How to Apply for Research Grants

Over $1 Million in Fragile X Research Funding Offered Each Year

Next Fellowship Due Date: 2/1/2025. Clinical Trial Proposals Accepted Anytime.

Antonella Borreca & Zaira Boussadia

FRAXA ‘s mission is to find specific treatments and ultimately a cure for Fragile X syndrome. We aim to bring practical treatment into current medical practice as quickly as possible; we prioritize projects that have a clear practical application and the results of which will be shared in a timely fashion.

FRAXA awards two types of funding:

  1. Clinical Trial applications are accepted and reviewed on a revolving basis, so there is no application deadline. Our #1 priority is to fund clinical trials, while still continuing to support worthwhile translational research and other early-stage work.
  2. FRAXA Fellowship applications are due on February 1 each year.

A Letter of Intent to Michael Tranfaglia, MD is essential before submitting any application.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Clinical Trial Grants are Top Priority

    FRAXA Clinical Trial Grant applications may be submitted at any time, and budget is flexible.

    These grants are strictly for clinical research with human subjects who have Fragile X.

    • Flexible in amount, structure, and duration, but may be subject to some negotiation.
    • Emphasis will be placed on clinical trials of potentially disease-modifying agents which have been previously validated in Fragile X animal models, especially in previous FRAXA-funded research. Other types of clinical research will also be considered, such as biomarker studies in Fragile X patients, or trials of symptomatic therapies, but this type of research is a lower priority.
    • No limit to structure of grant (can fund PI, postdoc, grad student, technician, supplies, etc.) or time-frame (though all grants over one year still need yearly renewal).
    • No limit on amount, but please remember that applications are evaluated based on relative value, so smaller requests have an advantage!

    FRAXA Fellowships offer $100,000 over 2 Years

    A FRAXA Fellowships provide $50,000 per year for up to 2 years.

    • Priority is given to research with a translational or preclinical focus on Fragile X, which has potential to lead to improved treatment.
    • Fellowships are initially funded for one year and are renewable for a second year, assuming successful progress and timely submission of a renewal application.
    • Any university, hospital, or other non-profit lab in the world may apply. FRAXA funds research all over the world!
    • Fellowships allow for a flexible use of funding; salary support for any personnel with graduate-level experience is permitted. Supply budgets are also allowed.
    • Limit of one application per lab group.
    • Non-transferable (only good for specified postdoc, PI, and institution).
    • PIs must demonstrate adequate overall funding to pursue the project. Successful applicants for these grants will likely be working in established labs which have funding for supplies and any required animal handling costs. If the applicant proposes to work with a particular Fragile X model (mouse, drosophila, neural stem cells, etc.) s/he should demonstrate that this model system is already established in-house.

    FRAXA's Strategy

    FRAXA Research Foundation focuses on research which is likely to lead to new and improved treatments — and ultimately a cure — for Fragile X syndrome, with an emphasis on disease-modifying therapeutics based on understanding of Fragile X disease mechanisms. Every year we receive proposals from scientists worldwide seeking funding for the most cutting-edge Fragile X research.

    Our goal has always been to accelerate the pace of research by eliminating “bottlenecks” in this long and complex process. Our funding priorities are determined by the state of the research and the nature of these bottlenecks, so we constantly re-examine these priorities as the field progresses.

    In FRAXA’s early years, little was known about basic disease mechanisms, so we placed great emphasis on funding basic research to understand the pathophysiology of Fragile X. Research in the Fragile X field was initially the province of molecular biologists and geneticists, so bringing more neuroscientists into the research community was a high priority. These past efforts have been quite successful, generating detailed insights into the basic biology of Fragile X. Fragile X and the normal function of FMRP are both hot topics in neuroscience today. Thus, basic research into Fragile X disease mechanisms can no longer be considered a bottleneck and is now a lower priority for funding.

    Other past bottlenecks, such as poor antibodies to FMRP and difficulties obtaining animal models, have been resolved by specific resource grants by FRAXA (some continuing to the present). This has enabled an explosion in translational research in Fragile X, leading to many promising therapeutic strategies in the works.

    However, this also had the net effect of moving the bottleneck further down the road, to the preclinical validation stage of the development process. In response, FRAXA has developed new methods of validating promising drug treatment strategies in a standardized manner, with vastly greater efficiency. We are now less likely to fund academic labs for years on end to test one particular drug strategy — this approach, though appropriate in the past, is too inefficient today. With the bottleneck at the preclinical validation stage of development essentially resolved, the new bottleneck down the road is now clinical trials.

    Application Process

    Please email your application as a single pdf to both and Please be sure we acknowledge receipt of application. Applicants will be notified of awards 60-90 days after receipt of application. Successful applicants and their university grants offices will be required to sign FRAXA’s grants contract.

    Please provide the following information with your application:

    1. Project title.
    2. Lay description suitable for publishing on if project is funded.
    3. Requested start date. The earliest possible start date is 4 months after receipt of the application.
    4. Budget.
    5. Scientific Description of the proposed project (8-15 pages recommended).
    6. Curriculum Vitae for the Principal Investigator.
    7. Curriculum Vitae for the Fellow and/or other personnel to be supported under the grant.
    8. 3 references who are willing to be contacted to provide recommendations for candidate fellow.
    9. Full accounting of any other current and submitted sources of support for this project and other lab research.


    FRAXA Fellowships are made for one year and may be renewed for a second year based on satisfactory progress. For FRAXA grants of more than one year duration, we require a renewal application be submitted at least 6 weeks before the second year of funding is needed.

    Grant Renewal Guidelines

    Final Reports

    For every FRAXA-funded project, we require a final scientific report within three months following the award period. In addition, we require a non-confidential lay summary to be posted on

    Final Report Guidelines

    Indirect Costs

    FRAXA is unable to pay for indirect costs under any circumstances. Institutions which are unwilling to waive indirect costs are not eligible to receive FRAXA grants.

    Reporting and Publicity

    FRAXA’s purpose in providing grants is to accelerate progress towards treatment for Fragile X. Therefore, in accepting an award, the Principal Investigator undertakes to:

    • Publish the results of the work pursued in the primary literature in a timely fashion. Once published, the reagents, methods, materials, and products of the work must be made available immediately to other qualified researchers, subject to Grantee’s material transfer agreement as applicable.
    • Recognize the support of FRAXA in any published article resulting from the work pursued.
    • Recognize the support of FRAXA in any presentation of the work at professional meetings and conferences.

    Before a project can start, the scientists funded will work with FRAXA to develop a non-confidential lay description of the project for and social media. The grantee institution, Principal Investigator, and Fellow will cooperate fully with FRAXA in announcements through the news media of grants awarded and in materials prepared to publicize work under the grant.

    FRAXA will publish periodic non-confidential descriptions and updates on funded projects in its publications, social media, and website.

    Intellectual Property

    “Invention” means all discoveries, improvements, and inventions arising from this grant together with all related data, results, and information. Title to any Invention shall reside with the grantee institution. The grantee institution will notify FRAXA promptly after identifying any Invention that the grantee institution believes is patentable and will supply FRAXA, in confidence, with copies of that Invention.

    Grantee institution shall make reasonable efforts to license the Invention for commercial development to a third-party. For a patented Invention conceived and reduced to practice that is subsequently licensed under this grant, FRAXA and the grantee institution will negotiate in good faith to enter into a royalty sharing agreement consistent with the grantee institution’s policies and procedures solely for the equitable distribution of net income from the Invention, taking into consideration the level of funding provided.

    For further information please contact Michael Tranfaglia, MD.

    Printable Flyer


    Contact Dr. Michael Tranfaglia with questions, comments or concerns at or (978) 462-1866.

    Global Leader in Fragile X Research

    FRAXA-funded researchers around the world are leading the way towards effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

    Explore Current Research Grants
    Help Fund the Cure

    Global Leader in Fragile X Research

    FRAXA-funded researchers around the world are leading the way towards effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

    Explore Current Research Grants
    Help Fund the Cure