MDS Research Fund Application Guidelines


An Institution must

  • Be recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code based in the United States and not a private foundation
    • Be a university, college, hospital or laboratory
  • Provide a letter of support from the President and/or CEO or designated official (e.g., Department Chair) confirming support and sponsorship for the research proposal.
  • Provide a letter from the authorized institutional signer confirming acceptance of the Research Grant Agreement terms and stipulations.
  • In policy and practice does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status.

An Investigator must

  • Hold a Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Science, or equivalent other doctoral level degree (e.g., PharmD)
  • Submit a proposal representing independent research conducted by the applicant.
  • Apply as either an Early Career Investigator or an Established Investigator.
    • Early Career Awards: Eligible investigators who are a post-doctorate researcher or junior faculty (independent or not) who are less than 5 years from completion of fellowship training or post-doctoral program at the time of award and have not yet been awarded an RO1 grant or its equivalent.
    • Established Investigator Awards: Eligible investigators who are 5 or more years from completion of fellowship training or post-doctoral program, or applicants who have previously received an Early Career Award from the foundation or an RO1 grant or its equivalent.

Please note that current grantees-investigators are not eligible to apply.

Research Proposals

Well-developed research projects that will develop definitive findings about the biology, translational, or clinical aspects of MDS and related disorders and (for Early Career Awards) will lead to subsequent, higher-level funding.

Proposals should address one or more of the following areas within MDS or related conditions: 

  • Etiology (including epidemiology, exposures, and/or genetic predisposition)
  • Biology
  • Genetics/genomics
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment
  • Symptom management
  • Quality of life/Patient reported outcomes
  • Survivorship

In addition, the following criteria will be considered by reviewers:

  • The likelihood that the goals of the proposal are attainable with the funding from the foundation within the allotted time;
  • The project is independent research and not part of a large, multi-funded study;
  • The immediate or ultimate applicability of the proposed project to improving the lives of MDS patients; and
  • For Early Career Investigators, the likelihood that the project will contribute toward the professional development of the researcher.
Grant Size and Terms
  • Early Career Investigator awards will provide funding of up to $125,000 per year for two years.
  • Established Investigators awards will provide funding of up to $250,000 per year for two years.
  • A total of 3 new grants will be awarded (2 Early Career Investigator and 1 Established Investigator), annually.
  • The award period runs from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2024.
  • Grant funds may be used only to support the direct costs of research and indirect costs (institutional overhead) of up to 15% of the grant. Grant funds may not be used for purchase of permanent equipment (defined as equipment expected to last at least three years) or for repair or service contract costs for institutional equipment; the construction or renovation of facilities; furniture; honoraria; membership dues; subscriptions; books; or journals.

Allowable use of grant funds includes salary for the principal investigator and for scientific personnel directly engaged in the research project; consumable supplies, disposables, and animals necessary to fulfill the project’s specific aims; and travel necessary to conduct research or to present the results of the research at appropriate scientific or medical meetings sponsored by non-profit associations. The maximum amount of funds expendable for travel is $2,000 per year. Travel funded by this grant must be done during the funding period.

An applicant may not apply for, use, or accept foundation funds for a research project that is fully funded or already funded in full or in part by the foundation or by another funding agency. Accordingly, full disclosure of all available and pending funds for research support must be included with the grant application. If funds from other sources become available to the applicant during the review or tenure of a foundation research grant, the principal investigator must inform the foundation in writing. The foundation and its advisors will then make a decision about the continuation of the research award.

Career development grants for post-doctoral researchers and junior staff working on an Established investigators’ research project will not be considered overlapping funding, if the award is solely meant for the purpose of covering the trainee’s salary.

Any real or potential conflict of interest on the part of the applicant or any collaborators/mentors in relation to the project must be disclosed. If granted, it is expected that foundation grantees will observe the highest ethical standards while conducting research.

Research Grant Agreement


Click here to view the Research Grant Agreement.

Geographic Area

Supporting institution must be based in the United States

Application Due Date

Letters of Inquiry (LOI) are due by no later than Friday, March 18, 2022 (3 pm EDT). The LOI must be submitted via the online grant application on the foundation website, MDSRF Guidelines.

Full proposals are by invitation only. Applicants that are invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by email on or about Monday, June 6, 2022. Full proposals, which also require an online submission, are due no later than Friday, July 8, 2022 (3 pm EDT). Grant awards will be announced September 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions can be found in the FAQ document.

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