Parkinson's Disease Foundation Opens $2.7 Million In Research Funding To Solve, Treat And End Parkinson's

Published: Nov 01, 2016

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®), a division of the Parkinson's Foundation, seeks research proposals for emerging ideas to help solve, treat and end the disease.  PDF investments of $2.7 million are part of its comprehensive strategy to mobilize the pursuit of all possible paths to a cure.  Scientists can apply by visiting

Parkinson's Disease Foundation logo. (PRNewsFoto/Parkinson's Disease Foundation)

"Over the past 10 years, scientific progress in Parkinson's may have been difficult to see, as only a handful of new drugs were approved.  But behind the scenes, thanks to PDF's commitment to basic science, we have more potential drug targets than we had 10 years ago.  Some of them may one day slow or stop the disease in its tracks," said James Beck, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific Affairs, PDF.  "To get there, we need to pick up the pace to mobilize researchers to pursue every promising idea to improve lives and end the disease forever."

It is estimated that the number of people living with Parkinson's will double by 2030.  While research is promising, no therapy has been proven to slow or stop the disease.  To meet the needs of its growing community, PDF grant opportunities reflect a continued commitment to basic science to keep the therapy pipeline full and identify possible cures, and increased investments for cutting-edge clinical research to solve unmet needs in Parkinson's disease.

"For people like me who live with Parkinson's, every day matters," said Ron Wincek, Ed.S., a PDF Research Advocate of Atlanta, GA. "In working alongside PDF and its expert scientists, I learned that it matters to them too.  I am hopeful that together, we can end this disease."

PDF grant opportunities are listed below. These include opportunities for basic and clinical scientists and multidisciplinary teams, including those with expertise in the field and those who bring fresh perspectives to PDF's goal of ending Parkinson's.

Career Development Awards

PDF Fellowships

  • Postdoctoral Fellowships for Basic Scientists: awards of $100,000 available (over two years) for early-career scientists, within five years of their Ph.D. training, to study promising ideas in Parkinson's disease at major research institutions.  Letter of intent due Sunday, November 27, 2016.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships for Clinical Neurologists: awards of $120,000 available (over two years) for young clinicians who have completed their neurology residency within the past three years, to pursue clinical research projects in Parkinson's disease.  Letter of intent due Sunday, November 27, 2016.

Advancing Parkinson's Therapies Grants

  • Conference Awards: awards of $10,000 to $15,000 available to independent investigators looking to explore unsolved clinical or basic science problems in Parkinson's disease through collaborative conferences with research, health and patient leaders, in and outside of the Parkinson's disease field.  Applications are rolling and are accepted year-round.
  • PAIR Leadership Awards: awards of $5,000 to $10,000 available to support teams of scientists and patient advocates (people with Parkinson's and care partners) who are leading the field in developing collaborative models for conducting Parkinson's disease research. Applications are accepted year-round.
  • Translational Research Grants (an extension of the Community Choice Research Awards Program):$500,000 available (capped at $100,000 per award) for clinical, pre-clinical or basic research proposals that will directly impact our understanding of four target symptomatic areas in Parkinson's cognitive change, dystonia, fatigue and gastrointestinal dysfunction. Applications closed. Reviews ongoing.

Collaborative Fellowships

  • PDF-PSG Mentored Clinical Research Award: award of $50,000 available (for one year) for one investigator with potential to become an independent investigator to conduct a project in patient-oriented research in Parkinson's under the mentorship of an experienced investigator in the field.  Applications due Friday, January 6, 2017.  Offered in collaboration with the Parkinson Study Group (PSG).
  • PDF-HHMI Medical Fellows Initiative: award of $43,000 available (for one year) for one medical student to immerse him or herself in full-time basic, translational or applied biomedical Parkinson's disease research under the mentorship of an experienced investigator in the field.  Offered in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).  Applications due Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
  • PDF-APDA Summer Student Fellowships: awards of $4,000 available (for 10 weeks) for advanced undergraduates and medical students to pursue Parkinson's-related research projects and gain the tools they need to transition into future leaders.  Each awardee is eligible to apply for up to $1,000 for travel to present their Parkinson's project data at a related conference.  Jointly sponsored with the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA). Applications due Monday, January 23, 2017.
  • PDF-AAN/ABF Fellowship: award of $130,000 available (for two years) for one investigator who has completed a residency or a postdoctoral fellowship to train as a clinician-scientist in the field of Parkinson's under the mentorship of an experienced investigator in the field.  Offered in collaboration with the American Brain Foundation, a foundation of the American Academy of Neurology.  Applications closed.  Reviews ongoing.

Grant applications are peer-reviewed by leading clinical and basic scientists in Parkinson's and, in line with PDF's commitment to patient engagement in research, by people who are living with Parkinson's.  For more information on these grant opportunities, contact PDF at (212) 923-4700 or or visit

About Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US and over 10 million worldwide.  Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th leading cause of death in the US.  It is associated with a loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression) as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety).  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

About Research Leadership at PDF
As part of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) strategy to end Parkinson's, PDF mobilizes leaders in the research community to help us more quickly solve, treat and end the disease.  To date, PDF has invested $115 million in Parkinson's research, which has advanced our understanding of the disease, improved millions of lives worldwide and paved the way for a strong therapeutic pipeline that is likely to meet the needs of the community.  PDF investments play an integral role in driving interdisciplinary research, advancing the careers of next-generation research leaders, shaping patient-centric research and disseminating scientific information throughout the research, health and patient communities, via our journal dedicated to understanding Parkinson's disease, npj Parkinson's Disease.  PDF research investments are listed on the PDF website at

About the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, a division of the Parkinson's Foundation
The Parkinson's Foundation is working toward a world without Parkinson's disease.  Formed by the merger of National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) in August 2016, the mission of the Parkinson's Foundation is to invest in promising scientific research that will end Parkinson's disease and improve the lives of people with Parkinson's and their families, through improved treatments, support and the best care.  For more information, visit or or call (800) 457-6676 or (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

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