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.

Launched in April 2018, the purpose of SCA Global is to create global collaboration in clinical research efforts for the SCAs to achieve 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

SCA Global Homepage

The 1st SCA Global Conference was held on March 27-29, 2019 at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Attended by 105 leading ataxia researchers, representatives from industry, the National Institutes of Health and patient representatives. Attendees from 18 countries heard presentations from both junior and senior ataxia clinical researchers, participated in poster sessions and heard from a young woman with SCA7 and her father. Her moving story of living with ataxia began the conference in an inspiring manner that continued to impact the attendees of the 2- and 1/2-day conference.

The next SCA Global meeting will take place in Bonn, Germany in April 2020.

As an outcome of the SCA Global conference four working groups were formed:

  • Clinical outcomes
  • MR biomarkers
  • Standards of biosampling
  • SCA Global policies

If you have an interest in being on one of the working groups, please send an email to Dr. Holm Graessner.

To be receive information on SCA Global initiatives or future meetings, please complete the contact form at this page.

2019 SCA Global Attendees:

2019 SCA Global Program

SCA Global Information PDF

SCA Global Sponsors

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. 

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.

Details and instructions for the National Ataxia Foundation’s research grant application program for funding for March 1, 2020-February 28, 2021 will be available on this site on August 1, 2019.

Deadlines for Letters of Intent and full applications are:

Seed Money Research Grants
Letters of Intent due 9/16/19
Applications due 10/15/19

Young Investigator Research Awards
Letter of Intent due 10/1/19
Applications due 11/1/19

Pioneer SCA Research Grants
Letter of Intent due 10/15/19
Applications due 11/15/19

Post-Doc Fellowship Awards
Letter of Intent due 10/15/19
Applications due 11/15/19

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.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2019

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.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2019

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.

We are no longer accepting applications for 2019

Launched in 2005, NAF’s biennial Ataxia Investigators Meeting (AIM) 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.

AIM 2020: Leveraging Therapeutic Opportunity into Novel Treatment Paradigms, will be held on March 3-6, 2020 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. This meeting will address 5 themes:

  1. Cerebellar function and dysfunction.
  2. Neuroprotective targets and strategies.
  3. Disease modeling and mechanisms.
  4. Emerging therapeutic modalities and biomarker discovery.
  5. Clinical trial organization.

The meeting chair is Dr. Al La Spada at Duke University and co-chair is Dr. Stephan Pulst at University of Utah.

Call for abstracts will take place in November 2019. Early career Ataxia researchers, women, and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to submit abstracts. Details on abstract submission will be posted in late October 2019.

To be included on the AIM 2020 email list, contact Sue Hagen at

Sponsorship support for 2018 AIM 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