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Target Advancement Program

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Universities,
Nonprofits, and For-Profits for Research on Parkinson's Disease

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF)

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LOI Date:


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International university labs, for-profit companies, and nonprofit research institutions for research projects that will lead to new developments in treating Parkinson's disease. The funding source seeks to build robust evidence to rationalize biological pathways and targets for further translation into new Parkinson's treatments.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) funds research to better define, measure, and treat Parkinson’s disease as well as critical tools and other resources to advance that research. The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to fund target validation studies that leverage and translate basic research into new avenues for novel therapeutic development. We believe this will de-risk investments in therapeutic development, and accelerate the advancement of innovative therapies for PD patients.

The Target Advancement Program RFA seeks to build supporting evidence to rationalize biological targets and pathways for PD therapeutic development. Funding will support projects focused on validating novel targets and/or demonstrating links between existing targets and mechanisms believed to underlie PD neurodegeneration and/or dysfunction. Projects focused on validating novel targets relevant to motor and non-motor symptoms of PD may also be supported under this program. Priority will be given to proposals for novel targets that can already demonstrate a link to PD such as either a genetic association, an altered expression/function of the target in PD-relevant human tissue and/or clinical trial data implicating the target in PD. MJFF will prioritize applications utilizing experimental systems with high construct and predictive validity to human PD, such as patient-derived material and/or animal models utilizing clinically translatable endpoints.

Applications must focus on studies that achieve one or more of the following goals:
- Demonstrate altered expression, distribution or function of the target or its pathway in PD relevant human tissues and/or fluids.
- Provide evidence that modulation of the target or pathway specifically in vivo in whole mammalian PD models using genetic or pharmacological manipulations yields outcomes predictive of clinical efficacy.
- Elucidate target biology in human-relevant in vitro, cellular and in vivo models to understand physiological and pathological roles of the target as well as the potential for safety liabilities.
- Identify upstream or downstream signaling nodes of a validated target with therapeutic potential.
- Replicate or further validate published findings regarding a novel target.
- Develop an animal model or tool that can be used to further model or modulate PD-relevant targets.
- Demonstrate novel PD-relevant targets that could be translated into a biomarker (i.e., secreted or extracellularly expressed factors).
- Build clearer data validating the possible convergence of biological targets around established PD-relevant genetic and pathological pathways. Please note that MJFF has made significant investments in certain high-priority targets such as alpha-synuclein, LRRK2, GBA and Parkin/PINK1. Proposals to continue investigating in these areas will be considered against our existing portfolio.

Projects designed to assess emerging PD targets in pre-clinical models, human cellular models and human tissue and fluid matrices are eligible for this initiative. Applicants are encouraged to leverage existing resources if possible. Studies utilizing biosamples available through MJFF sponsored biospecimen collections (Access Data and Biospecimens program) or the Parkinson's Progressive Markers Initiative (PPMI) should not apply for funding through this initiative. Funding requests to support use of biosamples from these resources will be considered by the Foundation on a case-by-case basis.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 170931

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $150,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications may be submitted by researchers or clinicians in:
- U.S. and non-U.S. biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies, or other publicly or privately held for-profit entities; and
- U.S. and non-U.S. public and private non-profit entities, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments and eligible agencies of the federal government.
- Post-doctoral fellows are eligible to apply as co-investigators with the designation of an administrative primary investigator who directs the laboratory in which the fellow will conduct research. The administrative PI will be responsible for assisting in providing all institutional documents required for the project and will be required to sign any award contract. Training or mentoring-only proposals will not be considered.

The Foundation does not limit its funding to academic labs. Funding is provided to university labs, for-profit companies, and nonprofit research institutions.

Pre-proposal Conference:

MJFF will host an informational webinar on September 6, 2018 at 12 p.m. ET to clarify and explain the goals of the funding opportunities and answer applicant questions. The webinar will be available to view on-demand after the live airdate.

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

- Pre-Proposals Due: September 26, 2018 - 5 pm US ET
- Full Proposal Invitations: December 2018
- Full Proposals Due (by invite only): January 22, 2019 - 5 pm US ET
- Anticipated Award Announcement: April 2019
- Anticipated Funding: May 2019

Award Amount: Up to $150,000; 12-to 18-month grants
Requested support should be commensurate with work proposed. These budgets include direct and indirect costs. For academic and for-profit institutions, no more than 25% or 10%, respectively, may go to indirect costs.


Contact Information:

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

Click here to apply online:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Grand Central Station
P.O. Box 4777
New York, NY 10163-4777
Toll-free: 1-800-708-7644

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.