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Foundation Sponsored Funding

The University of Utah Foundation Relations program can help build a relationship between you and potential private funding partners. Our team can advise on strategic approaches, arrange visits, review draft proposals and help translate ideas into fundable projects or programs. Please contact Lynn Marsella Wong if you are interested in applying for an opportunity listed below. You may also find additional funding opportunities on the foundation relations website.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: Young Investigator Grant
March 25, 2021
Amount: Up to $70,000 over two years

The BBRF Young Investigator Grant program is intended to facilitate innovative research opportunities and supports basic as well as translational and/or clinical investigators. All research must be relevant to the understanding, treatment and prevention of serious psychiatric disorders such as: schizophrenia; bipolar; mood and anxiety disorders (for a complete list, see the front page of the application); or early onset brain and behavior disorders. In addition to supporting the full ranges of relevant neurobiological and psychobiological basic science, the foundation also supports clinical science, which can include careful studies using qualitative research approaches or research generating preliminary data to explore a new hypothesis generated by clinical experience or large sample studies. The BBRF Young Investigator Grant is not sufficient to support expensive large sample patient-based studies but it may be possible to attach a study to a clinical project already under way or for which other funding has become available.
Some examples of preliminary clinical studies include:

  1. Support for an add-on study to identify a biomarker in the context of an ongoing clinical trial.
  2. Determining if a computer-based cognitive or other remediation enhances effectiveness of cognitive agents.
  3. Proof of principle study to see if efficacy is detected with a new treatment.
  4. Testing a novel hypothesis within an already established data set. 

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James S. McDonnell Foundation Opportunity Awards
April 9, 2021
Amount: $250,000 over 2-4 years

Through the Opportunity Awards, JSMF is seeking to fund projects leading to new conceptual and empirical studies of cognition and behavior that recognize the dynamic nature of cognition and behavior, are situated in real world contexts, cross levels of analysis, unite traditionally separate domains of inquiry (e.g. vision and speech), embrace complexity, and consider how behavior is influenced by interactions among individuals. JSMF is encouraging researchers to pursue important questions using conceptual and methodological approaches that takes seriously the trajectories, biological and experiential, contributing to the ongoing development of cognition and behavior occurring across the lifespan.

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Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI): 2021 Bridge to Independence Award
April 12, 2021 (for Letters of Inquiry)
Grant Amount: $495,000 over three years

The Bridge to Independence Award program engages talented early-career scientists in autism research by facilitating their transition to research independence. Awardees receive a commitment of $495,000 over three years, activated upon assumption of a tenure-track professorship. The foundation welcomes applications that span the breadth of science that SFARI normally supports, including genetics, molecular mechanisms, circuits and systems, and clinical science. While the foundation encourages applications from scientists who are working on autism-related projects, this award is also open to researchers who are not currently working on autism but who are interested in starting research projects in this area and have expertise that could be brought to bear on this complex condition.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Systems and Services Research to Build a Culture of Health
April 30, 2021 (1-page Letter of Intent)

Amount: Up to $500,000 over 36 months

Achieving racial equity and health equity in American communities requires effective solutions to the "wrong-pocket problem": we invest in systems that are designed to improve social and economic conditions—such as housing, transportation, education, income, and employment assistance; child and family supports; and legal and criminal justice services—but the financial benefits of these often flow elsewhere, in reduced costs for medical care from diseases and injuries prevented. This creates imbalances in power, information, and financial resources that exist across medical, social, and public health systems—a fundamental problem that confronts many attempts at meaningful cross-sector collaboration. Such solutions must allow collaborating organizations to equitably share in the costs and the benefits of multisector collaborative initiatives, and to share in the power and influence that govern these initiatives. This call for proposals will provide funding for new research to rigorously test and evaluate innovative solutions to the wrong-pocket problem that persists across health and social service systems.

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Russell Sage Foundation
May 4, 2021 (for Letters of Inquiry)
Amount: up to $175,000

For its next deadline, the Russell Sage Foundation will accept letters of inquiry related to Behavioral EconomicsDecision Making & Human Behavior in ContextFuture of Work; and Social, Political, and Economic Inequality. The Foundation will also accept letters of inquiry relevant to any of its core programs that address at least one of the following issues:

  • Research on the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting recession in the U.S. Specifically, research that assesses the social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences of the pandemic, especially its effects on marginalized individuals and groups and on trust in government and other institutions.
  • Research focused on systemic racial inequality and/or the recent mass protests in the U.S. Specifically, research that investigates the prevalence of racial disparities in policing and criminal justice and their social, political, economic, and psychological causes and consequences; the effects of the current social protest movement and mass mobilization against systemic discrimination; the nature of public attitudes and public policies regarding policing, criminal justice, and social welfare; and the effects of those attitudes in the current political environment.

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William. T. Grant Foundation: Research Grants on Reducing Inequality and Research Grants on Improving the Use of Research Evidence
May 5, 2021 (letters of inquiry)
Amount: up to $600,000 over 2-3 years for Research Grants on Reducing Inequality; up to $1M over 2-4 years for Research Grants on Improving the Use of Research Evidence

The William T. Grant Foundation’s mission is to support research to improve the lives of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. The foundation invests in high-quality field-initiated studies on reducing inequality in youth outcomes. They seek studies that aim to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people, prioritizing studies about reducing inequality on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, or immigrant origins. Studies may be from a range of disciplines, fields, and methodologies, and the foundation encourages investigations into various systems, including justice, housing, child welfare, mental health, and education. The most competitive proposals often incorporate data from multiple sources and often involve multi-disciplinary teams.

Applications for research grants on reducing inequality must:

  • Identify a specific inequality in youth outcomes, and show that the outcomes are currently unequal by engaging with the extant literature on the causes and consequences of inequality.
  • Make a compelling case for the basis of inequality the study will address.
  • Articulate how findings from your research will help build, test, or increase understanding of a specific program, policy, or practice to reduce the specific inequality that you have identified.

Proposals for studies on improving the use of research evidence must pursue one of the following lines of inquiry:

  • Identify or test strategies to improve the use of existing research.
  • Identify or test strategies for producing more useful research evidence.
  • Test the assumption that using high-quality research evidence improves decision making and youth outcomes.

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Last Updated: 4/13/21