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



Question What is CURE's mission?
Answer CURE's mission is to cure epilepsy, transforming and saving millions of lives. We identify and fund cutting-edge research, challenging scientists worldwide to collaborate and innovate in pursuit of this goal. Our commitment is unrelenting.
Question What kind of research does CURE fund?

CURE GrantsCURE awards grants for novel research projects that address the following needs: prevention of epilepsy, including post-traumatic epilepsy; advancement of the search for a cure; elimination of treatment side effects; prevention of death in epilepsy, and reversal of deficits caused by frequent seizures.

Nearly 90 cents of every dollar contributed to CURE is invested in cutting-edge research programs.

Question How many grant cycles does CURE have per year?
Answer CURE has two grant cycles per year. Below is an overview of key award details by cycle period:

CYCLE 1: Challenge Award, Pediatric Epilepsies Award, Prevention of Acquired Epilepsies Award, SUDEP Award

  • Challenge Award:
    Budget: Requests may be made for up to $250,000 in direct costs over 2 years
    More information
  • Pediatric Epilepsies Award:
    Budget: Requests may be made for up to $250,000 in direct costs over 2 years
    More information
  • Prevention of Acquired Epilepsies Award:
    Budget: Requests may be made for up to $250,000 in direct costs over 2 years
    More information
  • SUDEP Award:
    Budget: Requests may be made for up to $250,000 in direct costs over 2 years
    More information

CYCLE 2: Taking Flight Award, Innovator Award

  • Taking Flight Award:
    Budget: Requests may be made for up to $100,000 in direct costs over 1 year
    More information
    *Eligibility requirements for the Taking Flight Award include: a) senior postdoctoral fellows who have a minimum of 3 years postdoctoral experience; b) clinical fellows who are Neurology Residents in their Neurology training who are considering Epilepsy Fellowships; or c) newly appointed faculty within one year of having completed postdoctoral training.
  • Innovator Award:
    Budget: Requests may be made for up to $50,000 in direct costs over 1 year
    More information

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.  Please contact Liz Higgins ( if you would like to be added to our Research eBlast list.
Question Are multiple researchers from the same institution allowed to apply to the same grant category?
Answer Yes. There is no limit to the number of researchers from the same institution who can apply to the same grant category.
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 Who can apply for a CURE grant?
Answer Established and early-career investigators may apply for funding.  The only exception is the Taking Flight Award which is specifically designed for advanced postdoctoral fellows, neurology fellows, and new faculty who are beginning to transition to independent investigators.
Question Are international applicants eligible to apply?
Answer Yes, international applicants are eligible to apply for CURE grants. Please note that 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 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 who hold an equivalent position in a non-university research organization).  Established investigators are university faculty at the associate professor level or above.
Question Is the determination of “established” or “early-career investigator” based on the primary applicant?
Answer Yes, the determination of “established” or “early-career investigator” is based on the primary applicant.
Question Can I apply for a CURE grant if I have applied in the past? What is the process?
Answer Yes. You must go through CURE’s standard application process. The first step is submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI).
Question If I received a CURE grant in the past can I reapply for funding? What is the process?
Answer Yes. You must go through CURE’s standard application process. The first step is submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI).  Your previous CURE grant must be complete before you can be funded again by CURE.
Question Can I apply for a CURE grant if I am/was a CURE Scientific Reviewer? 
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 What information should I include in the Letter of Intent (LOI)? Are there length requirements?

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

  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:
    • 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 contribute to improved treatment and prevention.
  2. 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 Are there formatting requirements for the Letter of Intent (LOI)?
Answer Yes, you will find this information outlined in the LOI guidelines.  For quick reference:

LOI Formatting Guidelines:
  • Type font: 12 point, 10 pitch
  • 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.
  • Margins: Minimum of 0.5-inch top, bottom, right, and 1-inch left.
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 am submitting with a co-principal investigator, 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 If I can't submit by the posted deadline, can I request an extension?
Answer No, CURE does not accept late applications.
Question Once I have submitted my application, can I check on its status?
Answer Yes, applicants can check on the status of their applications by logging into their accounts in proposalCENTRAL. All applicants will be notified as soon as application decisions are made.


Question Can funding be split between multiple institutions? If so, how does this work?
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 all relevant personnel in relation to percentage of effort spent on the project. This includes, but is not limited to, investigators, postdocs, graduate students, research technicians, and research coordinators.
Question Can grant funding be used for travel?
Answer Yes. U.S. Grantees: $1,000 per year can be allocated for travel; International Grantees: $1,500 per year can be allocated for travel. CURE highly recommends that grantees use these travel funds to attend the annual American Epilepsy Society meeting. 
Question Can the budget include indirect costs?
Answer No. CURE does not provide support of indirect costs.
Question Are there certain restrictions that would prevent our requesting a small piece of equipment as a part of the total budget?
Answer No.  There are no such restrictions.
Question The Full Proposal Guidelines state: “Typically, co-investigators are co-funded by the grant, collaborators are not.” Can we take this to mean that a collaborator does not have “effort”?
Answer Collaborators typically do not take “effort” (aka: percent effort) in the budget.
Question Can a consultant be budgeted? This would be an individual who performs a one-time service in each award year.
Answer Yes, as long as it is clearly justified in the budget justification as to why this individual is needed to perform this particular task.
Question The guidelines say early career investigators can submit up to 3 reference letters.  Is one letter sufficient? 
Answer Yes, one letter would be sufficient.
Question I am an early career investigator but if I am submitting with another PI who is a full professor, are letters of reference required?
Answer If you are the primary PI then at least one letter of support would be needed.
Question Are collaboration letters required for Consultants?
Answer No, collaboration letters are not required for Consultants.
Question Does the signing official need to be the institutional representative?
Answer Yes, the signature pages must be signed by the PI and institutional representative. After signatures have been collected, scan and upload in the Attachments section.


Question What does the process for reviewing full proposals look like?
Answer Below is an overview of CURE’s grant review process. During the Full Proposal Stage, applications are assigned to Scientific and Lay Reviewers who then have 6 weeks to complete their critiques. Each grant category has its own review panel. Once critiques are submitted, review panel teleconferences are held to determine which applicants are recommended for funding. Final funding decisions are made by the CURE Research Committee and Board of Directors.

grant process
Question What is the make-up of the full proposal review committee? (e.g. MD, PhD, lay people)
Answer Our grant review panel is typically made up of 5-10 Scientists and 3-5 Lay Reviewers. Our Scientific Reviewers are typically a mixture of MDs and PhDs who are respected in the field and recognized for their contributions to the advancement of epilepsy research. We aim for a good mix of clinical, basic and translational researchers, and require that reviewers have a basic understanding of epilepsy and the area they are reviewing. The purpose of the lay reviewer is to represent the collective view of people with epilepsy and their loved ones throughout the grant review process, thereby keeping the patient perspective at the forefront of all that we fund.
Question What is the funding percentile for the CURE XXX Award?
Answer Our goal is to fund the best science within the pool of grants we receive. CURE does not have a funding line.
Question Will junior faculty have a higher chance of being funded?
Answer Age is a consideration only when it comes to the Taking Flight Award – which is only available to junior investigators.  For all other awards, early and established investigators may apply – and one group does not have a better chance over the other.





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

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