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Transformational Science Grant Application Guidelines

Transformational Science Grant Awards are the largest grants awarded by DSF. Transformational Science Grants are intended for established, experienced, independent investigators affiliated with a research or academic institution whose proposed projects investigate hypotheses directly related to Dravet syndrome. Transformational Science Grants should have substantial preliminary data to support the stated hypothesis and strong potential to significantly impact the research field or move the needle on clinical care. Proposals are scored according to NIH guidelines based on the quality of preliminary data, research design, feasibility, investigator’s qualifications, and overall impact. Grants are awarded for $500,000 over 3 years (beginning January 1 of each year). Indirect costs must be included within the $500,00 budget and are not to exceed 10% of the total award.

Investigators applying for a DSF grant should ensure their proposed project addresses the needs of the Dravet syndrome community and DSF’s mission to support research toward better treatments and a cure for Dravet syndrome. Proposals should address research areas related to the yearly Priority Areas detailed below and DSF’s Roadmap to a Cure.

Eligibility: Applicants should be affiliated with a research or academic institution (excluding for-profit companies), may be US or foreign based, established in their field, and in good standing with their institution.

2023 Basic and Translational Priority Areas include:

  • Understanding the mechanisms of epileptogenesis in Dravet syndrome
  • Development of enhanced models to study Dravet syndrome
  • Understanding of the cellular, molecular, and genetic mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of Dravet syndrome
  • Revealing causes and interventions for seizures and comorbidities in Dravet syndrome
  • Understanding causes and developing interventions for SUDEP
  • Development of novel treatments and interventions that will prevent the onset or halt the progression of Dravet syndrome; this includes research that may overcome the current size and delivery hurdles for gene-therapy approaches

2023 Clinical Priority Areas include:

  • Research that helps identify patient trends, characteristics, epidemiology, or other clinical aspects of Dravet syndrome and/or its comorbidities
  • Research that helps to understand, predict, and prevent SUDEP
  • Research that will encourage the development of novel therapies to prevent onset or halt the progression of the Dravet syndrome

Applications are due by Friday, September 8, 2023. 

Please email Veronica with any questions.

Application Instructions

Applications which do not include the following materials and meet the specified page limitations will be returned unprocessed, or will be deferred until a subsequent granting cycle.

  • Please use a size 11 font or larger with margins of at least 0.5 inches. 
  • All documents should be submitted as PDFs and labeled with the section names listed below.
  • Applications must be received by 11:59pm (US Pacific Time) on the specified due date.
  1. Face Page – found here
    Fillable PDF form that must be signed by applicant and an institutional grants program official.

    If submitting a multi-PI grant, please include a Face Page for each PI. If the PIs are all employed by the same institution, the signing official is only required to sign the lead-PI’s FacePage.

  2. Scientific Abstract and Lay abstract – 1 page
    Please include a single page including a scientific abstract and a lay abstract. The scientific abstract should convey the hypothesis, goals, importance, and impact of the research.

    The lay abstract should convey the same information  in language appropriate for someone without scientific training to understand clearly. The lay abstract is used in the Board of Director’s decision making process following scientific review and care should be taken that the description is clear, accurate, and emphasizes the realistic impacts of the project.

  3. Budget – 1 page
    Often displayed as a table, the budget page should include a simple numeric breakdown of how grant funds will be utilized, including indirect costs and a final total of the funds being requested.

    Indirect costs of no more than 10% of the total award are permitted, and must be included within the $500,000 budget. 

    If the total budget for your project exceeds the amount you are requesting from DSF, your budget page must include a breakdown of how all funds, including those from other sources, will be used.

  4. Budget Justification – 1 page
    The budget justification page should provide an explanation and rationale of each line item of the budget including why specific personnel and/or supplies are critical to the proposed study.

  5. Hypothesis and Specific Aims – 1 page
    Please use a single page to lay out the hypothesis and rationale for the proposal including the specific aims to be accomplished.

  6. Research Plan – 4 pages
    This should include background, preliminary data, experimental approach, methods, expected outcomes and discussion of potential pitfalls.

  7. Impact Statement – ½ page
    A statement on how the research will impact the understanding, treatment or care of people with Dravet syndrome or related epilepsies.

  8. Bibliography – no page limit
    Please provide citations in NIH format (listing all authors).

  9. CV/Biosketch – not to exceed 4 pages
    Please use NIH format (an example can be found here). For multi-PI applications, CV/Biosketch should be included for each investigator.

Review Process

Applicants will be informed of the status of their application by late November/ early December, following scientific review and final decisions by DSF’s Board of Directors. Awardees are then announced publicly at the annual DSF Research Roundtable that is held just prior to the American Epilepsy Society Meeting.

Step 1: Download/fill out the editable PDFs Below

Research Grant Application


Step 2: Upload all required files as PDFs via the form below

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