The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that nominations are now open for the Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research.

(LOS ANGELES) August 29, 2016– The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that nominations are now open for the Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research. The goal of the award is to stimulate innovative and potentially paradigm-shifting research on progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which may otherwise go unfunded in times of fiscal restraint. The Foundation expects to commit up to $4 million in grant funding to be distributed over a five‐year period, with the intention of supporting the careers of young investigators.

More than 400,000 people in the United States have MS, the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults. However, very little is known about the disease, and very little can be done to stop it from causing neurological damage that leads to disability. No treatments currently exist that work on slowing disability for those who have Primary Progressive MS and Secondary Progressive MS.

The Foundation has become increasingly cognizant of the difficult funding environment that faces young scientists wishing to enter into research. Recognizing that young scientists are vital to the continuation of quality research into MS, the Foundation has created these two grant competitions to provide funding at what we believe is often the most critical time of a scientist’s career.

The award is named in honor of Marilyn Hilton, who endured the disease for decades yet continued to radiate a positive spirit and demonstrate resolve. Steven M. Hilton, her son and Foundation chairman, recollects his mother’s philosophy: “You don’t look back at what might have been. You accept what life has presented and make the best of what you have.”
Peter Laugharn, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation added: “MS has touched the lives of the Hilton family at a very personal level, so we feel it’s important to reach out and help others that are going through a similar struggle. Those with MS and those who love them will benefit from this innovative research.”

For this funding cycle, the Foundation will accept proposals for two different competitions. Bridging Grants for Physician Scientists will provide support as young investigators transition from their post-doctoral careers to their first early faculty positions. Pilot Innovator Grants will provide young investigators short-term grants to explore new lines of research. Please see individual competition guidelines for instructions on individuals and institutions eligible to apply for award funding.

For more information about the award and the request for proposal, please visit our Marilyn Hilton Award Page. For more information about the Hilton Foundation’s MS program, visit our website or contact Elizabeth Cheung.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2015, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to Landesa, a Seattle-based land rights organization. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants, distributing $107 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit