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Research Grant Program

Program Overview

The 2021 grant cycle is now open, and Barth Syndrome Foundation (BSF) and our International Affiliates welcome innovative applications that address the basic, translational, and clinical research challenges of Barth syndrome. Through this program, BSF seeks to provide seed grant funding to young and established investigators in order to generate the preliminary data required for successful follow-on funding available from major grant-making institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Applicants must be independent investigators (e.g. faculty appointment), postdoctoral fellows cannot apply. However, the American Heart Association & BSF Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship program is open and accepting applications (due Dec. 1st and Dec. 3rd, respectively). For questions, please email our AHA colleagues via 

Key Dates:

  • Letter of Interest (optional) - Due Wednesday, September 9, 2020
  • Full Applications - Due Monday, November 2, 2020
  • Grantees Announced and Earliest Award Start Date - March 2021

Application Types:

  • Idea, US $50,000 maximum Total Cost, 1-2 years in duration. Idea applications are well-suited for basic research/discovery science applications and have a lower threshold for the amount of preliminary data required compared to Development applications.
  • Development, US $100,000 maximum Total Cost, 2-3 years in duration. Development applications have a higher threshold of preliminary data and are ideally suited for proposals with clear implications for therapeutic development.

Key Considerations:

  • Young/non-tenured Investigators are allowed to budget up 75% of the total grant amount as PI salary.
  • For clinically-oriented research applications that involve research participant travel, these budget outlays will be handled separately and is excluded from the aforementioned budget maximums, as they are an expense that it not directly pertinent towards evaluating the scientific merit of an application.
  • Letters of Support from collaborators are encouraged components of Full Applications.
  • Total Cost is composed of Indirect and Direct Cost, with Indirect Cost limited to 10% of Direct Cost.
  • There are no geographical limitations to this funding program.

Application and Review Process

BSF administers a competitive grant process, with a peer review stage that involves two (2) members of the BSF Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB) and two (2) external reviewers with assay or topical experience relevant to the submitted application. More details of our program can be found in our Application Guidelines and Requirements document.

Letter of Interest (LOI) - The LOI is a one (1) page document that describes the applicant's research idea. This optional step is an opportunity for researchers seeking input and guidance from the BSF SMAB on the scope and relevance of their proposed work for the funding program. Submitted LOI will be returned in two weeks (September 23, 2020) alongside SMAB comments. This engagement is highly encouraged for first-time applicants and is intended to provide guidance on the suitability of the proposed research, however, will not be binding on any final funding decisions.

Full Application - Components of the Full Application include detailed information about the specific aims, significance, research strategy and methods, budget, as well as the personnel and facilities that would support a proposal.

Evaluation Criteria - All submitted applications will be scored on the basis of three (3) criteria:

  1. Importance and Impact - the extent to which the research outlined could make a significant contribution to the understanding of Barth syndrome or the treatment of the disorder.
  2. Feasibility - the qualifications of the investigator(s) to carry out the proposed work based on expertise, experience, and commitment; as well as the availability of all the elements required for the project (such as technology, reagents, and research participant engagement and recruitment).
  3. Prospect for Long-term Funding - the likelihood of subsequent NIH or other grant funding institution to support follow-on work.

Decision to Fund - Based on the final recommendations of the SMAB, the BSF Board of Directors will make the final decision of whether or not to fund submitted applications. 

Historical Funding

* BSF has modified its grant cycle dating convention to follow the year upon which research funds are disbursed. Previously, the Foundation referred to the year in which the application was submitted.

Contact Information

Erik Lontok, PhD
Director of Research
Barth Syndrome Foundation, Inc.

Grant Program Guidelines and Templates

Last updated 8/19/2020

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