The National MS Society has developed a strategic roadmap -- the Strategic Response: 2011-2015 -- that strives to be a response to the brutal facts of living with MS and identifies what must be done to achieve a world free of MS. Through this response we strive to be a driving force of MS research and treatment to stop disease progression, restore function, and end MS forever. The five research objectives outlined in the Strategic Response were developed through recommendations from our Research Programs Advisory Committee and other stakeholders in the community including researchers, physicians, and people with MS. These objectives are:
We better understand the mechanisms that lead to disease progression and we accelerate the development of new therapies.
We pursue new avenues to discover how nerve cells are damaged and potentially repaired.
We pursue new rehabilitation techniques and symptomatic treatments to restore neurological function and enhance quality of life.
We identify risk and triggering factors that cause MS, and understand the biological interactions that lead to its development so that MS can be prevented.
We expand and strengthen the quantity and quality of MS research worldwide to accelerate new discoveries and treatments for people with MS.
Going forward, we will be announcing program priorities, RFAs and other funding mechanisms to help us achieve these objectives. Some areas of interest include:
Immunologic basis of MS
CNS repair and neuroprotection
Biology of glia/myelin
Genetics and gender differences
Understanding and preventing disease progression
Infectious triggers and risk factors
Cognitive and psychosocial issues
Patient management, care and rehabilitation
Pathology of MS
Health care delivery and policy
Measures of disease activity, imaging, surrogate and biomarkers
The Society also emphasizes industry partnerships by providing milestone-driven drug development funding to private companies. Read more about our Fast Forward initiative.
Multi-year investigations by university-based scientists and clinicians for basic, clinical and rehabilitation research Deadlines: February 6, August 7
Funding for one year to test innovative, cutting-edge ideas or untested methods and gather sufficient preliminary data to apply for longer-term funding Deadline: Pilot applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. January 9, April 3, July 3, October 2
Training Grants and Fellowships
To attract and train promising young investigators and doctors and help more established investigators learn new techniques, we offer the following research training programs. For training related to patient care, refer to clinical training opportunities.)
Research projects from 1-3 years by investigators working under the mentorship of senior scientists Deadline: August 15
Career Transition Fellowships
Awards up to 5 years to facilitate the advancement of promising young fellows into full faculty positions Deadline: Preliminary applications April 17, full applications August 15
Summary and overview of the National MS Society’s guidelines on award administration and policies governing research awards, including the Society’s patent, intellectual property and technology transfer policies, our standards on scientific misconduct, and deadlines.