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Pilot Research Grant

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Researchers for
Short-Term Research Projects that Focus on Multiple Sclerosis

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $40,000 to USA, Canada, and International investigators who are working at established institutions for short-term support of preliminary research projects that focus on multiple sclerosis. Pre-applications are due by May 7. Funding will be provided for research projects related to multiple sclerosis that may lead to stopping MS progression, restoring function and improving quality of life, and/or preventing MS.

Funding will be provided for one year to test innovative, cutting-edge ideas or untested methods, and to gather sufficient preliminary data to apply for longer-term funding.

The Society provides funds for limited short-term support of research in areas where preliminary data are scant or nonexistent. This program is designed to support unique or novel ideas with the potential to open significant new areas of research on multiple sclerosis. Projects that are simply extensions of ongoing research or that already have ample supporting data will not be considered.

The Society supports fundamental as well as applied studies, non-clinical or clinical in nature, including projects in patient management, care, and rehabilitation.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181716

Estimated Size of Grant:

Support for Pilot Research Projects is limited to a maximum of $40,000 in direct costs.

Term of Contract:

Support for Pilot Research Projects is given for one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Researchers who have completed their post-doctoral training, and who are considered eligible by their institutions to apply for a research grant, are invited to apply.

Individuals who are currently postdoctoral fellows or the equivalent, or who are graduate/medical students or residents, are not eligible for support under this program.

Applicants are not eligible to apply if they have an existing National MS Society pilot research award that expires later than the application deadline.

It is expected that the person indicated as the principal investigator in an application for a grant is the one who is personally and actively responsible for the conduct of the research and who is considered eligible by his or her institution to apply for a research grant.

The principal investigator need not be a United States citizen.

Disallowed Expenses:

Pilot awards must not be used to support dissertation work for a graduate student.

Funds from the award may not be used to pay for secretarial, purchasing, accounting, financial record keeping, laundry and maintenance services. With the exception of some training programs, funds may not be used to offset any tuition or other similar fees, or dues to organizations such as federations or societies. No funds shall be budgeted as “contingency funds” except by special arrangement with the Society. Unless prior approval in writing has been obtained from the Society, expenditures are likely to be disallowed for items that were not specifically included in the budget of the award.

Applicants to the Pilot Research Program are discouraged from requesting funds to purchase major items of equipment, and may not use funds to support travel to conferences. Travel necessary for the conduct of the study will be considered.

Indirect Costs: The grants management system will add indirect cost of 10% of the sum requested, except that indirect costs are not allowed in connection with funds requested or expended for: (a) patient costs, or (b) purchase, modification or installation of equipment. Indirect costs will not be provided for grants awarded to institutions outside of the United States.

Salary: There is no requirement for principal investigators to request any salary support on pilot grants.

Fringe Benefits: Costs to the grantee institution of Social Security, retirement and group insurance plans may be requested in the application for persons whose salaries are to be paid from the grant. All such expenditures are to be in accordance with the prevailing policies of the grantee institution and proportional to the percentage of the employee's time devoted to the research for which the grant is made.


- Permanent equipment may be requested in research proposals and will be considered only if essential to the successful execution of the proposed work. No equipment-only grants will be considered.
- Office equipment, computers, office supplies, books and journals may not be purchased with grant funds unless included in the application and specifically approved in the budget of the grant awarded. The cost of installing equipment purchased with funds of the grant is not allowed unless such funds were requested in the application and specifically approved in the budget of the grant awarded.
- Equipment is intended for the sole use of the Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, project staff, and any collaborators listed as personnel on the award specifically to execute the approved scope of the project, unless cost-shared with another funding source.

Supplies: Consumable supplies may be purchased with Society grant funds and may include any type of laboratory supplies, including purchase and maintenance of experimental animals.

Other Expenses: Any other expenditure directly related to the cost of conducting the proposed research may be requested in the application for a grant. However, construction or renovation costs are not permissible expenditures under any circumstances.

Pre-Application Information:

For each funding opportunity, there is a pre-application that must be completed and submitted to the Society before the applicant can prepare a full application. For most programs, the pre-application must be submitted no later than one week prior to the posted application deadline

Deadlines: New applications are reviewed three times each year, with 2018 deadlines of January 10 (pre-application is due January 8), May 9 (pre-application is due May 7), and September 12 (pre-application is due September 10).

How to apply online:

Funding Principles:

Contact Information:

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

Click here to register and apply online:

For more information, please contact:

Elisabeth Mari, PhD

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: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   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.