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Development Grants (DG)

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Postdoctoral
Researchers for Neuromuscular Research Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/31/20 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA, Canada, and international postdoctoral researchers for neuromuscular research projects. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for salary, equipment, travel, and publication expenses related to the research.

MDA supports research aimed at developing treatments for the muscular dystrophies and related diseases of the neuromuscular system. These are the muscular dystrophies (among which are Duchenne and Becker); motor neuron diseases (including ALS and SMA); the peripheral nerve disorders (CMT and Friedreich's ataxia); inflammatory myopathies; disorders of the neuromuscular junction; metabolic diseases of muscle as well as other myopathies.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit hypothesis-driven applications on innovative research with the following elements in mind:

  • Applications should directly relate to a disease in MDA’s program
  • Applications should focus on accelerating therapy development for the disease(s) in question. Such projects may include:
    • New target identification
    • Target validation
    • Screening for new therapeutic molecules that hit validated targets
    • Experimental testing and proof-of-concept studies for new therapeutic approaches
    • Addressing a need of the neuromuscular research field (e.g., developing a novel animal or cell model of the disease, developing new technologies)
    • Clinical research projects that fit the budget restraint of this program (however, clinical trials should be submitted either through the MVP program or CRG program - see below under Clinical Research)
    • MDA is also seeking applications that may result in new understanding of disease etiology and pathogenesis in neuromuscular disorders where these are not well understood
  • Successful applications will include a training plan which details how the applicant will receive the necessary training and mentorship to transition to an independent research career
  • For projects focused on ALS: MDA has partnered with Target ALS to allow successful Development Grant recipients to access Target ALS core facilities at a reduced cost. Resources available through the core facilities include human postmortem tissue, stem cell lines, and viral vector production. Please contact MDA's ALS Scientific Portfolio Director Amanda Haidet-Phillips for further details concerning the terms and procedures.

Authorized Expenses:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184854

Estimated Size of Grant:

$70,000 per year

Term of Contract:

Development Grant awards are for one, two or three years.

Grant period is expected to begin August 1, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a Development Grant, an applicant must:
1. Hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) or equivalent degree (i.e. D.O.);
2. Be a member of a research team at an appropriate institution;
3. Be qualified to conduct a program of original research under the supervision of an Independent Investigator;
4. Have an acceptable research plan for a specific disease in MDA's program;
5. Have access to institutional resources necessary to conduct the proposed research project;
6. Have a minimum of eighteen (18) months of post-degree research laboratory training at the time of application;
7. Be no more than 60 months (5 years) from receiving their Ph.D. or D.Sc.; or no more than 96 months (8 years) from receiving their M.D., D.O. or M.D., Ph.D. Please contact MDA to discuss your eligibility if you have questions.
8. Not have been funded under the Development Grant program in the past.

Proposals from applicants outside the United States will be considered for projects of highest priority to MDA and when, in addition to the applicant's having met the requirements noted above, the applicant's country of residence may not have adequate sources of financial support for biomedical research.

Development Grant applications are limited to one application per lab per application cycle.

Unauthorized Expenses:

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline for Developments Grants:
- Letters of Intent open approximately one month prior to deadline.
- Letters of Intent are due by 11:59 PM ET on December 1.
- Grant applications are due by 5:00 PM ET on January 31.

If a due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date will be moved to the next business day.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Muscular Dystrophy Association National Office
161 N. Clark, Suite 3550
Chicago, Illinois 60601

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.