Eating Disorders Research Grants Program 
2017 Request for Applications 

Deadline: March 14, 2017

The Klarman Family Foundation is delighted to announce the 2017 Grant Cycle for our Eating Disorders Research Grants Program.  In 2015 we paused to consider how we might better meet unmet needs and make an impact in this field. Although we have made some changes to the program in this round, our fundamental mission to understand the basic biology behind the clinical phenomena of eating disorders remains the same.

Scientific focus: 

In this application round we are limiting the focus of our grants program to research that directly investigates the underlying biology of anorexia nervosa, and the questions of how and why it develops and persists.  We acknowledge that there is a lot of overlap between eating disorders clinically, and that what is learned about one could be applicable to the others.  However, we have also observed that there appears to be more of a scientific foothold in anorexia nervosa research, and we hope that by narrowing the focus of our program we may increase the likelihood of substantially advancing knowledge of the underlying biology of this disease.  With the results of our anorexia nervosa genetic association study (ANGI) soon to be released, we feel that the time is right for a scientific push in this specific disease area.

We also strongly encourage applications that bridge the gap between human and animal research, and collaborative applications with deep engagement of both neuroscientists and clinical researchers. In the context of the wider funding landscape there is a dearth of funding for work that is specifically relevant to eating disorders, compared to the amount of funding available for work in obesity and normal feeding.   While we appreciate the value of the following topics, research into obesity, normal feeding behavior and/or negative energy balance, and sickness-induced anorexia or other types of anorexia distinct from the psychiatric disease anorexia nervosa, are currently outside the scope of this program.  We advise basic researchers who wish to apply to consult with researchers with clinical expertise (e.g. psychiatrists or human imaging specialists), in order to develop a proposal that is relevant to the human psychiatric disease anorexia nervosa.

Any clinical proposals must be grounded in the basic biology and neuroscience of anorexia nervosa. In this round we will also consider human imaging studies that are directly relevant to the biology of anorexia nervosa. We recognize that research into behavioral therapy, the medical complications of eating disorders, and clinical trials can be of great value, but these types of clinical research are currently outside the scope of our program.

While we hope that the results of the ANGI genetic association study will make the development of animal models more tractable in the not too distant future, in the meantime we also welcome applications to develop new or improved animal models that mimic several of the relevant elements of the human psychiatric disease anorexia nervosa.

The development of scientific resources is one of our strategic priorities.  We expect KFF funded investigators to freely share renewable reagents and data developed using KFF funds with other qualified investigators.  The quality of the resource sharing plan will be considered during the grant review process.  While we understand that the need to share data must be balanced with the need to protect investigators’ intellectual contributions, we expect KFF funded researchers to develop resource sharing plans at the vanguard of current best practice for resource sharing in their field.

Eligible investigators:

Applicants must hold a faculty appointment at a nonprofit academic, medical or research institution in the United States, Canada, or Israel.

We have always been enthusiastic about attracting researchers with a strong track record in another field who can bring a new approach to eating disorders research.  Bringing in investigators from other fields, such as those studying the neuro-circuitry of complex, motivated behavior (e.g. fear conditioning, reward behavior, and addiction research), remains a priority for us.  While this program is not specifically aimed at early career faculty, applicant track record will be evaluated according to career stage and experience.

Grant categories:

1-year pilot studies of up to $150,000 USD, inclusive of up to 10% indirect costs
1-3 year research projects of up to $250,000 USD per year, inclusive of up to 10% indirect costs

Given the variety of scientific approaches and types of research that could address our mission, we expect that proposals will be of varying duration and cost.  In order to facilitate more ambitious, deeper investigations into the biological basis of anorexia nervosa, we have extended our maximum award length to three years, and increased the maximum annual amount awarded.  We acknowledge that not all types of research require the same amount of time and budget, and the value of each proposal will be assessed relative to its potential impact.  We encourage applicants to carefully consider the needs of their project, and to request only the amount of time and budget that is essential to the proposed research.  We will also consider how an applicant’s specific aims overlap with those of their other current or pending grants.

We recognize that there may be extraordinary opportunities that may not fit into this funding mechanism. We will, in exceptional cases, consider proposals with higher budgets and/or longer duration if clearly justified. Investigators jointly leading collaborative projects involving both clinical and basic research may apply as co-PIs. These proposals should involve meaningful collaboration between participants to perform research in a synergistic manner.  Any application involving co-PIs or a budget higher than the stated upper limit for this grants program must be discussed and approved by KFF staff before submission.   These will be subjected to a proportionately higher level of scrutiny.  Such applications will be considered only if they have exceptionally high potential impact, importance, and relevance to anorexia nervosa, and are proposed by research teams with outstanding track records. We do not expect to fund more than one such proposal, if that, per funding round.

 Application deadline: March 14, 2017

The application deadline has passed. The 2018 RFA will be released in late fall of 2017 – click here to be notified.

Decisions by: June 23, 2017

Funding begins: July 1, Aug 1, Sept 1, or Oct 1, 2017

2017 Application materials (updated 1/12/17)

Application forms   Budget template      Application instructions     Grant policies      Frequently asked questions     Scientific Review Committee

Previous grant recipients

2014          2013        2012         2011         2010         2008 & 2009

Please contact Lara Bethke, Director of Medical & Scientific Research, at EDresearch@klarmanfoundation.org with questions relating to project eligibility, the application process, or any other questions about the Eating Disorders Research Grants Program.