Skip to navigation Skip to content

Request For Applications


RFA: Accelerating Functional Recovery of Multiple Sclerosis

The National MS Society is pleased to announce the release of a new Request for Applications focusing on Accelerating Functional Recovery intended to support research that advances our Pathways to Cures Roadmap. 

This RFA is open to not-for-profit academic research institutions worldwide. Collaborations with commercial organizations are allowed.
Purpose of this RFA
This concept supports innovative and collaborative studies that accelerate the acquisition of mechanistic knowledge and application of this knowledge to improve functional recovery for people with MS. This will be accomplished through a multi-year research grant-style mechanism, offering up to 3 years of funding for up to $660,000 (direct costs).
The focus of this initiative is two-fold:
  • Addressing mechanistic knowledge gaps to enhance function in MS
  • Developing novel non-pharmacological and/or combination approaches that draw on our knowledge of remyelination, neural protection, and plasticity 
Areas of specific interest may include but are not limited to:
  • Mechanistic study of remyelination and/or neural repair associated with rehabilitation and other non-pharmacological approaches to restore function
  • Collaborative approaches that combine mechanistic studies with rehabilitation methods and other non-pharmacological strategies
  • Clinical studies can be complemented by pre-clinical animal work
  • Interaction among and between demographic features (e.g., age, race, ethnicity) and common MS symptoms such as fatigue, depression, pain, cognition, and walking
  • Identification of timing, dosing, setting, and specificity of exercise to restore function
  • Evaluation of outcomes (e.g., behavioral, physiologic, imaging) that show evidence to detect a meaningful change in function
  • Synergistic studies of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies
  • Use of technology for enhancing treatment effectiveness and for understanding the mechanisms of treatment effects
  • Identification of biomarkers and tools that establish direct relationships between physiologic findings and meaningful recovery of function 
Areas NOT supported by this RFA include:
  • Testing of pharmacologic treatments alone or in combination with other pharmacologic treatments
  • Mechanistic studies that do not focus on functional recovery
Funding: Up to $660,000 USD direct costs for up to three years of support will be provided and must be justified based on the scientific work plan Eligibility
Applicants should possess an M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent and be considered eligible by their institution to apply for grant support. Postdoctoral fellows, residents and other trainees are not eligible to apply.

A brief pre-application is required to determine if a proposal is aligned with the objectives of the RFA. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with Society scientific staff prior to submitting a proposal (see contact information below). Upon review of pre-applications by staff, applicants proposing work that is aligned with the RFA objectives will be invited to submit full applications.

Town Hall Q & A Webinar
Recording Available of a Town Hall webinar during which Society research staff described the intent of the RFA and answered questions.  NEW Deadlines:
  • Pre-application Deadline: 5:00 pm Eastern Time, February 1, 2023
  • Full application Deadline: 5:00 pm Eastern Time, February 8, 2023
Applicants are encouraged to contact research staff for more information about this RFA:

Kathy M. Zackowski, PhD, OTR

Anna T. Lampe, PhD


© 2023 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.