Research Funding FAQ's

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Frequently Asked Questions about the
American Brain Tumor Association Research Grants


I. Funding Opportunities


I’d like to apply for an ABTA grant. Where can I find more information on submitting an application?

Thank you for your interest in ABTA’s research funding. Please visit the Brain Tumor Research section of our web site – for the most up-to-date information regarding funding opportunities, deadlines, and anticipated RFA release dates.

What is the deadline for application submissions?

  • Letters of Intent (LOI) for Discovery Grants are due by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, October 7, 2015. Those invited to submit a full application will have a due date on or around Wednesday, January 13, 2016.
  • Basic Research Fellowship opportunities and Medical School Summer Fellowship opportunities are typically due in January. Watch the ABTA web site for further information coming later in the fall.

Can I get an extension on the deadline?

As stated in the RFA, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete applications with sufficient time to allow for technical difficulties, time zone differences, sickness, travel, etc. It is ABTA’s policy not to accept late applications except in severe extenuating circumstances. If you believe you have a severe extenuating circumstance, please provide a detailed explanation via email to Otherwise, we encourage you to look for future grant opportunities on our website at

May I apply for more than one ABTA grant?

Each of the above ABTA grants has a very different focus; therefore, we will accept only one application per candidate per funding period. In choosing a category for your submission, please review the intent and eligibility criteria for each grant.

May I apply for a second ABTA grant while holding a currently-funded ABTA grant?

ABTA grantees can hold only one ABTA grant at a time. Applications are accepted from currently funded grantees only if their current grant term will conclude prior to initiation of a new grant. If the grant terms would overlap, applicants have the option to terminate an existing grant when a second grant is approved for funding.

May I use an application from a previous year?

ABTA does not distinguish resubmissions from new applications. Applicants may submit any previously submitted, non-funded applications; however, please note they will be reviewed as new applications. In addition, submitted applications must be responsive to the current year RFA or they will be administratively withdrawn.

Can indirect costs be charged to an ABTA grant or fellowship?

No, indirect costs are not allowable expenses for Basic Research Fellowships, Discovery Grants, or Medical Student Summer Fellowships.

Can you tell me when the funding decisions will be released?

Funding decisions are announced in early May. Applicants will be notified by email.

How many grant applications did ABTA receive last cycle? Where did my application rank?

ABTA does not provide specific information related to the funding rate, ranking or number of applications received for any mechanism. Final allocations of funding for research are based on available funds and we are committed to funding as many meritorious research grants as possible. A listing of our currently funded research grants is available at

Can I appeal the funding decision?

Your application was reviewed by a committee of scientific experts and it is our policy not to re-review proposals. If you believe you have a severe extenuating circumstance, please provide detailed information via email to Otherwise, we encourage you to look for future grant opportunities at

How do I become a reviewer?

Thank you for your interest in being a scientific reviewer for ABTA. We are always open to adding new reviewers to our panels. Please contact the ABTA grants team if you’re interested at or telephone at 773-577-8750.



II. Discovery Grants

What are Discovery Grants?

Discovery Grants are one-year, $50,000 grants for high-risk/high-impact projects deemed to have the potential to change current diagnostic or treatment paradigms for adult and pediatric brain tumor care. Investigators from sciences outside traditional biology fields are encouraged to apply.

How do I apply for an ABTA Discovery Grant?

For the Discovery Grants, the ABTA requires a Letter of Intent (LOI). Successful LOI applicants will be invited to submit a full application. The ABTA grant application portal typically opens in September for the Discovery Grant LOI and are due in October. Watch the ABTA web site for exact due dates.

Invitations to submit a full application will be extended by e-mail in late November and include application instructions. If you receive an invitation and will not be submitting a full application, please notify us at

How do I apply for an ABTA Discovery Grant if I did not submit a Letter of Intent?

The Discovery Grant program uses a Letter of Intent (LOI) mechanism. LOIs for this award were due October 7, 2015. You are welcome to apply in 2016 if you meet the eligibility criteria.



III. Fellowships

What fellowships does the ABTA offer?

The ABTA offers two fellowship grant mechanisms, a Basic Research Fellowship and Medical Student Summer Fellowships.

What is the Basic Research Fellowship?

The Basic Research Fellowship Grants are two-year, $100,000 grants supporting postdoctoral fellows entering careers dedicated to the field of brain tumor research. By providing funding to fellows under the guidance of a mentor, ABTA hopes to ensure that a diverse pool of well-trained scientists remain in the field and emerge as the next generation of scientists leading the field of brain tumor research. The ABTA Basic Research Fellowship applications are due in January. Watch the ABTA web site for exact due dates.

What are the Medical Student Summer Fellowships?

The Medical Student Summer Fellowships are $3,000 stipend grants to current medical students wishing to spend a summer conducting brain tumor research with an established scientist-mentor. The intent of this mechanism is to motivate talented medical students to pursue a career in neuro-oncology research. Medical Student Summer Fellowship applications are due in late January. Watch the ABTA web site for exact due dates.

My PhD will not be conferred by the time of application but my coursework will be complete. Am I still eligible for an ABTA Basic Research Fellowship?

Applicants must have their doctorate conferred by the application deadline. (See next question.) We encourage you to contact us again next year.

I received my PhD more than 4 years prior to the application deadline; however, I have only been a post-doc for 3 years. May I still apply for an ABTA Basic Research Fellowship?

Basic Research Fellowships are career development training grants, and applications outside the range of the eligibility criteria will not be reviewed. Unfortunately, the guidelines for the ABTA Basic Fellowship state that PhDs must have their doctorate conferred by the application deadline and can be no more than four years post-conferral of their PhD.

Regarding the “post- residency training” eligibility criteria – is a fellowship considered post-residency training? Yes, you may count your fellowship year/s within the training period. Based on the eligibility criteria for ABTA’s fellowship grants, an MD must be within two years of residency completion or within four years of post-residency training by the application deadline.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible for an ABTA research grant?


May I apply for a one year Basic Research Fellowship?

The Basic Research Fellowships are training grants intended to provide a two year experience, therefore applications for one year fellowships are not accepted.

May I have two Fellowship mentors?

Yes. The online application allows for up to two mentors, a Lead Mentor and Co-Mentor. Each mentor must submit a letter of support and a biosketch.

Can my mentor take salary support from the Basic Research Fellowship grant?

No, only the PI is able to take salary support on Fellowships.