CURE - Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy It's Time We Found a CURE CURE Epilepsy Research



Question How many grant cycles does CURE have per year?
Answer CURE has two grant cycles per year. The same three awards (detailed below) are offered each cycle:

NEW! CURE Epilepsy Award – The CURE Epilepsy Award seeks to push the envelope and accelerate promising research leading to disease-modifying breakthroughs for people living with epilepsy.  The following 2015 priority areas reflect CURE’s focus on advances that have the potential to truly transform and save lives. more information

2016 Priority areas

    • Transformative research to enhance our understanding of the cellular, molecular, genetic and systems-level mechanisms that lead to any of the epilepsies, facilitating the continued investigation of disease-modifying or preventative strategies
    • Innovative approaches that can prevent, modify and/or arrest the development of acquired epilepsy after head injury, stroke, tumor, viral infection, etc.
    • Research that will inform the development of novel therapies to prevent onset or halt the progression of the severe pediatric epilepsies
    • Research focused on new, effective treatments for the >30% of the epilepsy population who are pharmacoresistant
    • Novel research that furthers our understanding of the causes and ultimate elimination of SUDEP

Taking Flight – The Taking Flight Award seeks to promote the careers of young epilepsy investigators to allow them to develop a research focus independent of their mentor(s). more information

Innovator – The Innovator award explores a highly innovative new concept or untested theory that addresses an important problem relevant to epilepsy. more information


Question What are the funding levels and budget restrictions for the current grant cycle?
  • CURE Epilepsy Award:  up to $250,000 USD used over 2 years
  • Taking Flight Award: up to $100,000 USD used over 1 year
  • Innovator Award: up to $50,000 USD used over 1 year
Question What are the key dates for CURE’s 2016 funding cycles?
Deadline for Receipt of LOI: November 19, 2015 -9pm ET March 16, 2016 -9pm ET
Full Application Invitations: by January 5, 2016 by May 4, 2016
Deadline for Receipt of Full Applications: February 16, 2016 -9pm ET June 15, 2016 -9pm ET
Anticipated Award Announcement: May 2016 September 2016
Earliest Project Start Date: June 2016 October 2016




Question Can I apply for a CURE grant at any time?
Answer Unfortunately no. CURE does not accept unsolicited proposals. Researchers interested in applying for a grant must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).  Calls for LOIs are announced on CURE’s website and via email, so please be sure to check the website regularly.  You may also contact us to have your name added to our email list.  
Question Who can apply for a CURE grant?
Answer For most CURE awards, both established and early-career investigators may apply. The CURE Taking Flight award is specifically designed for advanced postdoctoral fellows, neurology fellows, and new faculty who are beginning to transition to independent investigators.  Please refer to the CURE website for information on who specifically qualifies to apply for each of our grant categories. 
Question I am a postdoctoral fellow.  Can I apply to the new CURE Epilepsy Award?
Answer No.  Only independent investigators can apply
Question How do I determine if I am an early-career or established investigator?
Answer Generally, early career investigators are university faculty at the assistant professor level (or hold an equivalent position in a non-university research organization).  Established investigators are university faculty at the associate professor level or above.
Question Are international applicants eligible to apply?
Answer Yes, international applicants are eligible to apply for CURE grants. All application materials must be submitted in English and should be written with a clear hypothesis and specific aims as is consistent with the U.S. grant making system.
Question Are multiple researchers from the same institution allowed to apply for the same grant? 
Answer Yes. There is no limit to the number of researchers from the same institution who can apply for the same grant
Question I'm interested in submitting a LOI for an open CURE award with a scientist who is already involved in another CURE funding requests this possible?
Answer Yes, this person can be a collaborator on your project (no percent salary given) but cannot be a co-PI (salary given). 
Question I applied last year, but was not awarded funding.  I have addressed the concerns voiced in the reviews of my original application and would like to reapply.  Can I reapply, and if so, what is the process?
Answer Yes, you are welcome to reapply. However, you must go through CURE’s standard application process. The first step is to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).
Question I’ve received a grant in the past. Can I apply again?

CURE GrantsYes.  You are welcome to apply for a grant as a current/former CURE grantee.  It should be noted, though, that a current grantee cannot receive funding on two different awards at the same time.  You are welcome to apply for a new award as long as funding for the new award would begin after the current award has ended.

As with all applicants, you must go through CURE’s standard application process.  The first step is submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI). 

Question I was/am a reviewer. Can I still apply?
Answer If you have previously reviewed for CURE, you may submit an application.  You will be ineligible to review during the cycle in which you submit an application.
Question Can I submit more than one grant application in the same cycle?
Answer Yes, if the two applications have completely different hypotheses and specific aims.  You may not submit the same grant to multiple categories at the same time.
Question Does CURE fund only academic laboratories?
Answer CURE funds research from academic and non-academic laboratories. We fund researchers working at universities, companies, and non-profit research institutions.


Question What information should I include in the Letter of Intent (LOI)? Are there length requirements?

Letter of Intent Instructions:  In your uploaded letter of intent, please provide the following:

  • Your LOI will be reviewed by members of CURE’s Lay Review Council.  Using non-scientific language (1/2 page maximum), please provide the following:
  • Project Goals: Bulleted list of the goal(s) of the project.
  • Aims: Bulleted list of how those goals will be tested.
  • Deliverables: Bulleted list of tangible deliverables to result from this work if successful.
  • Impact:  Briefly explain how this project, if successful, will transform the field of epilepsy and Provide a brief description of the research plan that succinctly outlines the hypothesis and specific aims of the proposed research (1 page maximum).
All LOIs are evaluated for innovation, feasibility, scientific merit, relevance to grant mechanism, relevance to CURE’s mission, and potential to be transformative.
Question Is there a specific template that we should adhere to for the LOI?

No, we do not have a specific template but one of our Research Directors put together a sample response for the first requirement listed in the Letter of Intent instructions (below) since a few applicants have reached out with concerns regarding how to keep it to ½ page.   

SAMPLE Project Summary for Lay Reviewers (LOI Stage)
1) Your LOI will be reviewed by members of CURE’s Lay Review Council. Using non-scientific language (1/2 page maximum), please provide the following:

  1. Project Goal(s):
    • Better understand the role of an important protein, called ABCD1, that we have shown is activated and necessary for stopping seizures during use of the ketogenic diet (KD). 
  2. Aims:
    • Test two ABCD1 blocking drugs to see if they can stop seizure in place of the KD in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome (SCN1A knockout mouse)
    • Determine if the ABCD1 blocking drug can be used in conjunction with the KD to see if the diet can be made less stringent. 
    • Determine how ABCD1 activation prevents seizures by looking at how it signals and what other molecules it interacts with.
  3. Deliverables:
    • At the end of this project, if successful, we will know if two ABCD1 blocking drugs can replace the KD or make it less stringent in an animal model of Dravet syndrome.
    • We will also know more about how ABCD1 functions and what other proteins/molecules it communicates with when it signals.
  4. Impact:
    • If successful, this work will tell us more about how ABDC1, a protein crucial for the KD to be effective in epilepsy, functions during the KD to stop seizures.  This will advance our progress towards understanding how and why the KD works.  This work could also identify potential KD-replacement drugs for testing in humans, and could identify new drug targets for use to minimize or replace the KD.
Question How strict are you going to be about the length requirements?  Is it ok to go a couple lines over in one or both parts or are the guidelines absolute?
Answer If your response to #1 exceeds a ½ page by a few lines that should be okay.  Your response to #2 must be one page or less.
Question Do references count against the page limit? 
Answer While you are welcome to include references, please keep in mind that they are not required at the LOI stage.  If you decide to include references in your application, they can be listed on a second page so that they don’t take away from the 1 page that you have for the overview of your research plan.  Please do be aware, though, that your research plan details must fit on 1 page.  They are very strict about this requirement and will actually not read LOIs that do not meet this requirement.
Question Are there formatting requirements for the Letter of Intent (LOI)? 

Yes, you will find this information outlined in the Letter of Intent (LOI) guidelines.  Since we have received questions from applicants regarding our formatting requirements, I’ve updated the information so that hopefully things are a bit more straightforward.  Please see details below:

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Font: Use an Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype or Georgia typeface, a black font color that can be clearly copied, and a font size of 12 points or larger. Print must be clear and legible.  A symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters; the font size requirement still applies.
  • Type density:  No more than 15 characters per inch (including spaces).  For proportional spacing, the average for any representative section of text should not exceed either 15 characters per inch or 114 characters per line.
  • Spacing: Single-spaced between lines of text, no more than five lines of type within a vertical inch.
  • Paper Size:  Use standard paper size (8 ½” x 11”).
  • Page Margins: Minimum of 0.5-inch top, bottom, right, and 1-inch left.
Question Is the total length of the LOI 1 page, or a page and a half? I interpret the instructions to mean about a page and a half but I want to make sure. 
Answer Yes, the total length of your LOI can be up to a page and a half – a half page for section 1 (written in lay terms for our Lay Reviewers) and a full page for section 2 (written in scientific/technical terms for our Scientific Reviewers)
Question I’m an international applicant and some of my application materials are in a language other than English.  Can I still submit them?
Answer No.  All application materials must be submitted in English. 


Question How do I submit my Letter of Intent (LOI)?
Answer All LOIs must be submitted through the proposalCENTRAL online application system (  LOIs that are emailed, mailed, or faxed will not be accepted.
Question I am trying to submit my LOI but every time I click on CURE in proposalCENTRAL it takes me to the CURE homepage.  Why is this happening?
Answer In order to begin an application, you will need to create a professional profile in proposalCENTRAL. Once you have done so, an ‘Apply Now’ button will appear at the far right. When you click this button, you will be taken to the application section of the portal.
Question If I can’t submit by the posted deadline, can I request an extension?  What is CURE’s policy on late submissions?
Answer No, CURE does not accept late applications.

When will I know if I am invited to submit a full proposal?

Answer CURE will send accepted and declined notifications via proposalCENTRAL once the LOI review process is complete.  This typically takes place approximately 4- 6 weeks after LOIs are submitted.
Question If I am submitting with another researcher, do we both need to submit an application?
Answer CURE welcomes collaborative proposals with more than one principal investigator. However, one application must be submitted on behalf of the collaboration, under one PI’s account in proposalCENTRAL.
Question Once I have submitted my application, can I check on its status?
Answer Applicants can check updated status of their applications by logging into their accounts on proposalCENTRAL.  All applicants will be notified as soon as application decisions are made.
Question How quickly will the full proposal be reviewed?  When can I expect to know if my application has been chosen for funding?
Answer The review and approval process at the full proposal stage typically takes 10-12 weeks to complete (from receipt of full proposals to announcement of awards).
Question  If not chosen for funding, how can I get feedback on my application?
Answer Critiques on full proposals will be available in your proposalCENTRAL account after the review cycle is complete.
Question I understand that we need to include annual costs of a current/pending funding for the PI of this proposal.  If we have a $100,000 grant would we put $100,000 in the field for “Annual Costs”?
Answer If you have a $100,000 for a 1 year grant, you would put $100,000 in the “Annual Costs” field.  If it was a $100,000 grant over the course of 2 years, you would put $50,000 in the “Annual Costs” field.  Over 3 years…$33,333.  So on and so forth…



Can multidisciplinary funding be split between two institutions?

Answer Yes, funding can be split among multiple institutions. However, CURE will only contract with the primary institution, which will be responsible for negotiating subcontracts with any collaborators/co-PIs at additional institutions. CURE requires detailed budgets outlining the allocation of funds to each institution.

Question Who can receive salary from the grant?
Answer Grant funds can be allocated to cover the salaries of investigators, postdocs, and graduate students in relation to percentage of effort spent on the project, as well as research supplies and some travel (see below).  Indirect costs are not covered. 
Question Can grant funding be used for travel?
Answer Yes.  $1,000 per year can be allocated for travel; $1,500 can be allocated for international grantees. 
Question Can the budget include indirect costs?
Answer No.  CURE does not provide support of indirect costs.





CURE For questions, please contact Liz Higgins at the CURE office, 312.255.1801, or email

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