Researcher Resources

Researcher Resources

NAF works with the most knowledgeable, accomplished Ataxia researchers in the world. We are committed to providing the resources needed to pursue a cure and better quality of life for people with Ataxia.

The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) is committed to funding the best science relevant to hereditary and sporadic types of ataxia in both basic and translational research.
NAF invites research applications from U.S.A. and International non-profit and for-profit institutions. Non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for a research grant from NAF.
Funding for Ataxia-Telangiectasia research proposals will receive a lower priority unless they lend themselves to an overall better understanding of the ataxia disease process.
A Letter of Intent is REQUIRED prior to submitting any research grant applications by the deadlines listed below. Grant Applications submitted that are not preceded by a Letter of Intent, will NOT be reviewed.

Research applications are to be submitted in a single pdf as an attachment in an email to Hard copies of applications are no longer required. Electronic signatures will be accepted.

Email all correspondence and questions to Sue Hagen at Please include the last name of the principal investigator as the first word in the subject line of any email you send.

No funds provided by the National Ataxia Foundation may be used for indirect/F&A costs.

Below are descriptions of NAF’s research programs:


Letters of Intent to apply for any of the research grants must include the name and credentials of the Principle Investigator and the name of the institution, city, state and (if out of the United States) the name of the country.

NAF Research Grants

Research Grant: One-year seed money grants of up to $15,000 but promising proposals up to a maximum of $30,000 will be considered for early or pilot phases of studies and ongoing investigations. Applicants for seed-money grants need to be faculty members.

July 17, 2017 – Date the Letter of Intent is due with a ½ to one-page abstract with specific aims of your research.

August 15, 2017 – Full application due

Application: Research Grant Application 2018

NAF Young Investigator Awards

Young Investigator (YI) Award: One-year grants* of $35,000 to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in the field of any form of ataxia research.

Young Investigator (YI-SCA) Award for SCA Research: One-year grants of $50,000 will be awarded to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) research.

For both Young Investigator award programs, candidates must have attained an MD or PhD degree, and have an appointment as a junior faculty member, senior post-doc or clinical fellow. Individuals at the Associate Professor level are not eligible. Clinicians must have finished their residency no more than five years prior to applying. PhDs must be no more than five years from end of the completion of their post-doc training.

The sponsoring institution must agree in writing to the following provision: the young investigator (MD or PhD) must be free to allocate approximately half time (50%) for ataxia related research.

August 1, 2017 – Date the Letter of Intent is due with a ½ to one-page abstract with specific aims of your research and the name of your mentor

September 1, 2017 – Full application due

Application: Young Investigator Research Award 2018

Application: Young Investigator (YI-SCA) Award for SCA Research 2018

NAF Fellowship Awards

Research Post-Doc Fellowship Award: One-year grants* up to $35,000. Applicants should have completed at least one year of post-doctoral training, but not more than two at the time of application, and should have shown a commitment to research in the field of ataxia.

August 15, 2017 – Date the Letter of Intent is due with a ½ to one-page abstract with specific aims of your researchand the name of your mentor

September 15, 2017 – Full application due

Application: Research Post-Doc Fellowship Award

NAF Pioneer SCA Translational Awards

Pioneer SCA Translational Research Award: One-year grant of $100,000 focusing on research investigations that will facilitate the development of treatments for the Spinocerebellar Ataxias (SCAs) will be awarded.

Grant proposals for development of biomarkers of disease of the SCAs for clinical trial development are encouraged for the Pioneer SCA Translational Award.

August 15, 2017 – Date the Letter of Intent is due with a ½ to one-page abstract with specific aims of your research.

September 15, 2017 – Full application due

Application: Pioneer SCA Research Application Form 2018

AIM 2018 “From Bench to Bedside: Entering a New Era of Ataxia Therapies”

The 7th Ataxia Investigators Meeting (AIM 2018) will take place on April 2-5, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA. Please contact Sue Hagen for information about the 2018 AIM.

Goals: To create a forum for presenting the latest developments in basic, translational, and clinical research on ataxia by senior and selected junior investigators with five primary goals to: 1) refine our understanding of cerebellar function and dysfunction; 2) develop and evaluate therapeutic strategies; 3) facilitate development of robust clinical trials in ataxias; 4) help establish future leaders of ataxia research by facilitating the involvement of young investigators; and 5) bring trainees (graduate students and postdocs) into contact with ataxia patients and their families.


  1. Basic cerebellar function and dysfunction
  2. Therapeutic targets to correct neuronal dysfunction
  3. Translational research and disease models
  4. Enhancing Clinical Trial Readiness
  5. Ataxia Trials: What can we learn from trials in other rare diseases?

Sponsorship support provided by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.


AIM 2016 Investigators Group Shot


AIM 2014 Investigators Group Shot


AIM 2012 Investigators Group Shot


AIM 2010 Investigators Group Shot

Ataxia Patient Meeting

The National Ataxia Foundation hosts an annual patient meeting each year which is attended by those affected by ataxia and their caregivers and family members. Attendance is often over 500 individuals. Presentations by leading ataxia researchers and clinicians are given during the 3-day conference. Ataxia researchers are invited to participate in the exhibit area of the meeting to recruit patients for IRB approved research studies or share their research findings.

If you are interested in recruiting patients at the National Ataxia Foundation’s Annual Membership Meeting, please contact the National Ataxia Foundation at (763) 553-0020 or email