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Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Parkinson’s Disease Research


The Michael J. Fox Foundation seeks applications with the potential to increase knowledge about Parkinson’s disease in populations that have been excluded from or underrepresented in research.

Though no definitive evidence exists that the incidence, morbidity, or mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) varies between socioeconomic and ethnic groups, data on traditionally underrepresented groups is either sparse or non-existent. 

This request for applications (RFA) to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in Parkinson’s research is open to proposals that will increase inclusivity and broaden our understanding of PD. Such projects will help accelerate the discovery of strategies for reducing risk and developing treatments for all people.

What Fits

Underrepresented populations include, but are not limited to Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ+, those in lower socioeconomic groups and individuals living in underserved geographies (rural and urban).

Applications should focus on studies in underrepresented populations around one or more of the following Parkinson’s areas: 

  • Disease burden: Research toward robust estimates of PD incidence and/or prevalence
  • Risk and pathology: Diagnostic, biomarker, and/or pathological evaluations to better understand Parkinson's risk and pathology, and discern how they intersect with the social determinants of health and structural discrimination
  • Assessments: Evaluation of assessment procedures across different cultures and differential response to treatment
  • Clinical course: Investigation of how Parkinson’s disease progresses in different populations and likelihood of milestones for advanced disease such as cognitive impairment, refractory motor symptoms and loss of independence
  • Access to care: Exploration of structural barriers that prevent access to neurology evaluations and care, and access to/uptake of device-aided therapies


Applications may be submitted by:

  • Researchers or clinicians in U.S. and non-U.S. biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies, or other publicly or privately held for-profit entities
  • Researchers or clinicians in U.S. and non-U.S. public and private non-profit entities, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments and eligible agencies of the federal government.
  • Post-doctoral fellows as co-investigators with the designation of an administrative primary investigator who directs the laboratory in which the fellow will conduct research. These projects can be funded up to $200,000.

As projects may require many kinds of expertise, MJFF encourages industry, academic, and/or non-profit collaborations when appropriate. Those working on social and health disparities in underrepresented groups should also apply, preferably in collaboration with PD researchers. 

Applicants may request budgets starting from $50,000 up to $400,000, depending on the scope of work for 18 to 36 months. MJFF encourages applications for projects of all sizes. Requested budget amount will not correlate with prioritization for funding. 

Informational Webinar

Watch our webinar to learn more about our Foundation's funding strategy, this opportunity, and the application and review processes. Watch anytime on demand.

Application Process

1. Download the RFA and application template
2. Log in or create account in the grant application portal
3. Submit your completed application.

Please note that we have made changes to our publication and indirect costs policies in early 2020. Review the updated Application Guidelines and the open access publication policy for complete details. Contact with questions about the RFA, application process, or these policies.

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