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Through our initiatives, partnerships, and programs — including the Research Grant Program — the IOCDF is proud to help people with OCD and related disorders globally. With valuable input from the community, researchers, clinicians, and advocates, we are constantly improving the resources that serve our vision and help us keep our promise to provide help, healing, and hope.

Our vision is that everyone impacted by OCD and related disorders has immediate access to effective treatment and support.

The IOCDF provides up-to-date education and resources, strengthens community engagement, delivers quality professional training, and advances groundbreaking research.

—The IOCDF Vision Statement

First, let’s zoom in on that last, bolded part in our Vision Statement — “advances groundbreaking research.” 

How exactly do we do this? And perhaps more importantly, how can you help?

What is the Research Grant Program?

Through our Research Grant Program, we advance groundbreaking research into OCD and related disorders. Since 1994, we have awarded 145 research grants that have contributed to worldwide research into OCD and related disorders. These related disorders include body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), hoarding disorder, and tic disorders.  

Our grant-funded research projects look at OCD and related disorders through a variety of lenses. These lenses range from cognitive to neuroscientific, from small-scale studies to international, multi-site projects. In addition, our grants confirmed the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) for treating OCD and related disorders across all age groups, and through virtual and in-person delivery. On a related note, research teams looked into how these disorders affect the brain and vice-versa. Furthermore, this research provided insight into how genetics and environmental stresses can lead to these disorders. Finally, they also found areas where treatment, access to treatment, and understanding of these disorders can be improved.

In total, we have awarded nearly $11 million since the Research Grant Program began. In recent years, we began funding large, multi-year grants of up to $500,000. As a result, these multi-year grants allow researchers to carry out studies with more equipment, more collaboration, and more time. 

And the best part of all of this? All of that money came from community members like you who donated to our Research Grant Fund!

What kind of awards does the Research Grant Program give?

As any researcher will tell you, conducting a study involves lots of time, effort, collaboration, planning, and funding. Ultimately, this research pays off for them and for the public as a whole. It is through this research that we discover effective treatments, how OCD and related disorders function, and other important information. Consequently, these key insights make these disorders more manageable today than they were decades ago. 

Currently, there are three categories of Research Grant Awards: the Innovator, the Breakthrough, and the Michael A. Jenike Young Investigator Award.

The Innovator and Breakthrough Awards

The Breakthrough and Innovator Awards are for large-scale, potentially groundbreaking research projects. The Breakthrough Awards are for (at least) three-year projects, and offer up to $500,000. The Innovator Awards are for three-year projects, and offer up to $300,000. They are both granted exclusively to experienced researchers with far-reaching contributions to the OCD research field.

Above all, these Research Grant Program awards have been funded by families committed to supporting life-changing research studies. As a result, these studies intend to make a major impact on understanding the causes, prevention, or treatment for OCD.  

Bethany Wootton, PhD — recipient of the 2019 Innovator Award for a study on internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for OCD — says:

Large-scale funding bodies rarely fund research on obsessive compulsive disorder in Australia. The Innovator Award from the IOCDF allowed us to continue to pursue our research into internet-delivered treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder. This particular grant allowed our team to examine the effectiveness of self-guided internet-delivered treatment in a large international sample, as well as examine who this treatment is likely to work best for. We would not have been able to conduct this important work without the Innovator Award and support from the IOCDF.

The Michael A. Jenike Young Investigator Award

The Jenike Young Investigator Award is for early career researchers investigating OCD and related disorders across a range of fields. This award is a one-year award of up to $50,000 for projects investigating OCD, BDD, hoarding disorder, PANDAS/PANS, tic disorders, and comorbidities. 

The goal of this Research Grant Program award is not only to advance research, but also to promote the careers of new researchers. Jacob Nota, PhD — recipient of the 2019 Jenike Young Investigator Award for a study on sleep and OCD — says:

The IOCDF Young Investigator Award absolutely made my research possible; it would not have been without their support. I have worked hard to create a clinically relevant research program that aims to be innovative and reach beyond what is frequently associated with OCD in peoples’ minds so we can continue to understand all the ways to help people who live with OCD. This kind of research doesn’t get supported at an early stage by many funding bodies. The IOCDF enabled a project that would have never otherwise happened in a clinical setting (and couldn’t be done anywhere else). I am hugely grateful for their support in demonstrating this research can be done, that it can teach us something immediately clinically relevant, and that I can be a leader in this field.

How you can make a difference for the Research Grant Program

Each year, thousands of community members like you band together and give to fund these research grant awards. 100% of gifts support the Jenike Young Investigator Awards. Therefore, the more funds we raise, the more research grants we are able to award.

Learn more and make a donation to support research today!

Interested in higher level giving opportunities to fund a full research grant award? Contact our Senior Development Manager, Kristen Lynch at klynch@iocdf.org to learn more and discuss your options.


  • cathleen more

    does your organization help with housing related issues around hoarding and OCD?


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