Funding Priorities

BBDF is interested in novel targets and therapeutic approaches for juvenile Batten disease. These areas include, but are not limited to:

  • basic research into the expression of the CLN3 gene and function of CLN3 protein
  • basic research into the pathology of JNCL and neurobiological assays for the identification of drug targets
  • juvenile Batten disease-specific research resources
  • JNCL drug discovery (i.e. assay development and screening, hit-to- lead optimization)
  • preclinical development (i.e. in vivo efficacy studies, proof of concept in humans)
  • preparation for clinical trials (i.e. IND-enabling, biomarkers, clinical endpoints, registry development)
  • novel conference and learning activities that accelerate juvenile Batten disease research

BBDF does not currently support social science, psychology, education, family services or laboratory infrastructure.

Who We Fund

We fund academic institutions, non-profit research centers, and establish funded partnerships with for-profit Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and other research organizations around the world. In addition, we also spearhead and participate in co-funding relationships with various entities such as other nonprofit foundations to achieve common goals such as the exploration of common drug targets, potential compounds, or co-education of postdoctoral fellows and young investigators. We rarely fund predoctoral or travel fellowships.

To see a list of our research partners, click here.

Grant Awards

BBDF grants vary widely from $5,000 to $2 million with an average academic grant of $150,000 over two years. Variability of funding highlights our strategic approaches and willingness to explore all options that meet our mission. All budgets are carefully reviewed along with the proposed body of work. Applicants may be asked to revise their budgets and/or allow BBDF to share a summary of the proposal with others for the purpose of gathering additional support.

The Process

Applicants and potential co-funders are asked to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) that provides a preliminary overview of the project, resource or conference. LOIs are reviewed internally and it is in the best interest of the applicant to contact BBDF’s Principal Scientist to discuss their ideas prior to submission. Download a copy of the fillable LOI form. If your LOI demonstrates your proposal is within the scope and potential quality of our funding priorities, you will receive a call or email with an invitation to submit a full proposal. Proposal forms, adapted from the US NIH RO1 format, can be found here. Due to the nature of unique and cutting-edge ideas, not all ideas can be adequately described with standardized forms. If this is you and you are invited to submit a full proposal, application format instructions will be provided.

Application Deadlines

LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis with declinations or invitations sent within six weeks time. Final funding decisions are subject to prioritization and the availability of funds. We regret that we cannot provide applicants with notification deadlines but every effort will be made to do so as soon as possible and applicants will be continually apprised of the status of their applications. Applicants are advised to keep this in mind when making decisions as to where and when to apply for funding.

Continuation and Renewal Grants

BBDF will consider continuation of funding promising lines of inquiry. However, in order to obtain additional funding, awardees must show progress in reaching their stated goals and demonstrate that the continuation of funding supports the advancement of their work down the therapeutic pipeline. While BBDF recognizes that many questions remain as to the basic biological understanding of cellular processes compromised by juvenile Batten disease and that this understanding forms the basis of any effective therapy, BBDF is not interested in scholarly pursuit or adding information to our collective knowledge that cannot be used for creating new medicines. Evidence suggests that two-thirds of the published information needed to develop new medicines cannot be repeated under conditions necessary to make those medicines and up to 40% of peer-reviewed published research is not cited beyond a single publication.

Progress Reports

All progress reports are due no later than the stated due dates written into each contract signed by institution representatives, project leaders and investigators. Awardees are also encouraged to maintain an open dialogue with the foundation as to their progress. We have many resources and contacts that we’d like investigators to take advantage of when they need to. We also ask awardees to provide the foundation with examples of progress such as publications, presentation abstracts, patent applications, invited lectures, etc. We want celebrate your successes with you!

Funding Start Dates

The foundation employs granting contracts over award letters. While the elements of the contract are quite standard, it can take some time for the document to reach the necessary parties within the awardees institution. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to share a sample contract with their institutions to smooth the process. Using our standard contract form, BBDF has funded projects as soon as 2 weeks and as long as 10 months from approval of the project.

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