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 degrees (e.g., PharmD, DO)
  • Submit a proposal representing independent research conducted by the applicant.
  • Apply as either an Early Career Investigator or an Established Investigator.
    • Early Career Awards: An eligible investigator is someone who has completed their terminal doctoral degree (PhD, MD, or equivalent) or end of post-graduate clinical training (fellowship), whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not yet secured independent funding in the form of an NIH R01 or equivalent (a single award of $200,000/year or more). Instructor or equivalent positions will not be considered as part of the terminal degree.
    • Established Investigator Awards: Eligible investigators who don’t qualify as Early Career investigators, or applicants who have previously received an Early Career Award from the Foundation.

Please note that current grantees-investigators are not eligible to apply or serve as co-investigators in another application to the Foundation (non-funded advisory roles are allowed).

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
  • 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, 2024, to September 30, 2026.

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.
  • Subcontract awards with outside institutions are capped at no more than 25% of the award. The collaborating institution must meet all the same requirements as the principal site (i.e. 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).
  • 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 the purchase of permanent equipment (defined as equipment expected to last at least three years) or for repair or service contract costs for institutional equipment;
  • to cover any salary effort or expenses for a mentor;
  • the construction or renovation of facilities;
  • furniture;
  • honoraria;
  • membership dues;
  • publication costs;
  • subscriptions, books, or journals.

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 or commercial entity. 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 within 5 business days of receipt of that information. 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.

Project Budget

If an investigator is invited to submit a Full Proposal, he or she must use the project budget template and upload it to the request. No budget template is required at the Letter of Inquiry stage.

Geographic Area

The supporting institution must be based in the United States

Application Due Date

Letters of Inquiry (LOI) are due by no later than Friday, March 15, 2024 (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 who are invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by email on or about Monday, June 3, 2024. Full proposals, which also require an online submission, are due no later than Monday, July 8, 2024 (3 pm EDT). Grant awards will be announced in September 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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