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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.

Pilot research grants

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.

RfA: Pilot Research Award on the effects of aging on MS

Download the complete RFA here

The Society is pleased to announce a new Pilot Research Award to study the effects of aging on multiple sclerosis (MS). The goal of this RfA is to advance the understanding of how aging contributes to the pathogenesis and natural history of MS progression and to use this knowledge to reveal potential targets and develop strategies that slow down or stop disability progression.

This request for applications (RfA) is being supported by a collaboration with EMD Serono, through its MS-Leadership and Innovation Network (MS-LINKTM.)MS-LINKTM is an initiative that brings together a community of multiple sclerosis (MS) stakeholders, including industry, academia and advocacy groups, to form a top-tier scientific research network for sustainable transformation of MS care, with the shared goal of improving patient outcomes.

Deadline: Please see pilot deadlines below

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 (

Upcoming Deadlines: New applications are reviewed three times each year.
-Jan 8, 2020 (pre-application is due January 6)
-May 6, 2020 (pre-application is due May 4)
-September 16, 2020 (pre-application is due September 14) For more information, please contact:
Fiona Brabazon, PhD


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