NHF Research

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The National Headache Foundation supports research in the field of headache and pain as part of our mission, which also includes offering education and information to headache sufferers. The NHF has provided more than $1.9 million in 213 research grants to physicians and scientists working in the field of headache medicine. These research studies have resulted in more than $10 million of subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health. The list below consists of research projects supported by the NHF through our grants program.


Rolling Call for Research Proposals

The Foundation intends to award one or more research grants in its 2019 funding cycle to the best proposal(s) submitted during one of the allotted time periods of our rolling/continuous RFP. In previous years the NHF would have one RFP per year, with a strict deadline. Having a single RFP deadline is no longer an ideal construct for our award process. Hence, we are implementing a new rolling process, wherein we invite research proposals throughout the year and review them quarterly. When the funding has been fully allocated, the opportunity for further proposal submission will be closed until the next year’s funding is made available. It is hoped that this will encourage and allow more high-quality proposals to be submitted and shorten the time required to resubmit a reviewed and improved proposal where applicable.

Experienced researchers and research organizations are encouraged to apply for an award by describing a worthy project in 12 type-written pages or less, including a description of the project, methods, statistical plan, key personnel to be involved, and a proposed budget detailing how the funds will be used to complete said project in a timely fashion. Brief letters of support from collaborators and biosketches of key personnel will be accepted as supplemental documents to the proposal. In past years, the NHF has awarded grants of up to $100,000 including the 2018 funding cycle. At this time we are pleased to announce that the foundation intends to award a total of $200,000 for the 2019 cycle. The actual number and amounts of awards granted will all be at the discretion of the research steering committee whose decisions are final. Pre-proposal contacts to discuss the NHF’s vision and research priorities are welcome via email to Dr. Timothy R. Smith, research steering committee chair, at [email protected]

Preference will be given to proposals for projects which:

  • Could be completed in one year or less
  • Propose research which is patient centric an includes patient input into design
  • Emphasizes and leads to results which could have real world application for headache sufferers in the near-term
  • Have potential or plans for supplemental, matching, sustainable, or in-kind funding sources
  • Provide answers or solutions to real-world problems dealing with access to care, implementation of innovations in headache management, or develop new ways of understanding the plight of those who suffer from severe headache disorders
  • Are of sufficient rigor and quality to be worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal

Decision regarding the award will be made by the NHF Research Steering Committee after review of all proposals by its members at quarterly proposal review meetings. Proposals received by the last day of each quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31) will be reviewed and decisions announced before the last day of the subsequent quarter. The awards will be determined by majority vote of the committee members and the decision will be final. Should the proposals received not meet approval of the committee, the funding will be carried over to the next quarter continually. Once all funds for the current year are committed/awarded, further submissions will be queued until the next year’s funding is announced and made available. In accordance with the above plan, there will be two more proposal submission cut-off dates in 2019, September 30 and December 31.

Inquiries, questions, or comments should be submitted by email to the Research Committee Chair, Dr. Timothy R. Smith @ [email protected] Otherwise proposals received in complete form as described above by 5 pm (CST) on the final day of each quarter will be considered for awards as long as funding remains available.

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