PVA Research Foundation

Research Foundation main pageFrom transplanting cells to regenerating damanged nerve fibers to designing adaptive canoe seats, the PVA Research Foundation supports innovative research and fellowships that improve the lives of those with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D).

The PVA Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, funds the following categories:

  • Laboratory research in the basic sciences to find a cure for SCI/D
  • Clinical and functional studies of the medical, psychosocial and economic effects of SCI/D, and interventions to alleviate these effects
  • Design and development of assistive technology for people with SCI/D, which includes improving the identification, selection and utilization of these devices
  • Fellowships for postdoctoral scientists, clinicians and engineers to encourage training and specialization in the field of spinal cord research


Before applying for a grant
The PVA Research Foundation is focused on funding projects that are grounded in basic laboratory science and the education of scientists working on breakthroughs directed toward a cure for paralysis or the secondary medical conditions, and technologies associated with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D).  These projects should be designed to find better treatments and cures for paralysis, to support efforts to improve the quality of life of individuals with SCI/D until improved clinical treatments, technologies or cures are discovered, and to train post-doctoral fellow investigators and encourage them to specialize in the area of spinal cord research.  (NOTE: Before submitting a grant application, carefully read the RF’s Policies and Procedures document found at the link below.)

Apply for a grant
Before submitting a grant application, carefully read the Research Foundation's Policies and Procedures as policies may change from year to year.

The PVA Research Foundation's online grant application is now closed. Awards will be announced January 2014.

Download a PDF of the Foundation's 2014 Policies and Procedures 

General Information

Eligibility for Grant Funding
Eligible grantee institutions must be located in the United States or Canada. However, investigators and fellows are not required to be U.S. or Canadian citizens. All grant applicants must have a professional degree: Ph.D. or M.D. preferred, master’s degree acceptable under some circumstances.

Senior fellows are encouraged to apply as principal investigators. Post-doctoral individuals are eligible to apply for fellowship support within four years of receiving a Ph.D. or completing M.D. residency. Graduate students can participate in Foundation-related research and be paid from a Foundation award. However, graduate students cannot apply for a Foundation grant either as a fellow or as a principal investigator.

The Review Process
Foundation staff review applications for compliance with Foundation guidelines. The PVA Scientific Advisory Board evaluates them for scientific/technical merit and relevance to spinal cord dysfunction issues. Final funding decisions are made by the Foundation Board of Directors, all of whom are PVA members.

Past Grant Recipients 


Financial Information and Governance

PVA Research Foundation Board of Directors

PVA Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Board 

For questions on the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation, contact:
Marietta Jimmerson, Grants Portfolio Manager 
202-416-7641 fax

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