Released: January 4, 2009

Department of Defense Multiple Sclerosis Research Program
Funding for Fiscal Year 2010

The Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) Defense Appropriations Act provides $4.5 million to the Department of Defense Multiple Sclerosis Research Program (MSRP). The MSRP challenges the scientific community to design innovative research that will increase the understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of MS and improve assessment and treatment options. The vision of the MSRP is to prevent the occurrence, cure, reverse, or slow the progression, and lessen the personal and societal impact of MS. This program is administered by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command through the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

The FY10 MSRP specifically encourages applications that address critical needs of the MS community and concentrate on the following:

  • Biological basis of disease progression
    • Primary Progressive MS
    • Secondary Progressive MS
  • Neurological protection, regeneration, and repair
  • MS phenotypic heterogeneity
    • Population subgroups (ancestry, sex, and others)
    • Novel stratification of affected population
  • Gene/environment interactions
    • Etiology
    • Disease course
  • Biomarkers of disease activity, progression, and drug response
  • Drug discovery
    • Assay development
    • Screening of novel compounds
    • Not human clinical trials
  • Biological basis of fatigue, sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment, affective disorder, and rehabilitation

The FY10 MSRP award mechanisms are listed in the table below. Mechanism-specific Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities, including submission deadlines, and General Application Instructions are anticipated to be posted on the and CDMRP websites ( and, respectively) in late January/early February 2010.

Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Concept Award All investigators
  • Supports the exploration of a highly innovative new concept or untested theory that addresses an important problem relevant to MS
  • Maximum funding of $75,000 in direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Period of performance not to exceed 1 year
  • Anticipate 12 awards
Idea Award Investigators at or above the level of an Assistant Professor (or equivalent)
  • Supports conceptually innovative, high-risk/potentially high-reward research that could ultimately lead to critical discoveries toward understanding the causes and progression of MS and/or improvements in patient care and/or quality of life
  • Preliminary data that is relevant to MS and the proposed research project should be included
  • Clinical trials are not allowed
  • Preproposal submission is required; application submission is by invitation only
  • Maximum funding of $450,000 in direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Period of performance not to exceed 3 years
  • Anticipate 4 awards

Information in this press release regarding the Concept Award and the Idea Award mechanisms is being provided to allow investigators time to plan and develop applications. All applications submitted must conform to the requirements specified in the relevant Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities, which will be posted on at a later date. Pre-application and application deadlines will not be available until these program announcements are released.

The number of awards anticipated is based on available funds and the average cost of applications. The MSRP reserves the right to make awards in greater or lesser numbers than anticipated based on the number and quality of applications received. Each Program Announcement/Funding Opportunity and the General Application Instructions, which detail the pre-application and application submission requirements and process, along with the required forms for application submission, will be available for downloading from the website ( upon release.

Pre-application submission to the CDMRP eReceipt website ( prior to application submission is required for all award mechanisms. Applications must be submitted through the federal government's single-entry portal, ( Pre-application and application submission deadlines will be listed in the Program Announcement/Funding Opportunity.

Requests for email notification of the release of program announcements may be sent to For more information about the ALSRP or other CDMRP-sponsored programs, please visit the CDMRP website (

Point of Contact: