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Request for Applications

2023 Global Seed Investigator Grants

The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition requests pre-proposal grant applications for research relevant to the improved treatment of Multiple System Atrophy patients.

Applications are accepted from anywhere in the world. Maximum seed grant amount is $50,000 for a one-year grant with the option to renew upon satisfactory review and submission of a year 2 research plan.

CALL TOPIC: The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition seeks novel ideas to answer one of two questions:

“How do we treat Multiple System Atrophy?”

“How can we evaluate and improve quality of care for multiple system atrophy patients?


1. Can we develop better symptomatic therapies to improve the quality of life of MSA patients?

There is an unmet need to explore therapies that may improve the quality of daily life of MSA patients. Therefore, the MSA Coalition seeks pre-proposal grant applications for research aimed at identifying and testing potential therapies with the goal of relieving symptoms and improving quality of life for MSA patients.

2. Can we evaluate and improve methodologies to provide care for MSA patients at various points in time during the MSA journey?

There is an unmet need to evaluate and improve the care MSA patients need and currently receive, and determine the best approaches to providing such care. Therefore, the MSA Coalition seeks pre-proposal grant applications for research aimed at identifying and testing potential care resources or systems with the goal of providing the MSA patient with the best quality of life (QoL) possible.


3. Can we help develop novel biomarkers or discover disease mechanisms or advance potential MSA disease-modifying therapies more rapidly through the drug development process?

There continues to be an urgent need to develop accurate diagnostic tests, discover the underlying cause and advance disease-modifying therapies to slow, stop or reverse the progression of MSA. Novel undeveloped therapies as well as existing interventions approved or in progress for other diseases may be effective against multiple system atrophy. All potential therapies must first be identified and tested in appropriate preclinical models of MSA before advancing to patient trials. Therefore, the MSA Coalition seeks pre-proposal grant applications for research aimed at developing MSA biomarkers or uncovering MSA pathogenesis or screening and developing potential MSA therapies with the ultimate goal of enabling Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials to reach patients more rapidly.

All applications must be submitted to The MSA Coalition by April 30, 2023 – 11:59pm US Eastern.

Through this initiative, the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition invites pre-proposal grant applications from professionals committed to conducting novel, emerging, or innovative research that could lead to improved treatment of Multiple System Atrophy.


  • Pre-Proposals Due: April 30, 2023 by 11:59pm US ET
  • Invitations for Full Proposals will go out by July 14, 2023
  • Full Proposals Due: August 14, 2023 @5pm US Eastern Time
    (by invitation only)
  • Anticipated Award Announcement: November 2023
  • Anticipated Funding: December 2023


The MSA Coalition Seed Grant Research Program will award amounts up to $50,000 to the top ranking research proposals for a ONE YEAR TERM (WITH OPTION TO RENEW).

  • A six month progress report must be submitted and reviewed.
  • A final report will be required at the end of year one. Optional funding renewal for year two may be requested clearly showing updated goals and timelines. Year 2 funding will be considered if all reports are up to date.

Please note: Overhead or indirect costs will NOT be considered as part of this award. Budget must include direct costs only.


Click here to start the submission process. This form will be available on Friday, March 31st at 6:00am ET.

QUESTIONS? Please direct to:

Joe Lindahl, Executive Director
Nicki Mehall, MSA Coalition Senior Manager


Past press releases:

To ensure you are informed of the next request for applications, please subscribe to our Researcher Mailing List

About the MSA Research Grant Program

Launched in April of 2013, the MSA Coalition® Research Grant Program supports the advancement of our mission by:

Funding patient-centric collaborative research aimed at alleviating symptoms, slowing disease progression and discovering a cure.

Recognizing the needs of the MSA patient, care partner and research communities, the MSA Coalition has identified four fundamental unanswered questions that constitute major unmet research needs:

1. What causes MSA? Presumed to be a complex disease with genetic and environmental drivers, these factors have been mostly elusive to date. Without this knowledge, strategies for developing laboratory models and treating the disease are sorely limited.

2. Where does MSA start? In which cell type is MSA initiated? Can we establish models to capture glioneuronal and neuroimmune interactions in this disease?

3. How does MSA progress and can we measure it? The lack of biomarkers impairs early diagnosis and inhibits the ability to follow progression.

4. How do we treat MSA? Can we develop better symptomatic therapies to improve patients’ quality of life (for example, treating disorders of mood, autonomic dysfunction and pain?) and better disease-modifying therapies that slow down motor and nonmotor progression in the disease?

Grants offered by the MSA Coalition are designed to kickstart promising research and allow for preliminary data to be generated with the hope that projects can seek and can obtain more funding from larger research granting bodies such as NIH and European Union. The MSA Coalition is pleased to provide letters of support upon request.

Under the guidance of their Scientific Advisory Board, the MSA Coalition have reviewed over 150 research grant proposals and awarded funding to 42 research projects at 30 institutions in 10 countries around the world for a total of $2 million in funding.

Attention Scientists

The MSA Coalition will periodically solicit Requests for Applications or Letters of Intent as directed by the board.

To ensure you are informed of the next RFA, please subscribe to our Researcher Mailing List or email Nicki Mehall.

About Our Scientific Advisors

Gregor Wenning MD PhD


Wassilios Meissner MD PhD

Vice Chairman

Philip Low MD

Glenda Halliday PhD

Anthony Lang MD

To assist in carrying out our research mission, the MSA Coalition relies on the expertise of a world-class Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of renowned globally-diverse researchers, scientists and physicians who are considered thought-leaders in the field of multiple system atrophy research. The SAB’s mandate is to ensure independent and objective review of each research proposal application submitted to the MSA Coalition’s Research Grant Program, to rank them by scientific merit and subsequently advise the Board of Directors about the top-ranked projects.

Grant Review Process

The MSA Coalition Scientific Advisory Board, assisted by the Adhoc Peer Review Committee, will consider each proposal received and provide objective ratings. No advisory board member or peer reviewer is permitted to rate a proposal where a conflict of interest exists. Higher ranking will be given to projects that display a high degree of collaboration among two or more separate research institutions.

Proposals will be judged and ranked on the following scientific merit:

  • Importance of the proposed research and its relevance toward meeting the stated MSA research goals of the MSA Coalition
  • Adequacy of prior research and theory in providing a basis for the proposed work
  • Adequacy of methods
  • Adequacy of environment: facilities/equipment, available expertise (in-house and through consultants), research “atmosphere”
  • Qualifications and productivity of the PI and key staff
  • Time commitments of the PI and key staff
  • Availability of subjects/patients (if human model is used)
  • Adequacy of procedures for assessing the effect of interventions on outcomes
  • Any other factors that affect the applicant successfully addressing the research aims

Grant Awards Procedure

The MSA Coalition will host a Grant Review Workshop comprised of its Scientific Advisory Board and Adhoc Peer Review Committee with the purpose of reviewing research grants and preparing a list of funding recommendations for the Board of Directors.

Awards will be granted based on:

  • The relative ranking score of each proposal in comparison to other research grant proposals being reviewed
  • Their overall merit in advancing the goals of the MSA Coalition Research Grant program
  • The total amount of research funds available

The MSA Coalition Board of Directors will make the final decision on which grants to fund.

Research Grant Awards will be announced via press release.

Please contact Nicki Mehall at if you have any questions about the MSA Research Grant Program.

Supporting Early Career MSA Researchers

The MSA Coalition provides travel awards to defray costs of attending medical and scientific congresses in order to help attract talented early career investigators to the field of multiple system atrophy research. Many of the early career investigators who have received MSA Coalition Travel Awards are continuing to contribute important findings to the overall knowledge of MSA.


Applications are now being accepted. Click the photos below to learn more.