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Foundation Highlighted Funding Opportunities | October 2023

BrightFocus Foundation: Glaucoma Research Grants

Grant Amount: Up to $200,000, $150,000
Deadline: October 31, 2023

Additional Information -
The BrightFocus Foundation invites applications for its National Glaucoma Research Grant, which awards grants for pioneering research leading to greater understanding, prevention, and treatment of glaucoma. Through the program, two grant opportunities are available:  

Standard Awards: Grants of up to $200,000 over two years will be awarded to researchers who have already generated some preliminary data but are often required to demonstrate additional, significant progress before applying to governmental or industrial funding agencies.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards: Grants of up to $150,000 over two years will be awarded to young researchers in their final stages of mentored training. These awards fund projects in an established laboratory that will be the basis for the applicant's independent research career.

Please contact Gwen Allouch ( if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.

McKnight Foundation: Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Awards

Grant Amount: $300,000
Deadline: Letter of Intent due November 6, 2023

Additional Information -
The McKnight Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Award (NBD Award) assists scientists working to apply the knowledge achieved through basic research to human brain disorders, and who demonstrate a commitment to equitable and inclusive lab environments.

The Foundation is interested in proposals that address the biological mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders. This includes proposals that provide mechanistic insights into neurological functions at the synaptic, cellular, molecular, genetic or behavioral level across different species, including humans and vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. A new additional area of interest is the contribution of the environment to brain disorders, particularly, proposals that incorporate new approaches and those that provide potential paths for therapeutic interventions. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary applications are encouraged.

New Focus: Environmental Contributions to Brain Disorders
Early-life environmental stress is a powerful disposing factor for later neurological and psychiatric disorders. Studies show communities of color are at higher risk for these stressors, which range from environmental (e.g. climate, nutrition, exposure to chemicals, pollution) to social (e.g. family, education, housing, poverty). From a clinical perspective, understanding how environmental factors contribute to brain disease is essential for developing effective therapies.

As 2023 is the first year of this new additional focus, the foundation welcomes inquiries about the relevance of a particular research proposal to this focus.

Please contact Lynn Wong ( if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Health Policy Fellows Program

Grant Amount: Up to $175,000
Deadline: Preliminary applications due November 1, 2023

Additional Information -
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invites applications for its Health Policy Fellows program, which supports RWJF’s vision for building a Culture of Health by creating a strong and diverse leadership in health policy committed to advancing health and health equity.

Fellows will meet with national leaders well-versed in health, healthcare policy, health equity, social determinants of health, and structural racism; think tanks and interest groups; key executive branch officials; and members of Congress and their staffs. A concentrated orientation prepares the fellows for immediate success in federal legislative and executive branch positions. The program seeks outstanding mid-career health professionals, behavioral and social scientists, and others interested in health and the drivers of health who are skilled and committed, with expertise in health and health equity, and can offer an informed perspective on important and complex challenges facing policymakers. Fellows actively participate in the policy process in congressional or executive branch offices of their choosing and leverage this leadership experience to promote policies, practices, and systems changes that advance health and health equity. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) conducts and administers the fellowship, with funding support from RWJF.

The fellowship requires a full-time commitment starting in September with a minimum 12-month residence in Washington, D.C. Up to eight awards of up to $175,000 each will be made for fellowships that begin in 2024. For Track 1 fellows, an amount to cover fringe benefits at the sponsoring institution. Track 2 fellows may use the award to continue health coverage through COBRA or cover the sponsor portion of a health insurance plan provided to fellows by the NPO.

Eligible applicants include exceptional mid-career professionals from academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, or government (including military; federal departments and agencies, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs; U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; and state offices who are not considered government officials under Section 4946 of the Internal Revenue Code).

Applicants must have earned an advanced degree (master's or doctoral degree). In addition, applicants must have deep experience and subject matter expertise in a health-related discipline. Examples include but are not limited to medicine, nursing, public health, law, dentistry, economics, and other social sciences (especially disciplines related to factors that influence population health, such as housing, transportation, nutrition, wealth, employment, education, and environmental and community conditions), health services and social work/behavioral health, and other health professions. Individual candidates for receipt of award funds must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of application.

Please contact Sara Salmon ( if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.