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.
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.
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.
Yes. 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).
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.
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)
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.
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.
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: 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). 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. 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. 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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Since our goal is to team up with as many programs as possible, the only requirement is that each institution wait 1 full calendar year before applying for additional seminar funding. To find out if a CURE seminar is being hosted at your institution in 2016 (in which case you would not be eligible until 2018), please refer here.
Requests for applications are issued in the spring. If you would like to ensure that you are the first to know that applications are being accepted, please have Liz Higgins (Liz@CUREepilepsy.org) add you to our Research eBlast list.
Along with exposing young researchers and clinicians to exciting epilepsy research, a goal of the Frontiers in Research Seminar Series program is to get the word out about funding opportunities with CURE. That being said, we are not able to accept applications from institutions that are unable to meet the basic promotional requirements outlined below: Distribute a seminar flyer on/around campus and provide CURE a copy at least two weeks prior to the seminar. Flyer must contain CURE logo and key seminar information (refer to Host Guidelines for example). Display a slide with CURE’s information at the beginning of the seminar as people are entering the room (refer to Host Guidelines for example). Provide a 1-2 minute introduction about CURE research funding at the beginning of the talk (refer to Host Guidelines for talking points).
Yes, while the seminar host is free to select the speaker, final sign-off from CURE is required. Once a potential speaker is identified, please send details to Liz Higgins (Liz@CUREepilepsy.org) for approval.
Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) refers to the sudden, unexpected, witnessed or unwitnessed, non-traumatic and non-drowning death in patients with epilepsy. It may be seen with or without evidence of a recent seizure and no cause of death is found on autopsy (Nashef et al., Epilepsia 1997).
No one knows exactly what causes SUDEP. However, respiratory dysfunction, irregularities in heart rhythm, abnormalities in brain function including irregular EEG patterns and seizure-induced hormone and metabolic changes have all been suggested as potential causes of SUDEP (Surges et al., 2009; Bagnall et al., 2017)
While SUDEP can happen to anyone with epilepsy, some people are at higher risk than others. The greatest common risk factor for SUDEP is having more than three generalized tonic-clonic seizures per year (DeGiorgio et al., 2017). Other top risk factors include:
Having frequent uncontrolled seizures (more than 13 in the past year)
Two recent epidemiological studies have helped to shed more light on the rates of SUDEP. A 2017 American Academy of Neurology/American Epilepsy Society report that involved an extensive literature review found SUDEP to affect 1/4500 children with epilepsy and 1/1000 adults with epilepsy each year. In contrast, in an examination of SUDEP rates in a cohort of individuals with epilepsy gleaned from the Swedish National Death Registry, Sveinsson et al. found the rate of SUDEP to be 1.11/1000 children less than 16 years of age per year, 1.13/1000 in individuals aged 16-50 per year and 1.29/1000 in individuals over 50 each year. The most important thing to remember is that while the incidence of SUDEP can differ depending upon the population studied, it is greatest in individuals with poorly-controlled seizures.
As with adults, the answer generally depends upon how severe the epilepsy is. Some studies have found that risks for SUDEP in children are lower than in adults (Leestma et al., 1997; Harden et al., 2017); however, recent evidence suggests that SUDEP may be as prevalent in children as it is in adults, with about 1.11 cases of SUDEP per 1000 children with epilepsy (Sveinsson et al., 2017).
There are some studies that suggest genetic factors play a role, with certain genes implicated in some SUDEP cases (Bagnall et al., 2017). Research investigating the genetic link to SUDEP is still ongoing.
If your doctor has not spoken to you about the health risks associated with epilepsy including SUDEP, schedule an appointment to meet with him or her. Questions to ask include: What risks do I/my family member have for SUDEP? What can we do to reduce the risk of SUDEP?
While our understanding of SUDEP and how to prevent it is still unfolding, there are measures that people with epilepsy and their families can take to try to reduce their risk:
Currently, the most important measure that can be taken is to maximize seizure control. This includes taking medication as prescribed.
If medicines do not work, then other theraputic options may include:
the vagus nerve stimulator
the ketogenic diet.
Night time supervision may be helpful, including ensuring the person with epilepsy sleeps on their back. Be aware of and avoid any potential seizure triggers. Keep a record of things that occurred before a seizure (such as: were you ill, tired, stressed, hungry? Where did the seizure occur and what time of day was it?) – this information can help you to identify triggers and manage further seizures. Eat well, get enough rest and regular exercise and keep stress to a minimum whenever possible.
Though there is no definitive data on it, making use of devices such as a heart rate monitor or breathing alarm may also help. Ensure that loved ones have knowledge of emergency resuscitation measures including CPR and use of a defibrillator.
There is no concrete data to support using these pillows. A recent study found that although so-called “anti-suffocation” pillows may reduce the amount of inspired CO2 compared to conventional pillows (which would seemingly reduce the risk of asphyxia), the total amount of CO2 accumulated with “anti-suffocation” pillows may still reach life-threatening amounts (Catcheside et al., 2014). You may wish to discuss any possible benefits with your doctor.
There are many types of devices out there that can alert seizures, alert changes in heart rate, or alert changes in breathing. Currently, no devices exist that can prevent SUDEP, however, there is some evidence that using a nighttime audio monitoring device may help inform of a major seizure event (Arends et al., 2016). However, research into the development of this technology is still ongoing.
A death is referred to as a ‘SUDEP’ when a seemingly healthy person with epilepsy dies unexpectedly and no reason for the death can be found. In most cases, an autopsy is required to rule out other causes of death. The most common criteria used to determine whether a death is due to SUDEP are (Leestma et al., 1997):
The person has epilepsy, which is defined as recurrent unprovoked seizures
The person died unexpectedly while in a reasonable state of health
The death occurred suddenly
The death occurred during normal activity (often during sleep and found in or near the bed)
An obvious medical cause of death could not be determined at autopsy
The death was not the direct result of status epilepticus
The person must have a diagnosis of epilepsy for SUDEP to be considered. However, in SUDEP, the death may not be the direct result of a seizure. Although it is clear that a history of uncontrolled seizures increases the risk of SUDEP (DeGiorgio et al., 2017), the absence of evidence of a seizure prior to death does not preclude it from being deemed SUDEP.
Yes, in some cases. The North American SUDEP Registry (NASR), an international group of collaborating researchers, collects DNA and brain tissue to advance understanding of SUDEP. The purpose of the Registry is to provide researchers with a body of data that will result in greater understanding of SUDEP, its causes and possible ways to reduce patient risk. Please call NASR at 855-432-8555 or visit the NASR website for more information on how to participate in this critical study.
You may also contact Dr. Alica Goldman, a neurologist specializing in the field of epilepsy. She and her colleagues at The Department of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine are conducting a research study called "Ion Channels in Epilepsy*". The aim of the research is the identification of the genetic risk factors that predispose an individual to epilepsy and to sudden death. This study is funded by The National Institutes of Health (NIH)/The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). In order to perform this research, the investigators need a blood sample or a small piece of fresh tissue from the person who died as a result of the seizure disorder. If you would like to learn more about this study or for participation, please contact Dr. Alica Goldman at (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or the study coordinator, Eric Raap at (email: email@example.com; or phone: 713-798-2227). *This epilepsy study listing is for information purposes only; and the reader assumes full responsibility and risk for the appropriate use of the information provided. The information concerning the study was sent to the Epilepsy Foundation by the investigator or staff conducting the research. The Epilepsy Foundation, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and specifically disclaims any liability therefore.
SUDEP Institute (an institute that carries out SUDEP education and awareness and offers services to help families with epilepsy) – www.epilepsy.com/sudep-institute Danny Did (A foundation dedicated to stopping deaths caused by seizures by increasing awareness and providing grants for devices) – www.dannydid.org North American SUDEP Registry (NASR; an organization that collects DNA, brain and other tissues from people with epilepsy who have died unexpectedly for scientific studies about the causes of SUDEP) – sudep-registry.org Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy (PAME; A conference designed to increase SUDEP awareness and to bring together key stakeholders: clinicians, researchers and families/advocates/lay organizations) – pame.aesnet.org SUDEP Action (an organization that focuses efforts on providing SUDEP information and support for families, sponsoring SUDEP research and capturing SUDEP data in the UK and internationally) – www.sudep.org SUDEP Aware (an organization that provides information about SUDEP, shares SUDEP stories, and disseminates SUDEP eBrochures) – www.sudepaware.org
1. Basic Information about yourself and your photo
2. Basic information about the institution you plan to attend
3. Updated resume OR information regarding your professional and extracurricular achievements
4. 500-word essay explaining why you should be selected for the scholarship, how epilepsy has impacted your life either as a person living with epilepsy or as a family member/caregiver of a person living with epilepsy, and how the scholarship will benefit you and/or your family
5. One letter of recommendation from an academic professional, community official, or health care team member of your choosing
Anyone diagnosed with epilepsy, immediate family members of someone with epilepsy and/or caregivers are encouraged to apply. To apply for the CURE Education Enrichment Fund you must:
1. Be a) diagnosed with epilepsy by a physician or b) the immediate family member (parent, spouse, child or sibling) AND/OR caregiver of a person living with epilepsy. Caregivers are defined as any individual who provides unpaid, personal care for a person living with epilepsy.
2. Be seeking to advance your personal knowledge in the field of epilepsy, as it relates to research, health education, awareness, and/or advocacy. Coursework may include online training, training certifications, vocational coursework, academic coursework, or any other applicable courses*. Coursework may be completed at any training center, vocational institution, or academic institution the applicant chooses. *Applicability of coursework is at the discretion of the Education Enrichment Fund Selection Committee.
3. Not an employee (or an immediate family member of an employee) of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) or Lundbeck. Immediate family members, in this occasion, are defined as spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, grandchildren, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, stepchildren, stepsisters and stepbrothers. Additionally, healthcare professionals who directly or indirectly influence the prescribing of epilepsy medications, and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply.