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 inaugural meeting of the SCA Global Initiative was held at the National Ataxia Foundation’s Annual Ataxia Conference in April 2018 in Philadelphia. Attending the meeting were ataxia researchers from around the world. The purpose of SCA Global is to create global collaboration in clinical research efforts for the SCAs.

SCA Global will address those issues with the following goals:

  • To better understand the manifestation, evolution and impact of the various SCAs
  • To develop and validate biomarkers which can be used in future interventional trials
  • To facilitate access to people with SCAs who are willing to participate in clinical trials

More information about SCA Global can be found here ( To express interest to participate, please visit:

The 1st SCA Global Meeting will be March 27-29, 2019 at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. For more information about the meeting, contact Sue Hagen, NAF Patient and Research Services Director at

SCA Global Information PDF
SCA Global Homepage


The National Ataxia Foundation 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.

Funds provided by the National Ataxia Foundation may not be used for indirect/F&A costs. 


The National Ataxia Foundation has transitioned to using a Grant Application Management online program called proposalCENTRAL.

Letters of Intent and completed applications are to be submitted through the online portal. . The portal is now live for you to submit your letter of intent to apply for a research grant. You will need to create a user account, which you will then use when you submit the LOI and full application. Click on this link to create your user account with proposalCENTRAL.

You may contact Sue Hagen, NAF Research Services Director, at with questions.

Below are descriptions of NAF’s research programs:


NAF Research Grants

Research Seed Money Instructions

Pioneer SCA Translational Research Awards

Young Investigator Award Instructions

Post-Doc Fellowship Award Instructions

Research Seed Money Awards

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.

September 14, 2018 – Date the Letter of Intent.

October 15, 2018 – Full application due

Pioneer SCA Translational Research Awards

Pioneer SCA Award: One-year grants of $100,000. These grants are intended for established ataxia researchers. One Pioneer grant will be awarded for research in SCA3/MJD and one will be awarded for research in any SCA.

October 15, 2018 – Date the Letter of Intent is due

November 15, 2018 – Full application due

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-SCA (YI-SCA) Award: One-year grants of $50,000 to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in the field Spinocerebellar ataxia research. Two YI-SCA grants will be awarded.

For 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.

October 1, 2018 – Date the Letter of Intent is due.

November 1, 2018 – Full application due

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.

October 15, 2018 – Date the Letter of Intent is due.

November 15, 2018 – Full application due




Launched in 2005, NAF’s biennial Ataxia Investigators Meeting brings together world-leading Ataxia clinicians and scientists who are working to accelerate the pace of Ataxia research, better understand the disease, and develop therapies. In 2018, more than 170 people from 13 countries participated. The 9th AIM will be in 2020. For information on AIM 2020, contact Sue Hagen at

Sponsorship support provided by:





AIM 2018 Investigators Group Shot


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