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Research Grants Program

The Brain Injury Association of America established its research grant program in 2019 with an overall goal of finding cures for brain injury.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) established its research grant program in 2019 with a generous bequest from the estate of Linda Redmann and an allocation from the Association’s reserves. Donations from the public supplement the fund and allow the research program to continue to grow. The theme of BIAA’s grant program and its overall goal is “Finding Cures for Chronic Brain Injury.” As concluded at the 2012 Galveston Brain Injury Conference, injury to the brain can evolve into a lifelong health condition that impairs the brain and other organ systems and may persist or progress over an individual’s life span. Little is known about the nature, extent and mechanisms that allow an earlier brain injury to affect later health and functioning. Also as concluded at the Galveston Brain Injury Conference, chronic brain injury must be identified and proactively managed as a lifelong condition to improve health, independent function and participation in society.

Priorities

BIAA’s research priorities for the 2021 competition are as follows:

  1. Chronic brain injury (CBI) can cause neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and possibly Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Typically, there is a marked delay from injury to disease onset. What neurological processes are triggered by brain injury that cause these chronic, progressive diseases and how can the progression from injury to neurological disease be halted?
  2. Childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI), even when mild, is associated with adult problems of behavioral regulation, (i.e., addiction, criminal behavior, socially inappropriate behavior). Is this relationship causal or does TBI mediate other bio/psycho/social processes? What factors create the risk of adult consequences from childhood TBI and how can that risk be diminished?
  3. Moderate and severe TBI reduces life expectancy by nine years. Even after living to one-year post injury, persons with this severity of injury are 50% more likely to die than age-, sex- and race/ethnicity-matched members of the general population. Causes of death involve all organ systems, not just those associated with behavioral or neurological pathology. What biological processes are responsible for this excess mortality and how can these relationships be ameliorated?
  4. Brain injury is recognized as a chronic health condition that, for some, requires proactive medical management. More research is required to inform evidence-based disease management protocols, including studies addressing these questions:

    Which brain injuries increase risk for negative outcomes?
    What pre-existing conditions require management?
    What conditions develop post injury that could be prevented or detected early?
    How can the individual participate in their self-management?
    How can access to medical and rehabilitation care be used to reduce negative outcomes?
    How can community-based resources be accessed to improve function and reduce institutionalization?

  5. Disability is a product of both impairments in brain function and environmental factors that create barriers to health and independence. What community characteristics exacerbate or minimize the manifestation of impairments due to brain injury? How do social determinants of health affect brain injury outcomes? What community interventions are effective in ameliorating the influence of environmental factors on brain injury outcomes?

Available Funding

The Association offers two types of funding: Dissertation Grants, funded up to $5,000, and Seed Grants, funded up to $25,000. There are two categories of seed grants: Young Investigator Grants that support the preparation of new investigations and Brain Injury Scholar Grants that support testing new hypotheses or using existing data to ask new questions. Please click on the appropriate tab above for detailed information.

During the 2020 award year, gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations, and community-based special fundraising events helped grow the program. BIAA wishes to recognize Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, and Dr. Lance and Laura Trexler of Indianapolis for making commitments to fund a seed grant and dissertation grant, respectively.

The Association is currently seeking funds to support grants awarded as part of the 2021 competition. Donors have the opportunity to support an award in memory or honor of a loved one or to recognize an important milestone. For more information, contact Robbie Baker at (703) 761-0750, ext. 648 or rbaker@biausa.org. To make a gift to the Brain Injury Research Fund, click here.


Funding Calendar

May 17 – Submission Portal Open for Letters of Interest
June 30 – Last day to submit Letters of Interest
August 2 – Full Proposals Invited
September 15 – Invited Proposals Due
November 30 – Reviews Completed; Recommendations Submitted to BIAA Board for Approval
January 10 (2022) – Applicants Notified; Award Letters & Grant Agreements Sent

Click here to access the application portal.


Review Process

The BIAA Research Committee oversees the review process using National Institutes of Health review criteria. Subject matter expertise is drawn from leading researchers in the field, including members of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation Editorial Board. The Research Committee recommendations are submitted to the BIAA Board of Directors for final approval.

The Brain Injury Association of America does not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic origin, or age.


Research Committee Members

John Corrigan, Ph.D., Ohio State University (Chair)
Lisa Brenner, Ph.D., VA/Rocky Mountain MIRECC, University of Colorado
Susan Connors, Brain Injury Association of America 
Wayne Gordon, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai
Jasmeet Hayes, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Brent Masel, M.D., University of Texas Medical Branch 
Stacy Suskauer, M.D., Kennedy Kreiger Institute, Johns Hopkins University
Michael Whalen, M.D., Harvard/Mass General
Zachary Weil, Ph.D., West Virginia University


Grantees agree to cooperate with BIAA in promoting the Association’s research grant program as described in the notice of award.

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For many people, brain injury evolves into a chronic health condition that can cause or accelerate multiple diseases. Through BIAA's Redmann Research Program, we are determined to find a cure for brain injury.

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Meet Allison, BIAA donor. Picture of Allison wearing BIAA t-shirt and holding a brain injury awareness pin. Allison donates because she wants to support brain injury services.

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