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Families of SMA Releases a Request for Proposals on Research Projects for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

August 29. 2013.

Program Overview:   The deadline for submission is October 25, 2013.   Applications will be accepted for one or two years of funding for a total of $100,000 (including 8% overhead) over the duration of the award. Applications will be accepted from post-doctoral fellows for salary support.

Scientific Priorities:   Families of SMA would like to encourage applications on novel research that will enhance our understanding of SMA disease pathology at the molecular, cellular, and biochemical level; generate key reagents and tools to facilitate drug development and clinical trials; and identify new therapeutic strategies for SMA. 

We envision that studies funded by our Basic Research RFP will fall into one the following key areas, which are listed in random order:

1.  Studies focused on the molecular and biochemical mechanisms regulating SMN expression or mediating SMN function.  Results will lead to a better understanding of the requirements for SMN protein biologically, informing therapy development.  Such studies may also identify genetic modifiers, upstream regulators of SMN expression / splicing / function, and downstream effectors of SMN functional activity, resulting in novel drug targets.
2.  Studies resulting in greater understanding of the pathophysiology of SMA, using established animal models of the SMA.  This includes focus on the tissue requirements for SMN protein, clarifying the cellular autonomy of the disease in motor neurons and other cells, peripheral versus central manifestations of the disease, and other areas.
3.  Early proof-of concept assessment of novel therapeutic approaches for SMA in animal or cellular models of the disease.
4.  Work focused on generating research tools, such as new animal models for SMA, phenotypic cellular assays for SMA, biomarkers or outcome measures for clinical trials, newborn screening protocols, and others.

Application Process:  To apply for a basic research grant, down load our grant application forms below.  Please submit an electronic copy as well as 4 hard copies and the original to Families of SMA.  The electronic copy should be sent to jill@fsma.org - include the PI’s surname and Basic Research in the subject line.  Hard copies should be sent to:

Families of SMA
925 Busse Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Review Criteria:  All applications are reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), using a NIH-like scoring system based on both scientific quality and relevance to the Families of SMA research mission of accelerating the discovery of safe and effective treatments for SMA.

RFP Release Date:                              08/29/13
Proposal Due Date:                             10/25/13 (midnight ET)
Award Notification:                               01/31/14

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Jill Jarecki PhD, FSMA Research Director at jill@fsma.org


Grant Application forms
  • 2013 FSMA Grant Application


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