foundation
National Office:
697 Third Avenue, Suite 418
New York, NY 10017

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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