Research Foundation

Seeking the next big breakthrough to help those with spinal cord injury and disease live better.


From transplanting cells to regenerating damaged nerve fibers to designing adaptive canoe seats, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation supports innovative research and fellowships that improve the lives of those with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D). The 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


The Research Foundation is focused on funding projects 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. 

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


The Fiscal Year 2019 PVA Research Foundation grant cycle is open and will close on July 1, 2018. Applicants will be notified of awards by December 1, 2018. 
Submit a grant application here.


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.


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.


For questions on the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation, contact:

Cheryl Vines, M.S. 
Director of Research and Education

Phone: 202-256-5526 (cell) or 805-439-2804 (office)
Fax: 202-416-7641

Rita Obi
Associate Director of Research and Education

Phone: 202-416-7611 
Fax: 202-416-7641



From clinical practice guidelines for healthcare specialists to self-help guides for patients and caregivers, Paralyzed Veterans offers a wide range of resources.

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