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The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance) endeavors to stimulate, support and coordinate research that will lead to a cure for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), while improving the lives of those affected.  A recent white paper describes the impressive scientific progress in the field and highlights key TSC research needs for the future.

The TS Alliance has funded more than $17.4 million in research on TSC since 1984. The TS Alliance Grants Program funds research focused on TSC with priorities set by the researchers together with the TS Alliance.  Collaborations between basic and clinical researchers are encouraged and fostered, and the TS Alliance works constantly to increase funding for research on TSC.

Researchers funded by the TS Alliance have a strong history of obtaining additional funding: between 1984 and 2013, principal investigators who received a total of $17.3 million from the TS Alliance subsequently garnered an additional $90 million from the NIH for TSC-related research and $8.6 million from the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

TS Alliance 2014 Research Grants Program

The 2014 TS Alliance Research Grants Program aims to support basic research and scientific studies that accelerate the translation of basic research findings into clinical impact for those affected by TSC.  The program will place a priority on proposals by postdoctoral trainees and investigators at an early stage of their career.

Areas of Emphasis in 2014

Letters of Intent will be evaluated by scientific peer-review, and a subset (approximately 20-25%) will be invited to submit full proposals.  Successful Letters of Intent will be those that address one or more of the following:

  • Develop future TSC researchers and clinician scientists through postdoctoral fellowships
  • Provide seed funding for non-tenured investigators to execute projects generating key preliminary data to support applications for larger funding from other sources
  • Methods of eliminating tumors rather than only shrinking or stabilizing tumor growth
  • Neurological, cognitive, or behavioral manifestations of TSC

Key Dates

  • Online Submission for Letters of Intent Opens: June 17, 2014
  • Letters of Intent Due: July 17, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. US EDT
  • Full Proposal Invitations Sent by TS Alliance: August 14, 2014
  • Full Proposals Due (by invitation only): September 25, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. US EDT
  • Earliest Project Start Date: December 1, 2014

Funding Available

  • Duration: up to two years (can be shorter if appropriate for the project)
  • Budget limits (can be less if appropriate for the project):
    • Maximum total costs of $75,000 per year ($150,000 total) inclusive of both direct and indirect costs
    • No more than 10 percent of the total costs ($7,500 per year or $15,000 total) may be applied to indirect costs
  • Postdoctoral fellowship awards must include up to $1,500 for travel expenses to support the applicant’s professional development
  • The TS Alliance anticipates making three awards this year in some combination of postdoctoral fellowships or research proposals, depending on merit

Postdoctoral fellowship awards are designed to provide funding for an individual who has recently earned a PhD or MD degree and is working with a Sponsor to do research relevant to this Request for Letters of Intent.  The Sponsor must be tenure-track faculty or an equivalent level at a research institution or company.  The award is intended to fund the applicant’s salary and some of the laboratory supplies or tools necessary to conduct the proposed research.  The award is not intended to fund technical support for the project or to purchase equipment in the Sponsor’s laboratory.  The applicant is considered to be the “Principal Investigator” for the purpose of postdoctoral fellowship awards.


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. do not need to be U.S. citizens to apply for funding.


Download the instructions for submitting a Letter of Intent.


  • Applications will only be accepted through the online submission system.
  • Applicants submit a brief Letter of Intent describing their specific aims and the relevance of their proposed work to TSC, and generally describing the rationale and any preliminary data supporting the approach.
  • Letters of Intent will be evaluated by reviewers identified by the TS Alliance, including experts selected from the International Scientific Advisory Board or ad hoc reviewers, who will evaluate the Letters of Intent for scientific merit and impact.
  • The TS Alliance will invite a relatively small number of applicants to submit more detailed Full Proposals.

This process is intended to reduce workload on applicants and reviewers by triaging applications based on a brief Letter of Intent.  Those invited to submit Full Proposals will have a much higher probability of funding and will engage in a dialog with the TS Alliance Chief Scientific Officer during the preparation of the Full Proposals to optimize alignment of the scientific proposal with the goals and areas of emphasis of the TS Alliance.

Required Components of the Letter of Intent

  1. PI contact information, Sponsor (if a postdoctoral fellowship application), the anticipated duration of funding, and the total (not itemized) estimated annual budget.
  2. Postdoctoral fellowship applicants must provide three Letters of Reference.
  3. In lay language understandable to someone without a scientific or medical background, an overview of the proposed research including a statement of the impact the research will have on individuals who have TSC.
  4. A technical abstract describing the proposed work and its potential impact, not to exceed 2500 characters, including spaces.
  5. Keywords selected from a list online during the application process.
  6. One to four Specific Aims or outcomes that will result from the proposed research.
  7. A research plan overview of no more than two pages, including the rationale, the concept of how the research will be carried out, potential impact of the proposed work, and references (only if needed).
  8. An NIH-style biosketch of the PI and, if a postdoctoral application, the Sponsor; this form is available at or you may use an existing NIH-style biosketch if you have one.
  9. The components above must be submitted online prior to July 17, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. US EDT.

Related TS Alliance Resources

For Related Inquiries, Contact:

Katie Smith  
Manager, Research and Global Affairs
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance  
801 Roeder Road, Suite 750  
Silver Spring, MD  20910  
Telephone:  1-800-225-6872 or 240-638-4646


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  


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