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Researcher Resources

NAF’s programs that support your work to accelerate treatment development.

NAF works with the most knowledgeable, accomplished Ataxia researchers in the world. We are committed to providing the resources needed to pursue a cure and better quality of life for people with Ataxia.

Research Grants

The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) is committed to funding cutting edge basic and translational research relevant to hereditary and sporadic Ataxia. NAF invites research applications from domestic and international non-profit and for-profit institutions. Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for some research grants from NAF; please check the specific eligibility requirements for each grant for more information. Applications are selected annually through a competitive review process.

The FY2024 application cycle has closed; a summary of FY2024 awarded grants can be found here.
 

FY2025 Application Dates

  • LOI submissions will be accepted beginning June 28, 2024 on ProposalCentral. LOIs must be received by September 6, 2024. Please see ProposalCentral and below for additional information on NAF’s various grant programs and associated PI qualifications.
  • LOI applications will be reviewed and all applicants will be notified of their status by October 11, 2024 via ProposalCentral.
  • Invited researchers then prepare full research proposals (required documents vary by grant type; please review instructions on ProposalCentral). Full proposals must be received by December 2, 2024
  • Full proposals will be reviewed and all applicants will be notified of their status by mid-February, 2025 via ProposalCentral.
 
Questions about NAF’s Annual Grant Program should be directed to Aimee Alcott, NAF Research Services Associate, at aimee@ataxia.org.

NAF Research Grant Types

Seed Money Research Grant

Pioneer SCA3 Translational Research Awards

Post-doctoral Fellowship Award

Early Career Investigator Award

Pre-doctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Ataxia Research

National Ataxia Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Additional Eligibility Information: Application acceptance from U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens vary for each grant type. Please check the qualifications for each grant type for more information. Applications from for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, public or private institutions, and institutions both inside and outside the United States will be considered.

Grant Process

NAF utilizes proposalCENTRAL for grant applications.

1. Create a proposalCENTRAL account.

2. Submit a LOI that contains a full title and specific aims of your research proposal.

3. If your LOI is accepted, submit a full application through proposalCENTRAL.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. If a letter of support is required for a grant, can I provide two letters of support?

Yes, if you would like to provide additional letters of support, please upload to proposalCENTRAL during the application process. However, only one letter of recommendation is required.

2. I have previously been granted a Early Career Investigator Award, may I apply for another Early Career Investigator Award in this new funding cycle?

No, please check your eligibility for NAF’s other grant types and consider applying for a different NAF grant.

3. When applying for a Early Career Investigator Award, is there a time restriction for amount of years after obtaining my PhD in order to be eligible?

There is no time restriction regarding amount of years after obtaining a PhD. However, applicants must not be an Associate Professor or higher.

4. Are there any restrictions on how my awarded funds may be used?

Specific restrictions on use of funds vary between grant types. Please review the instructions associated with your particular grant application. No funds provided by National Ataxia Foundation may be used for indirect/F&A costs.

Funded Researchers

Lay Summaries

Want to check out research that we have funded in the past? Click a link from past years to a see a list of researchers and information about their studies.

NAF Science Showcase

In our Science Showcase webinar series, NAF-funded researchers will present their work and facilitate a discussion about their study. Fellow researchers, clinicians, and industry partners are welcome to participate in scientific discussions or ask questions after the presentation, gaining insights into advancements, methodologies, and findings that are shaping the landscape of Ataxia research.

Are you interested in presenting your NAF-funded research to an audience of fellow academics, clinicians, industry professionals, and our NAF community? Please email Aimee Alcott, Research Services Associate, at aimee@ataxia.org.

Requirements for NCE Consideration and Approval

If you are considering requesting a No-Cost Extension for your funded award, please review the below and reach out to Aimee Alcott, NAF Grants Manager, at aimee@ataxia.org for more information and next steps. 

  • A no-cost extension (NCE) allows a grantee to extend the project period end date and budget period by up to 12-months for the sole purpose of completing grant activities. NCE’s can only be requested by the lead PI or fellowship recipient in the original grant proposal.  
  • An NCE must be received at least 30 calendar days prior to the end of the original funding period.  
  • If an NCE request exceeds the 12-month period or if a grantee is requesting a second NCE, the grantee is required to schedule a meeting with NAF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Lauren Moore, prior to NCE consideration. You can schedule a meeting by emailing lauren@ataxia.org.  
  • NCE requests will not be approved for the sole purpose of using unobligated balances. NCE does not authorize additional spending on any new activities beyond the purposes consistent with the project proposal. 
  • A grantee cannot be the lead PI on any new NAF grant application during the period of an approved NCE.  
  • A grantee must complete their ResearchFish grant evaluation annually regardless of whether they have been approved for an NCE. If they fail to complete their ResearchFish annual evaluation, NCE approval may be rescinded.  

Recruit Research Participants

Research Study Promotion

We know that patient recruitment for research is important to the success of your work. NAF is here to help. 

We maintain an active list of Ataxia research opportunities for patients on our website. We ensure that studies listed on our site have undergone approval by esteemed Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), Research Ethics Boards (REBs), and/or Research Ethics Committees (RECs). In addition, NAF offers recruitment assistance via email and social media, including targeted recruitment efforts by location and Ataxia type. We can also work with you to develop and deliver an informational webinar on your research study.

If you would like to have your study listed on our website or request help with recruitment, download the Research Recruitment Application or email research@ataxia.org with your question.

Ataxia Patient Meeting

NAF hosts an annual patient conference each year which is attended by those affected by Ataxia and their caregivers/family members. Attendance is often over 500 individuals. Presentations by leading Ataxia researchers are given during the 2-day conference. Ataxia researchers are invited to participate in the exhibit area of the meeting to recruit patients for IRB approved research studies or share their research findings. 

If you are interested in recruiting patients at NAF’s Annual Ataxia Conference, please contact us at (763) 553-0020 or email research@ataxia.org.

Access Patient Registry

NAF partners with Sanford Research Coordination of Rare Dieseases (CoRDS) to maintain a registry of Ataxia patients. Access the registry to find potential participants for your research studies. 

Additional Resources

Ataxia Brain/Tissue Banking Program

NAF and the University of Florida’s Center for NeuroGenetics are working together to maintain a repository of brain and spinal cord tissue from Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) donors. This tissue is available to SCA researchers to help advance our understanding of these diseases. To learn what is available and how to request tissue, download our instruction sheet.

Clinical Research Consortium for the Study of Cerebellar Ataxia (CRC-SCA)

The Clinical Research Consortium for the Study of Cerebellar Ataxia (CRC-SCA) is on a mission to better understand the factors that determine disease progression among Cerebellar Ataxia with the goal of improving the understanding of disease process, current treatments, and development of disease-modifying therapies. CRC-SCA collects longitudinal data and biospecimens for research participants who have a confirmed diagnosis of SCA 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 or 10. Ataxia researchers can request data and biosamples.

International Ataxia Congress for Ataxia Research (ICAR)

ICAR is a collaborative research environment that promotes exchanges of ideas and knowledge to improve understanding of Ataxias and accelerate treatment development initiatives. This bi-annual conference is hosted by NAF, Ataxia UK, FARA and AGI. It is attended by hundreds of delegates from countries around the world. The event offers oral presentations, poster presentations and networking opportunities.

Ataxia Global Initiative (AGI)

The Ataxia Global Initiative (AGI) is a worldwide research platform that has the goal to facilitate the clinical development of therapies for ataxias. AGI´s activities are based on the principles of openness, transparency, flexibility and fairness.

Centralized Ataxia Genomics Core (CAGC) Website

The Centralized Ataxia Genomics Core (CAGC) is a freely accessible resource developed with support from the National Ataxia Foundation and hosted within the Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center based at the University of California, Los Angeles. This application is designed to facilitate connections within the ataxia research community related to shared interest in the same gene(s) and/or genetic variant(s). The goal of the CAGC is to improve collaboration to help solve undiagnosed Ataxia cases through a centralized ataxia-specific data repository of genomic data collected from both research and/or clinical sources.

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