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.
BIAA’s research priorities for the 2024 competition are detailed below. These priorities relate to the chronic phase of brain injury. Proposals that only address acute injury processes do not address these priorities.
- Progressive Degenerative Processes. 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?
- Late Consequences of Childhood TBI. 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?
- Excess Mortality. 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?
- Chronic Health Condition Management. 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?
- Social Determinants of Health. 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?
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.
The Association is currently seeking funds to support grants awarded as part of future competitions. 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 Stephanie Cohen at (703) 761-0750, ext. 645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a gift to the Brain Injury Research Fund, click here.
May 15 – Submission Portal Open for Letters of Interest
July 1 – Last day to submit Letters of Interest
August 5 – Full Proposals Invited
September 16 – Invited Proposals Due
November 29 – Reviews Completed; Recommendations Submitted to BIAA Board for Approval
January 13 (2025) – Applicants Notified; Award Letters & Grant Agreements Sent
Click here to access the application portal.
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
Molly Fuentes, M.D., M.S., Seattle Children’s and University of Washington
Jasmeet Hayes, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Brent Masel, M.D., University of Texas Medical Branch
Christopher M. Olsen, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin
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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