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Dissertation Grants

BIAA recognizes outstanding doctoral dissertations that contribute to our understanding of chronic brain injury and its causes, consequences and methods of mitigation.

BIAA recognizes outstanding doctoral dissertations that contribute to our understanding of chronic brain injury and its causes, consequences and methods of mitigation. See full statement of priorities on the Overview page. Nominated dissertations may use quantitative or qualitative analytic methods and may be based on original data collection or secondary data analysis.

For the 2023 competition, BIAA is emphasizing its interest in both animal and human projects and that secondary data analysis is welcome.


A dissertation grant may be awarded to an individual or to his/her institution. If the grant is made payable to the individual, a W-9 form is required and the individual is responsible for applicable income taxes. Only U.S. citizens are eligible.

Grant Amount

Dissertation grants provide up to $5,000 total for up to two years. Two awards may be made annually. Grants are issued to the applicant or his/her institution. The allowable indirect cost rate is limited to 10 percent. The total amount funded with direct and indirect costs combined shall not exceed $5,000.

Evaluation Criteria

Letters of Interest will be evaluated based on the proposed project’s relevance to BIAA’s research priorities. If invited, proposals will be evaluated using the National Institutes for Health (NIH) Criteria for Non-Clinical Trials.

Application Requirements

BIAA uses cloud-based grants management software for all aspects of the application process, including materials submission, reviews, and communication with applicants. There is a 2-stage process for Dissertation Grant applications:

Stage 1. Letter of Interest

Applicants submit contact information and upload a Letter of Interest not to exceed 2 single-spaced pages (not including references) in PDF format. Letters of Interest should include a concise description of research ambitions that explains how the proposal addresses BIAA priorities. In addition, Dissertation Grant applicants must submit contact information, CV,  and a letter of recommendation from their dissertation advisors.

Letters of Interest are reviewed to determine if the applicant should be invited to submit a full proposal.

Stage 2. Full Proposal

Invited applicants upload a proposal that describes the problem, how it relates to BIAA’s priorities, scientific method, key personnel, and the environment where the research will be conducted.

Dissertation grant applicants are required to submit the following information through the online portal:

  • Candidate contact information and CV
  • Dissertation title and abstract
  • Complete dissertation proposal
  • Contact information and CV for dissertation supervisor/advisor
  • A recommendation letter written by the student’s advisor supporting the application and confirming that the applicant is a doctoral candidate in good standing.

Application Format for Invited Proposals

Maximum length of narrative is 6 pages, not including references, biosketch(s), budget and letters of support from advisors or mentors. Biosketches or CVs should be limited to a maximum of 5 pages. Proposals must follow these guidelines for page restrictions:

  • Font size: Must be 11 points or larger. Smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams and charts is acceptable, as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%.
  • Type density: Must be no more than 15 characters per linear inch (including characters and spaces).
  • Line spacing: Must be no more than six lines per vertical inch.
  • Text color: No restriction.
  • Use paper size no larger than standard letter paper size (8 ½” x 11”).
  • Provide at least one-half inch margins (½”) – top, bottom, left, and right – for all pages. No applicant-supplied information can appear in the margins.


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 (2024) – Applicants Notified; Award Letters & Grant Agreements Sent

Reporting Requirements

Grantees are required to submit interim reports every six months comparing actual progress to the proposed work plan and a plan of action to correct significant deficiencies, if any exist. A final report is due at the completion of the study.

Publications resulting in whole or part from a BIAA Dissertation Grant must acknowledge the Association and special donor fund if applicable. For example: “This research was supported in part by the Brain Injury Association of America/Smith Family Fund.”

Questions & Answers

BIAA is unable to answer individual inquiries concerning its dissertation award program. Interested candidates may submit questions through the online portal. As appropriate, responses will appear here.

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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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