OPERF | Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation

Other Funding & Resources

This page provides a brief summary of funding sources and resources available to investigators interested in pursuing research opportunities in orthotics & prosthetics (O&P).

National funding sources

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The (NIH) is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the United States' medical research agency. NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems. Institutes that have supported or are currently supporting O&P research include:

National Institute on Aging (NIA)
The NIA supports and conducts genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research related to the aging process, diseases and conditions associated with aging, and other special problems and needs of older Americans.

National Institute on Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
The NIAMS supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
The NIBIB is devoted to merging the physical and biological sciences to develop new technologies that improve health. Unlike many other NIH institutes, the NIBIB's mission is not limited to a single disease or group of illnesses; rather it spans the entire spectrum.

National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
The NICHD conducts and supports research on all stages of human development, from preconception to adulthood, to better understand the health of children, adults, families, and communities.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
The NIDDK conducts and supports basic and clinical research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health, including metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, inborn errors of metabolism, endocrine disorders, mineral metabolism, digestive and liver diseases, nutrition, urology and renal disease, and hematology.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
The NINDS conducts, fosters, coordinates, and guides research on the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological disorders and stroke, and supports basic research in related scientific areas.

Other NIH Resources

Office of Extramural Research (OER)
The OER provide the leadership, oversight, tools and guidance needed to administer and manage NIH grants policies and operations.

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is the portal for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific merit. CSR organizes NIH's peer review groups. CER provides information on different types of NIH grant programs, the grant process, and peer review.

National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
The NCRR provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the tools and training they need to understand, detect, treat and prevent a wide range of diseases. NCRR supports all aspects of clinical and translational research, connecting researchers, patients and communities across the US.

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR)
The NCMRR is a Center with the NICHD that aims to foster development of scientific knowledge needed to enhance the health, productivity, independence, and quality-of-life of people with disabilities. The NCMRR uses seven research priorities to help guide its research.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDDR)
The NIDRR provides leadership and support for a comprehensive program of research related to the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities. NIDRR is part of the Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). NIDRR provides an array of grants and other funding opportunities to serve individuals with disabilities and their families.

US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents. Funding opportunities are available for VA investigators.

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)
CDMRP is a branch of the US Department of Defense that manages Congressional Special Interest Medical Research Programs (CSI) encompassing breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers, neurofibromatosis, military health, and other specified areas. CDMRP funding opportunities often address areas relevant to O&P, such as multiple sclerosis, orthopaedic trauma, and spinal cord injury.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) AHRQ is the lead Federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. AHRQ has funding opportunities available to qualified investigators.

National Science Foundation (NSF) The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense. Funding opportunities related to O&P may be found under NSF's General & Age-Related Disabilities Engineering (GARDE) Program.

Small business funding sources

Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation have funding opportunities (e.g., Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) that target small businesses and partnerships between non-profit institutions and small businesses.

Noteworthy funding programs

NIH Loan Repayment Program (NIH LRP) NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) provide support for scientists conducting nonprofit research outside of NIH, and NIH employee researchers.

Grant search engines

Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/) Grants.gov is a resource to locate and apply for grants from a variety of federal agencies, including the Departments of Health, Education, Defense and Veterans Affairs as well as the National Science Foundation.

NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORTER) RePORTER is an electronic tool that allows users to search a repository of NIH-funded research projects and access publications and patents resulting from NIH funding.

Foundation funding sources

Council on Foundations (CoF) A nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations, with a mission is to promote responsible and effective philanthropy by assisting existing and future grantmakers. A list of member foundations is available here.

American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) The Academy has developed a list of foundations that may be potential sources for grant funding in prosthetics and orthotics. Additionally, the Academy's O&P Research Reference Guide provides links to articles published in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics (JPO) that may be useful to grant applicants.

Other grant writing resources

NIH and Grants.gov both offer tips and resources for preparing and writing grant applicants. Individual NIH Institutes also offer similar institute-specific information for applicants.

Private and federally-funded grant writing workshops, such as the Enhancing Rehabilitation Research in the South (ERRIS) can be a valuable resource for young investigators. Many universities also offer lectures, symposia, or courses on grant writing.