It’s been an exciting year and very impactful year for myotonic dystrophy and MDF, and we’re exci
2013 FAF Application Guidelines
Call for Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications - Posted June 5, 2013:
The Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation (MDF) supports scientific investigations to:
Enhance the quality of life of people living with myotonic dystrophy and advance research focused on finding treatments and a cure for this disease.
As a part of this effort, the Foundation funds annual postdoctoral research fellowships (similar to an NIH fellowship award) to expand the knowledge and understanding of myotonic dystrophy. MDF is pleased to announce the Request for Applications (RFA) for the 6th Annual Fund-a-Fellow postdoctoral grant program June 6, 2013.
Grant Focus Areas - Expanded in 2013:
Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is a chronic disease with multiple dimensions that affects the lives of DM patients and their families every day. There are two major types of myotonic dystrophy: type 1 (DM1) and type 2 (DM2). Both types of myotonic dystrophy are inherited autosomal dominant disorders affecting all areas of the body. The primary clinical physical manifestation is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness affecting the lower legs, hips, hands, shoulders, neck, and face in DM1 and progressive muscle wasting and weakness affecting the proximal leg muscles, hips, shoulders and neck in DM2.
People with this disorder may have prolonged muscle contractions (myotonia) and may not be relax certain muscles after use, affecting grip and speech for example. They may also develop cataracts, cardiac conduction defects, and infertility. Many patients also experience CNS effects that sometimes manifest as white matter lesions and patient-reported symptoms including central fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness and difficulty in executive function, sometimes described as “brain fog.” A variation of DM1 called congenital myotonic dystrophy includes weak muscle tone (hypotonia), breathing problems, CNS involvement, delayed development, and intellectual disability.
Recognizing that the symptoms and the severity of the condition vary widely among affected people and often severely impact activities of daily living and functioning, the MDF is expanding the scientific research endeavors eligible for Fund-a-Fellow awards to include research focused on improving treatment, care and support of the DM patient and his/her family, as well as molecular biology and basic science.
MDF is actively soliciting fellowship proposals for basic, clinical, or applied research related to myotonic dystrophy in:
- Pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy
- DM progression related to the development of therapeutic trials
- Molecular basis of phenotypes (Type 1, 2, congenital)
- Identification and validation of drug treatment endpoints
- Best practices and clinical management, including nursing, social work, and psychology
- Standards of care and care integration
- Epidemiology, economics and support services
- Therapeutic and diagnostic development
Applicants must have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O or other doctoral degree in their profession from an accredited institution. U.S. and international applicants are invited to apply.
Duration of Fellowship:
The fellowship is for a two-year period, with second year funding dependent on successful completion of the first year’s stated objectives. Prior to the actual awarding of the grant, the applicant must have fully met all of the requirements of her/his institutional country for residency, where applicable.
- Award: $100,000 for salary, benefits, and research support, paid over two years:
- $50,000 will be paid no later than one week prior to activation date of the first year
- Assuming the first year report is satisfactory, $50,000 will be paid at the beginning of the second program year.
- MDF awards are not to be used to fund institutional capital cost recovery, overhead or other indirect costs.
- Second year funding of an MDF Fund-a-Fellow award is contingent upon documentation of satisfactory progress. A progress report satisfactory to MDF is required eleven months after the award is activated.
- The Foundation can cancel the award for non-compliance with any of the eligibility rules herein, or due to non-performance.
- Degree requirements. The applicant must have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O. or other doctoral degree in his/her profession from an accredited domestic or foreign institution before an MDF Fund-a-Fellow award can be activated.
- Commitment to myotonic dystrophy research. MDF supports postdoctoral new investigators with outstanding potential to make contributions to myotonic dystrophy research. Previous work in this area is not required. However, the applicant should document how previous experience and interests will enhance the Fund-a-Fellow research to address important questions related to myotonic dystrophy. The applicant and sponsor must demonstrate a strong and enduring commitment to current and future research in this area.
- Sponsor. The applicant must identify a qualified sponsor to directly oversee and supervise the research activities. That sponsor must have background experience in myotonic dystrophy or a field of study relevant to the candidate’s application, and be willing to actively support the applicant. The sponsor must document the availability of space, facilities, and research support to provide an outstanding training experience. For applicants who propose continued work at an institution where they have been engaged for more than one year, it is important that the sponsor document how the MDF award will enhance the opportunity for new research experiences and broaden the scientific and/or clinical background of the applicant. (A sponsor who knows of a promising candidate can encourage and assist the prospective Fellow in applying.)