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Psychosocial Research (PSR) Grants

Fellowships and Grants to USA and Canada IHEs and
Rehab Facilities for Research on Spinal Cord Injuries

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Craig H. Neilsen Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/13/18 5:00 PM ET


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Fellowships and grants to USA and Canada academic institutions and rehab facilities for research that strives to improve the lives of those living with spinal cord injuries. LOIs are due March 23, 2018. Funding is available for fellowships for post-doctoral researchers, and for programs and studies to better understand the relationship among biological, psychological, and social aspects of health and functioning in people living with spinal cord injuries.

There are three funding categories in the Psychosocial Research Portfolio:

Postdoctoral Fellowships
Two-year Postdoctoral Fellowships encourage early-career mentored training to increase professional interest in the field and to encourage researchers from related health disciplines to undertake training in psychosocial research focused on spinal cord injury.

Pilot Grants
Two-year Pilot Grants support psychosocial research projects that lay the groundwork to inform future studies, that test the feasibility of novel methods, and/or that collect new data that can enhance larger scale studies.

Studies and Demonstration Projects
Three-year Studies and Demonstration Projects encourage innovative and substantive studies that fill important gaps in the spinal cord injury field, that open new areas of psychosocial research, and/or that develop and evaluate interventions to address psychosocial issues after spinal cord injury.

Emphasis is placed on research directed towards:
- Increasing understanding of psychological (behavioral, emotional, cognitive) and social (interpersonal, community, environmental) factors that affect health, functioning and quality of life;
- Testing the effectiveness and/or feasibility of rehabilitation and habilitation interventions to improve psychological and social functioning, including participation in work, school and other community activities;
- Improving measurements of psychological, social and environmental risk factors, protective factors, processes and outcomes; and
- Identifying critical service gaps, needed data and/or new areas of exploration, within a psychosocial or socioecological context, as defined by or with input from people living with SCI.

PSR topics can address issues that reflect the diversity of people with SCI across the lifespan, including targeted SCI subgroups or specific aspects of psychological, environmental and social support factors that impact health, functioning or quality of life. The PSR portfolio areas of emphasis include, but are not limited to, research on aging, caregiving (formal and informal networks), employment/work, health behaviors and fitness, independent living/lifestyle, self-management/selfcare, and technology access. Research can involve qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies.

Examples of relevant research topics that could have widespread impact on the field include:
- Developing more robust outcome measures for PSR;
- Defining psychosocial barriers to and facilitators of health, independent functioning and excellent quality of life; and
- Measuring, evaluating or improving approaches that are patient-centered (i.e., interactions between clinical practitioners and individuals with SCI) and/or consumer-centered (i.e., non-medical interventions for people living with SCI at any stage).

Applications to this portfolio must be research-oriented and psychosocial in their focus. The Neilsen Foundation encourages submissions across a wide range of disciplines; however, it is strongly encouraged that relevant SCI and psychosocial expertise are represented on the project team. PSR grants complement but are distinct from other Neilsen Foundation grant portfolios. For example, requests to provide adaptive technology to clients with SCI or to enhance services for rehabilitative or transitional programs for people with SCI would fall under the CO&I portfolio. A research study to explore novel interventions aimed at improving neurologic function after SCI would be more appropriate for the SCIRTS portfolio. In comparison, a research study that examines the impact of a community intervention for those living with SCI on people’s outlook or overall participation, or as a potential boon or burden to their caregivers, would be well-suited to this PSR grant competition.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182500

Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding for PSR Pilot grants is $200,000 total costs.

Funding for Fellowships is $75,000 per year, for up to two years; $150,000 total costs.

Funding for Studies and Demonstration Projects provide a maximum total of $400,000 over three years.

Term of Contract:

Grants from the Neilsen Foundation may be multi-year awards. Funding for each subsequent year will be contingent on a favorable review of an annual progress and expenditure report.

Funding for PSR Pilot grants is for up to two years.

Funding for Fellowships is for up to two years.

Funding for Studies and Demonstration Projects provide up to three years of funding for a maximum total of $400,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following applies to all funding categories:

- Applicants must have a doctoral degree or an equivalent terminal professional degree (e.g., PhD, MD, DVM). Non-fellowship applicants must demonstrate appropriate experience to serve as an independent Principal Investigator (PI). The Neilsen Foundation encourages submissions from eligible PIs who represent a wide range of disciplines; however, it is required that relevant SCI expertise is represented on the proposed research project team.

- The grantee must be a nonprofit academic/research institution or rehabilitation facility located in the United States or Canada with a demonstrated capability to conduct grant-funded research.

-The PI is not required to be a citizen of the United States or Canada; however, the PI must be employed by an eligible grantee institution. Each application must include the appropriate endorsement of an institutional official who is responsible for the administration of grant funds (hereafter known as the “Grants Administrator”).

- Neilsen Foundation grants are not awarded to individuals, private foundations or certain 509(a)(3), Type III supporting organizations.

- The PI/Applicant named in a grant application must be deemed eligible by his/her institution/organization to apply for a grant, and is expected to be responsible for conduct of the research.

- A PI may only submit one application in a given portfolio cycle.

- The Neilsen Foundation does not allow Co-Principal Investigators or Co-Investigators on its research grants. If two or more investigators are working together on a research project, one must serve as the PI; the other(s) should be listed as collaborator(s).

- Multiple PIs from an institution may submit concurrent, independent applications in a given grant cycle. In such cases, each project must be distinct, with non-overlapping Aims.

- The Neilsen Foundation discourages Postdoctoral Fellows and their mentor(s) from submitting concurrent applications with overlapping Aims to multiple funding categories within this portfolio.

- It may not be necessary to provide preliminary data. Neilsen Foundation funding may be sought to allow the PI to obtain data to establish a line of research if the proposal provides strong rationale (e.g., support from the literature or use in an indication other than SCI) that justifies testing the hypotheses with the proposed experimental design. However, if feasibility issues add unacceptable risk of failure, reviewers may note that preliminary data to address this risk should be provided.

Pre-Application Information:

- March 23, 2018 5:00 PM (Eastern Time): Letter of Intent (LOI) Submission Due
- May 2018: Notification of LOI Results
- July 13, 2018 5:00 PM (Eastern Time): Full Grant Application (FGA) Submission Due
- December 2018: Notification of FGA Results
- April 2019: Awarded grants to be funded

Applicants are strongly recommended to begin the application process in proposalCENTRAL well in advance of all deadlines. Late submissions will not be considered.

NOTE: Do not wait until the last day to submit your grant application and any required documentation. Technical difficulties will not be accepted as an explanation for late submissions.

Grant information:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For questions regarding an application’s submission status:
Ehrica Hernandez, Grants Management Associate

For questions regarding the portfolio:
Joy Guihama, PSR Program Officer

For assistance with the online application:
proposalCENTRAL Customer Service
(800) 875-2562

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

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