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The TS Alliance administers the TS Alliance Rothberg Courage Award in Research, which was established by members of the Rothberg family to serve as a catalyst for innovative research to find treatments and a cure for TSC. The Rothberg Courage Award in Research recognizes outstanding scientific merit applied directly to TSC and provides important funding to increase the TS Alliance's capacity to accelerate research.

2013 Joint Request for Proposals with the Rothberg Institute for Childhood Diseases

The deadline for submitting Letters of Intent has passed.

Download instructions for online submission of Full Proposals. 

Download a PDF version of these Program Guidelines.


The purpose of this joint request for proposals is to identify and fund research opportunities that will directly enable or lead to a clinical trial for a new approach to treat TSC manifestations resulting from abnormal cell growth.  These manifestations include lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), renal angiomyolipomas, facial angiofibromas or other skin growths, and subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGA).  A recent white paper describes the impressive scientific progress in the field and highlights key TSC research needs for the future.

Areas of Emphasis

Successful proposals will be those that involve collaboration between researchers at the same or different institutions with the expertise and passion to address one or more of the following:

  • Generate preclinical data testing the ability of a biomarker to better or more rapidly measure treatment effect that will enable more robust and efficient clinical studies.
  • Develop an animal or cellular model that is superior to existing preclinical models for increasing confidence that potential treatments are likely to be effective in humans and determining the dose and duration of treatment required for testing in humans.
  • Test hypotheses regarding mechanisms affecting tumor growth specific to TSC, e.g., understanding why LAM occurs primarily in women or learning why cardiac rhabdomyomas often regress at a young age.
  • Identify an existing non-rapalog molecule (or combination of molecules) that has been previously safely administered to humans, or a new non-drug intervention, that eliminates TSC-related tumors in preclinical models rather than only shrinking or stabilizing tumor growth.

Key Dates

  • Full Proposals Due: October 16, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. US EDT.
  • Award Notification: December 16, 2013.

Funding Available

  • Duration: up to three years but should be shorter if appropriate.
    • Must include intermediate milestones of no longer than 12 months, but these milestones and associated budget periods may be less than 12 months in duration if needed.
    • After the initial funding period, receipt of additional funds will be dependent upon satisfactory completion of milestones.
  • Budget limits:
    • Total costs of $100,000 to $300,000.
    • No more than 10 percent of the total costs (e.g., $30,000 of a $300,000 award) may be applied to indirect costs.
    • Applications for less than the maximum duration, total costs, or indirect costs are welcome.


This opportunity is open to all investigators at established academic or research institutions or at pharmaceutical or biotech companies worldwide.  Researchers residing in the U.S. need not be U.S. citizens to apply for funding.



  • Applications will only be accepted through the online submission system.  Online submission instructions will be posted at
  • Applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent describing their specific aims, the relevance of their proposed work to the purpose of this request for proposals, and generally describing the rationale and any preliminary data supporting the approach.
  • Letters of Intent will be reviewed for fit of the proposed work with the purpose of this request for proposals and will be used to help identify a review committee that has the appropriate expertise to review full proposals rigorously and fairly.
    • Letters of Intent may be submitted early rather than waiting for the LOI submission deadline.
    • All applicants submitting a Letter of Intent should expect to submit a full proposal.  Letters of Intent will not be triaged.
  • Applicants will be notified as soon as possible if potential problems with fit of the proposed work are observed.
  • Applicants must submit a full proposal that will be evaluated by an independent review committee.
  • Based on the review committee’s recommendations, the decision on awards to fund will be made jointly by the Rothberg Institute for Childhood Diseases and the TS Alliance Board of Directors.

Required Components of the Full Proposal

  1. An estimate of project duration (not to exceed three years) and detailed budget, not to exceed $300,000.
  2. A list of active or pending funding support for the applicant and all investigators considered key personnel.
  3. PI and key personnel contact information and NIH-style biosketches; if needed, a blank biosketch form is available at:
  4. In lay language, a summary of the proposed research and a statement of the impact the research will have on individuals who have TSC.
  5. A technical abstract.
  6. One to four Specific Aims.
  7. A 10-page Research Plan. There is no template for the Research Plan. This document should include these sections: Background and Rationale, Hypothesis or Objective, and the Research Strategy. The Research Strategy section may be divided into sub-sections corresponding to each Specific Aim if desired. The Research Plan proposal must:
    • be uploaded online in PDF format and not exceed ten (10) letter-size (8.5 x 11 inch) or A4-size pages,
    • have no smaller than a 0.5-inch margin on all sides, and
    • use a readable font meeting NIH requirements, specifically 11 points or larger using Georgia, Palatino, Arial, or Helvetica font.
    • Any tables or figures must fit within the ten-page limit.
  8. Organizational assurances if the proposed project involves human subjects or vertebrate animals.
  9. A Budget Justification that explains the rationale for the budget as succinctly as possible. There is no template or specific page limit for the Budget Justification document. It must be in PDF format and meet the same margin and font requirements described for the Research Plan.
  10. An optional Appendix may be included as a PDF file if needed.
  11. The above components of the Full Proposal must be submitted online prior to October 16, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. US EDT.

For Related Inquiries, Contact:

Steve Roberds, PhD 
Chief Scientific Officer 
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
801 Roeder Road, Suite 750 
Silver Spring, MD  20910 
Telephone:  1-800-225-6872 or 301-562-9890 ext. 225

Courage Awards -- FY 2012

Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD
Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
TSC Neurocognitive Clinical Trial Recruitment Acceleration Award

Darcy Krueger, MD, PhD
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
TSC Neurocognitive Clinical Trial Recruitment Acceleration Award

Courage Awards -- FY 2011

Elizabeth Henske, MD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Targeting Autophagy and Cellular Metabolism for the Treatment of TSC

John Bissler, MD
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
MRI-Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for TSC-Associated Renal and Pulmonary Disease

Hope Northrup, MD
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX
Identifying Additional Gene(s) That Cause Tuberous Sclerosis Complex by Whole Genome Sequencing

Courage Awards -- FY 2010

Mustafa Sahin, MD, PhD
Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
TSC Neurocognitive Clinical Trial

Robert and Lisa Moss
Seizure Tracker, LLC, Alexandria, VA
Development and Implementation of an Epilepsy Clinical Trial Tool

Courage Awards -- FY 2007-FY 2009

Frank McCormack, MD & Bruce Trapnell, MD 

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 


Courage Awards -- FY 2002-FY 2005

John Blenis, PhD
Lewis Cantley, PhD
Iswar Hariharan, MBBS, PhD
David Kwiatkowski, MD, PhD
Timothy Mitchison, PhD

Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Role of the TSC1/2 Complex in Regulation of the mTOR Pathway

David Austin, PhD
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Screening of Potential Therapeutics for TSC

Tian Xu, PhD
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Role of the TSC/Insulin Signaling Pathway in the Pathogenesis of TSC

Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Effects of Estrogen and Progesterone on Angiomyolipoma Growth and Migration

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