The goal of the Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in MS Research is to stimulate innovation and advance knowledge that will aid in developing treatments and cures for progressive forms of MS.

The Foundation envisions the Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in MS Research as the centerpiece of its MS research funding. The goal of the award is to stimulate innovation and potentially paradigm-shifting research in progressive MS, which may otherwise go unfunded in times of declining funding for research.

Purpose

The Foundation believes that attracting and retaining the best and brightest young minds into academic research is vitally important to the future of MS research. In this cycle of funding, the Foundation wishes to encourage the work of investigators who are at early stages of their careers, recognizing that young investigators are a wellspring of new ideas and innovation and that funding at an early stage can make a critical difference to a young investigator’s career trajectory.

About Marilyn Hilton

A life well lived despite adversity can inspire good works that extend beyond a lifetime. So it was with the life of Marilyn Hilton, wife of Barron Hilton for almost 57 years, mother of their eight children, including Foundation Chairman Steven M. Hilton. She endured the disease for decades, yet she continued to radiate a positive spirit and never gave up. “Our family is intimately aware of the challenges facing a person living with severe MS,” says Steven Hilton. “When someone you love is afflicted with MS, it opens your heart to the suffering that others go through.”

BRIDGING GRANTS FOR PHYSICIAN SCIENTISTS

Recognizing the declining participation of physicians engaged in academic biomedical research and the critical need to support physician scientists conducting research on MS, the Foundation is launching a competition to provide bridging awards for physician scientists transitioning from late postdoctoral training to their first early faculty positions at academic health centers or equivalent institutions. Ultimately, the program’s goal is to help establish the research careers of junior-level physician-scientists working on MS.

Award Description:

Bridging Grants for Physician Scientists (BGPS) will provide $620,000 in support over five years to physician scientists (M.D. and D.O.) working on MS (who are committed to an academic career) to bridge postdoctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service. Proposals must focus on MS research. Depending on the availability of funds and the quality of applications, the Foundation anticipates making up to three awards as a result of this competition.

Competition Deadlines:

  • August 29, 2016: Request for Applications posted:
  • November 14, 2016: Applications Due
  • January 11, 2017: Finalists Selected
  • January – February 2017: Finalist Interviews
  • March 15, 2017: - Final Review Completed
  • Anticipated Award Announcement: June 1, 2017
  • Anticipated Grant Start Date: July 1, 2017

For further information on the Bridging Award, including information on eligibility, selection process, and application requirements, please download the Request for Applications (links under “Competition Deadlines”) above.

PILOT INNOVATOR GRANTS

Recognizing that the funding environment for investigators at the beginning of their careers continues to present challenges, the Foundation is launching a competition that will provide young investigators pilot grants to explore new lines of research. Goals of this program are:

  • To facilitate young investigators to explore innovative new research directions in MS with the potential of high impact;
  • To encourage young investigators from other disciplines to apply their expertise to MS;
  • To foster new collaborations amongst young investigators aimed at addressing critical problems relating to MS; and
  • To provide young investigators with the support needed to collect the preliminary data required to obtain additional multi-year research funding for their projects.

The Foundation has a particular interest in progressive MS, both Primary Progressive MS and Secondary Progressive MS. The Foundation is interested in exploring mechanisms behind disease progression, finding biomarkers for progression, and potential new therapeutic targets. While the Foundation is not strictly limiting the scope of these awards to research into progressive MS, proposals chosen to advance will likely reflect this interest.

Award Description:

Dependent on the availability of funds and quality of pre-proposals received, the Foundation expects to make up to 10 pilot innovator grants. Each grant will range from $60,000 - $120,000 over a one or two-year term (dependent on the number of collaborators and proposal). The funding level will depend on the scope of the proposed project and budget justification. However, projects involving two co-PIs are more likely to be funded at the maximum level than projects involving one principal investigator. Funds to purchase major items of equipment are discouraged for this program, as are requests for travel funds. All animal and human subject protocols must receive the required institutional approvals prior to the release of grant funds.

Competition Deadlines

  • August 29, 2016: Request for Applications posted:
  • November 14, 2016: Applications Due
  • January 13 2016: Finalists Selected
  • January 20, 2017: - Finalists Invited to Submit Full Applications
  • February 20, 2017: Full Applications Due
  • April 7, 2017: Final Review Completed
  • Anticipated Award Announcement: June 1, 2017
  • Anticipated Grant Start Date: July 1, 2017

For further information on the Pilot Award, including information on eligibility, selection process, and application requirements, please download the Request for Applications (links under “Competition Deadlines”) above.

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