2022 Research Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP)

2022 IOCDF Research Grant Awards (6)

Mission Statement

The mission of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) is to help those affected by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment through research and training, foster a hopeful and supportive community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them, and fight stigma surrounding mental health issues.

IOCDF Research Grant Program

In support of its mission, the IOCDF makes annual grant awards to research scientists seeking to advance scientific understanding of OCD and related disorders, improve existing therapies, and discover new and more effective treatments. Since 1994, the IOCDF’s Research Grant Program has awarded over $8 million in funding support to researchers around the world.

2022 Research Grant Awards

The generosity of the IOCDF’s donors has allowed for us to offer over $1.5 million in research funding in 2022 through three grant types: the Michael Jenike Young Investigator Awards, the Breakthrough Awards, an Innovator Award for projects investigating co-occurring bipolar disorder and OCD.

Breakthrough Awards: These are grants of up to $500,000, disbursed in three annual installments. Breakthrough Awards must investigate topics in the field of OCD. Winning Breakthrough Award projects will be innovative and potentially-groundbreaking, and will represent “high-risk, high-reward” science that could make a profound impact on the field. The goal of the Breakthrough Awards is to accelerate progress toward new and more effective treatments for OCD, and possibly even lead to a cure. Eligible applicants will have completed residency or their PhD before September 1, 2017, and must have at least five years of research experience.

Innovator Award ‒ Co-occurring OCD and Bipolar Disorder: This special $300,000 award will support a project investigating co-occurring OCD and bipolar disorder. Prior research has found that it is common for OCD and bipolar disorder to occur together, increasing risk for patients and complicating treatment of both disorders. With this Innovator Award, we are seeking to support research that explores the underlying mechanisms and causes of co-occurring OCD and bipolar disorder – an understudied area that we hope to advance, ultimately leading to better outcomes for people with these co-occurring disorders. The award will be for a term of three years, with payments made in annual installments. Any researcher pursuing a relevant project is eligible to apply.

Michael Jenike Young Investigator Awards: These are grants of up to $50,000 each. They support promising young investigators who are developing their careers while pursuing creative and impactful research projects on OCD and related disorders across a range of disciplines. To be eligible for funding, researchers must be investigating OCD and related disorders (OCD, including pediatric OCD; PANS/PANDAS; hoarding disorder; body dysmorphic disorder; or body focused repetitive behaviors). Eligible applicants must be current graduate students, or must have completed their residency or their PhD (or equivalent) on or after September 1, 2017. Applicants who are still in training must submit a letter from their mentor with their application.

The usual term for the Jenike Awards is one year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related disruptions, we will grant all 2022 Jenike Award recipients an automatic one year no-cost extension, for a completion date of August 30, 2024.

The maximum award is $50,000. However, applications that require less than this level of funding support are welcome. If you are pursuing a smaller project that requires less than $50,000, we encourage you to apply and request the appropriate funding amount in your application.

The Jenike Awards are funded by individual donors to the IOCDF Research Grant Fund, and because we allow donors to restrict their donations to specific purposes, we have funding set aside for projects in several areas, including:

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder ‒ our donors have consistently looked to support BDD research and this year we are strongly encouraging applications in this area
  • The role that Race, Ethnicity, and Culture play in OCD and related disorders
  • OCD treatment
  • Research into the causes of OCD, including genetic causes
  • Pediatric OCD
  • Hoarding Disorder


Exceptions to the eligibility requirements detailed above will be considered on a case by case basis. Questions should be directed to research@iocdf.org.

Review Process and Funding Decisions

All grant applications that comply with program guidelines (see iocdf.org/research) will be assigned two or three reviewers from our expert panel. These reviewers will score the application and provide written comments.

Reviewers will evaluate each proposal on several criteria, including: strength of the proposal’s research design; its potential impact; the strength of the institutional environment(s) where the research will take place; the strength of the PI’s experience and their potential to make future contributions to the field; and, if applicable, the proposal’s compliance with the IOCDF’s Inclusion Policy for Pre-clinical and Clinical Research, and the strength of the plan to include women and members of racial and ethnic minority groups in the proposed study. Reviewers will also be asked to consider the intent described in this RFP and to consider how well-aligned proposals are with that intent.

The top-scoring applications from the initial round will advance to the second round, where they will be discussed and rated by the full reviewer panel. Ratings from this round, as well as comments received during the initial round, will be used to advise the IOCDF Board of Directors, who will make all final funding decisions.

Application Guidelines

Please carefully review the application guidelines (see menu on the right side of this page) before submitting your proposal. International applicants are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Grant applications will be accepted beginning on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. EST via our online application system at iocdf.org/research/apply. The application deadline is Monday, February 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EST.