2023 Research Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP)

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Impact Statement

The mission of the IOCDF is to ensure that no one affected by OCD and related disorders suffers alone. Our community provides 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. 

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 $11 million in funding support to researchers around the world.

2023 Research Grant Awards

The generosity of the IOCDF’s donors has allowed for us to offer over $500,000 in research funding in 2023 through two grant types: the Innovator Awards and the Michael Jenike Young Investigator Awards.

Innovator Awards: These special $300,000 awards will support senior researchers pursuing “high-risk, high-reward” research into OCD and related disorders. The goal of these awards is to support research with the potential to revolutionize scientific understanding of OCD, accelerate progress toward new and more effective treatments, and discover ways to prevent OCD from taking hold in the first place.

Applicants must have at least five years of research experience following the completion of their terminal degree. Eligible research projects must investigate topics in the field of OCD, with a focus on finding a cure for OCD. These may include prevention (i.e., keeping OCD from taking hold) and treatment (i.e., effectively achieving significant reduction in symptoms or remission). The award will be for a term of three years, with payments made in annual installments. Any senior 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, 2018. 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.

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:

  • Neuroinflammation and OCD (PANDAS/PANS) ‒ our donors have consistently looked to support this line of research and this year we are encouraging applications in this area
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • 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

Eligibility

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 3rd, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. ET via our online application system at iocdf.org/research/apply. The application deadline is Monday, February 27, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET.