The Children’s Tumor Foundation is the leading nongovernmental funding source of NF research in the world. Through the implementation of the Foundation’s research awards, progress is being made on all fronts and for all types of NF. The Foundation’s Research Awards Program funds investigator-initiated awards to support NF research. The program is comprised of four award mechanisms: the Young Investigator Award (YIA), which funds basic science; the Drug Discovery Initiative (DDI), which funds translational science (the development of new screening models and compound screens); the Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Reports (DDI-RR), which funds translational science while placing an emphasis on transparency and the peer review process; and the Clinical Research Award (CRA), which funds small-scale clinical trials and clinical trial adjunct studies. 

For more information, contact grants@ctf.org.

grant schedule

grant schedule

Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Reports (DDI-RR)

The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) and the scientific journal PLOS ONE are collaborating on a new funding program in the area of neurofibromatosis (NF) research. The new initiative, called the Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Report (DDIRR) Awards, is a funder-publisher partnership that integrates the Registered Reports model in the grant application process. This model will allow for more rigorous, reproducible and transparent science, guaranteeing its awardees with an in-principle acceptance (IPA) to publication in the journal PLOS ONE, regardless of study outcome. We have successfully awarded 3 investigators in the 2017-2018 cycle and together with PLOS ONE decided to continue to offer this grant in 2018-19. This award evolves from the Foundation’s classic Drug Discovery Initiative Award program.


  • Monday, September 24, 2018 DDI-RR Letter of Intent (LOI) form posted on ctf.org
  • Monday, October 22, 2018 DDI-RR LOI’s due
  • Monday, November 19, 2018 DDI-RR invitation to full application
  • Monday, January 07, 2019 DDI-RR full proposals due
  • March, 2019 DDI-RR notifications

Young Investigator Award (YIA)

For the 2019 YIA cycle, we are only inviting applications focused on MPNST. Selected applications will be funded through partnership with the NF Research Initiative at Boston Children's Hospital.

CTF’s longest running program, the YIA provides two-year funding, commensurate with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to young scientists early in their careers, bringing them into the NF field and helping to establish them as independent investigators. Initiated in 1985 by the Foundation, the YIA program was, until 2006, CTF’s sole ongoing grant mechanism. A number of YIAs have made significant research findings and notable publications through this program. In addition, the YIA program has been a 'seeding mechanism' for researchers and their mentors, who could showcase their Foundation-funded research to secure larger grants from the NIH and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program - Neurofibromatosis Research Program (CDMRP-NFRP). CTF’s seeding of the NF field with new talent has been hailed as a key reason for the rapid growth of NF research in recent years.

Since 2016, CTF has been collaborating with the NF Research Initiative at Boston Children's Hospital to co-fund Young Investigators in the MPNST field. This collaboration has already awarded four grants in the last two years.


  • Monday, December 10, 2018 YIA Letter of Intent (LOI) form posted on ctf.org
  • Friday, January 4, 2019 YIA LOI’s due
  • Friday, January 18, 2019 YIA invitations to full application
  • Friday, March 1, 2019 YIA full applications due
  • Week of May 20, 2019 YIA notifications

Clinical Research Award (CRA)

LOIs for the 2018 Clinical Research Award may be submitted by email from June 4-September 10, 2018. Download the LOI Form at the link below.

The Clinical Research Award program supports early stage pilot clinical trials of candidate therapeutics, or interventions for treatment of physical or psychosocial manifestations of NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. This grant mechanism also includes adjunct studies, such as the development of biomarkers, imaging protocols, and other clinical trial tools.