Call for Research Proposals
The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program (2023)

Opportunity Has Closed

The ALS Association’s Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program supports the preclinical development of new or repurposed treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 


The ALS Association is the largest philanthropic funder of ALS research worldwide. Through our global research program, we are at the forefront of efforts to find new treatments and a cure for ALS in addition to making life better for people currently living with the disease, their caregivers and their families. Association-funded grants and awards have led to some of the most promising and significant advances in ALS research. 

The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program, named in honor of the prominent entertainment executive and television and theater actress, provides industry and academic investigators with up to $500,000 over two years to support the preclinical assessment of novel therapies or repositioned treatment approaches for ALS. This program prioritizes projects that have a high probability of reaching the clinic within three years. 

To view the full funding announcement, click here

Topics of Interest (Scope)

Both novel programs and repurposing of approved or clinically safe therapies from other disease indications are appropriate for this RFA. Studies can be performed by a contract research organization in collaboration with the principal investigator. We are especially interested in drug development projects supporting the following: 

  • In vivo efficacy testing of therapeutic candidates (pharmacological treatments, biological therapies or gene therapy) in models of ALS 
  • Studies on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, preclinical toxicology/safety (ADME/Tox), dose-range finding and target engagement 
  • Other IND-enabling studies 

Please note: Clinical trials will not be supported through this funding opportunity. Neither will early drug discovery studies proposing high-throughput screening, hit-to-lead and lead optimization. Applicants should have a development candidate in hand as this funding opportunity aims to support programs that have a high probability of entering the clinic within three years.

Funding and Eligibility

Budgets for total costs up to $500,000 (inclusive of both direct and indirect costs) may be requested (up to $250,000 per year across two years). Indirect costs are limited to 10% of total direct costs. 

Individuals with the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research may apply as a principal investigator. Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to apply as principal investigators. 

Since the preclinical drug development process often requires resources beyond those available at a single organization, applications are open to investigators participating in synergistic collaborations. The applicant organization must be the entity that controls the relevant intellectual property under development. 

Key Dates and Deadlines 

  • Letter of Intent Due Date: March 30, 2023, 5 p.m. US EDT 
  • Full Proposal Due Date (by invitation only): June 1, 2023, 5 p.m. US EDT 
  • Anticipated Award Decision: July 2023 
  • Anticipated Earliest Start Date: August 2023 


All application materials must be submitted electronically. To register for a Proposal Central account, create a new Letter of Intent or access an existing saved Letter of Intent, please visit  

Instructions for Proposal Central:   


We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity. Please submit your questions and other related correspondence to

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