2023 Grant Cycle Now Open!
The TSC Alliance is dedicated to finding a cure for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) while improving the lives of those affected. We invest in early-career researchers to drive innovative TSC research and to foster a diverse group of researchers dedicated to our shared mission. In 2023, we anticipate awarding three or four awards to postdoctoral fellows and early-stage investigators depending on merit, requested budgets, and funds available.
Download the 2023 Program Guidelines for a full summary of funding opportunities, eligibility criteria and instructions on how to apply.
The TSC Alliance’s program follows a two-step process. A Letter of Intent (LOI) is required and must be submitted by the due date below. LOIs will be peer-reviewed, and a subset of applicants submitting LOIs will be invited to submit full applications.
|Step in process||Due Date|
|LOI due||Monday, May 1|
|Full proposal invitations distributed||Week of June 5|
|Full proposal due (by invitation only)||Monday, August 7|
|Notification of award||Week of October 20|
Important changes implemented in recent cycles
- Efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion of traditionally underrepresented groups in TSC research (for example, see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity, although not all underrepresented populations listed by NIH may be underrepresented in TSC research)
- The TSC Alliance will work diligently to diversify applications by actively seeking and increasing applications from institutions and researchers underrepresented in TSC research.
- To measure our progress, applicants will be asked to voluntarily provide information on race, ethnicity, and gender via the Professional Profile in ProposalCentral. This information will be used internally by TSC Alliance and will not be shared with peer reviewers.
- Emphasis on mentorship and anticipated impact of receiving a Postdoctoral Fellowship on the applicant’s career plans
- Limitations on eligibility:
- Applicants for either a Postdoctoral Fellowship or a Research Grant must fit the NIH definition of an early-stage investigator.
- Postdoctoral Fellowship applicants must have been a member of the Sponsor’s laboratory for at least 12 months as of the Letter of Intent (LOI) due date.
- Previous recipients of a TSC Alliance Postdoctoral Fellowship are not eligible to receive a second TSC Alliance Postdoctoral Fellowship award but are eligible to receive a Research Grant as an independent, early-stage investigator.
Types of Grants
Wong Family Foundation Research Award
Thanks to generous support from the Wong Family Foundation, the TSC Alliance is proud to again offer a new funding opportunity as part of our regular research grant and postdoctoral fellowship cycle for 2023. This special two-year award will be designated to the most meritorious application focusing on epilepsy research. All epilepsy-focused Postdoctoral Fellowship and Research Grant candidates will automatically be considered for the Wong Family Foundation Research Award, so no additional information is required during the application process.
- Areas of emphasis for a project designated the Wong Family Foundation Research Award may include (but are not limited to):
- Basic research in mechanisms relating to intractability, e.g., multi-drug resistant epilepsy
- Model development (especially for infantile spasms or intractable epilepsy)
- New technologies related to epilepsy (imaging, electrophysiology, etc.)
- Postdoctoral Fellowship awards may support any type of basic or translational research relevant to TSC that provides an outstanding opportunity for the trainee’s professional growth.
- Postdoctoral Fellowship awards are intended to provide funding for an individual who has recently earned a PhD or MD degree and is working with a Sponsor to perform research relevant to TSC.
- The Sponsor must be tenure-track faculty or an equivalent level at a research institution or company. The award is intended to fund the applicant’s salary and some of the laboratory supplies or tools necessary to conduct the proposed research. The award is not intended to fund technical support for the project or to purchase equipment in the Sponsor’s laboratory. The trainee applicant is considered to be the “Principal Investigator” for the purpose of postdoctoral fellowship awards.
- Research Grant proposals should address one of the following four high-priority areas:
- Understanding phenotypic heterogeneity in TSC, i.e., research on genetic, biologic, or environmental factors that might explain why TSC is so different from person to person
- Gaining a deeper knowledge of TSC signaling pathways and the cellular consequences of TSC deficiency
- Improving TSC disease models, whether cell-based, tissue-based, or animal models
- Developing clinical biomarkers or patient-reported outcome measures for TSC, particularly those that assess disease burden or stratify an individual’s risk of progression or developing specific manifestations of TSC
- Research Grant awards are intended to provide funding for an independent researcher, whether tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty or staff, or an equivalent level at a research institution or company. The award may support laboratory supplies, personnel costs, services, or equipment necessary to conduct the proposed research.
- The TSC Alliance fully supports collaborative projects between co-investigators, but only one investigator may be considered the “Principal Investigator” for the purpose of applying through the online system.
Duration and Budget
- Typical duration is two years. Can be shorter if appropriate for the project.
- Maximum total costs of $75,000 per year ($150,000 total).
- Postdoctoral Fellowship proposals must include up to $1,500 for travel expenses to attend a relevant scientific meeting. This is optional but strongly encouraged for Research Grant proposals.
For research grants, including postdoctoral fellowships, the TSC Alliance allows no more than 10 percent of the total costs to be applied to indirect costs. As an example, a maximum of $15,000 indirect costs may be included within an award totaling $150,000.
The TSC Alliance does not pay indirect costs on contracts based on delivering a tangible or measurable work product. Examples of such contracts are those to enter data into the TSC Natural History Database or collection of blood or remnant surgical tissue for the TSC Biosample Repository.
This opportunity is open to all investigators at established academic or research institutions or at pharmaceutical or biotech companies worldwide. Researchers residing in the United States do not need to be U.S. citizens to apply for funding.
Open Science Policy
As a nonprofit funded through contributions from the TSC community and the public at large, we are committed to being good stewards of these funds. We support projects that will rapidly advance our understanding of TSC and the development of therapies for the disease. The TSC Alliance seeks to inspire discovery and innovation by improving access to scientific data and outputs including data, code, software, protocols, and materials. Improved dissemination will lead to more opportunities for TSC investigators to collaborate and for build upon the latest developments in research. In this regard, the TSC Alliance has adopted an Open Science Policy to ensure transparency of and broad access to TSC Alliance-funded research. Please click here to read the policy in its entirety.
Additional Grant Policies
- TSC Alliance Intellectual Property Policy
- TSC Alliance Human and Animal Use Policy
- TSC Alliance Policy on the Use of Human Fetal Tissue and/or Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Research
Keith Hall Research Grant Award
The Keith Hall Research Grant Award was established in memory of Keith Hall, an adult with TSC and a former TSC Alliance board chair and community leader. Keith participated extensively in several TSC Alliance volunteer capacities and was a “gentle giant” to so many people who knew him. Keith passed away July 23, 2017 after a battle with cancer and left an incredible legacy of caring for others and inspiring hundreds of children, teens and adults with TSC to embrace life and live it to the fullest, despite any challenges they may face. Keith’s major long-term concerns and goals included:
- Addressing the needs of adults with TSC
- Living with kidney involvement
- Increasing participation to the TSC Natural History Database
- Donating tissue for research
- Making involvement in clinical trials easy for anyone
- Investing in TSC research grants
Each year, the TSC Alliance Board of Directors designates one grant in an area of Keith’s interest as the Keith Hall Research Grant Award.
Current and Previous Grant Awards
Other TSC Funding Opportunities
Additional funding opportunities for TSC research may be available through the federal agencies and non-federal organizations listed below. The TSC Alliance also looks to collaborate with other organizations that have shared research priorities and are interested in partnering or co-funding opportunities.
If you would like to add your organization to the list below or are interested in the possibility of exploring co-funding opportunities, please contact Steve Roberds.
For Inquiries, Contact:
Manager, Translational Research