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Pilot Research Grants


October 1, 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenging fundraising environment and we are anticipating significant shortfalls in our revenue. Society leadership has developed a contingency plan to address this shortfall, and some of those decisions will affect how we fund research going forward.

We have accepted applications for research fellowship and early career funding opportunities as part of our commitment to support the research workforce pipeline. The deadline was in August 2020.

While we will continue to fund our existing grant and fellowship commitments, we will not be offering new or revised/renewal Research Grant or Pilot grant funding opportunities for the foreseeable future.
We are committed to funding priority research and are in the process of developing new approaches to funding MS research that we will communicate at a later date. Please keep your eyes open for additional communication, including an invitation to join a town hall where we will share our new vision for funding research.

Pilot research grants

The Society funds high-risk pilot grants to researchers who have completed their postdoctoral training to quickly test novel ideas. Funding is provided for one year to test innovative, cutting-edge ideas or untested methods, and to gather sufficient preliminary data to apply for longer-term funding. We welcome proposals for research relevant to our Research Priorities.

Researchers who have completed their post-doctoral training, and who are considered eligible by their institutions to apply for a research grant, are invited to apply. Individuals who are currently postdoctoral fellows or the equivalent, or who are graduate/medical students or residents, are not eligible for support under this program. Applicants are not eligible to apply if they have an existing National MS Society pilot research award that expires later than the application deadline.

In order to submit a proposal for research support, investigators must first register with our Apply Online site ( and complete a pre-application. Staff will review the pre-application to determine whether the research plan is appropriate and relevant to our goals. All pilot applications must be submitted through the online application site (

For more information, please contact:
Fiona Brabazon, PhD


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