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Leading the way to a cure

Grant Funding Mechanisms

Transforming Lives Through the Power of Science

The Lupus Research Alliance stands United to Free the World of Lupus Through the Power of Science. Formed by families determined to find a cure, the organization merges the Alliance for Lupus Research, the Lupus Research Institute, and the S.L.E. Foundation.

The Lupus Research Alliance is driven by one central goal – to improve the lives of people living with the disease, today and in the long term. We believe that scientific research is the most powerful way we can achieve this goal. Further, we believe that by both pushing the limits of scientific exploration and shepherding new discoveries as they evolve into potential treatments, we can best seize every opportunity to impact the lives of those with lupus.

Our strategy is a coordinated effort—one that leverages resources and fosters collaboration to avoid duplication of effort and inefficiency. The Lupus Research Alliance advances under one roof the full spectrum of innovation across fundamental and translational research to clinical trials. The end goal -- to speed new treatments, prevention and a cure to lupus patients.

Each Lupus Research Alliance Research Portfolio Summary (RPS) reports every current scientific research investigation that is funded by the organization in a particular year. As of 2016-17, collectively, the new organization has funded $172 million in lupus research programs, leading to key discoveries that are improving diagnosis and treatment while pushing closer to prevention and a cure. Our grant program is comprehensive, providing opportunities to pursue the most novel ideas as well as to advance proven approaches to improving treatment. The three grant mechanisms are: the Dr. William E. Paul Distinguished Innovator Award in Lupus and Autoimmunity; Target Identification in Lupus Grant program; and Novel Research Grants.


Target Identification in Lupus

Accelerating Progress Toward More Effective Treatments

Under our Target Identification in Lupus (TIL) grant program, investigators leverage a two-year, up-to-$400,000 award, to remove the barriers to new treatments and a possible cure. All research funded under the TIL program is based on realizable goals for translation into therapeutic discovery programs — that is, research that can move quickly from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. Researchers also have the opportunity to apply for a third year of funding through a non-competitive progress report. All lupus research funded under the TIL program is based on realizable goals for translation into therapeutic discovery programs – that is, research discoveries become useful therapies in the near future.

Click here to learn more about our TIL awardees


Dr. William E. Paul Distinguished Innovator Awards in Lupus and Autoimmunity

$1-Million Grants for Innovative Projects Aiming to Uncover the Root Causes of Lupus That Can Drive to a Cure

The Dr. William E. Paul Distinguished Innovator Award in Lupus and Autoimmunity was created to address the current lack of treatments in development that could arrest or reverse the disease. The only privately funded awards of this scale in lupus, the $1 million award challenges exceptional scientists to pursue innovative, hypothesis- or discovery-driven worldwide projects in human and/or animal model based lupus research that aims to uncover the fundamental root causes of lupus and present a compelling vision of how the discovery would begin the drive to a cure and open the door to prevention.

Click here to learn more about our Distinguished Innovator awardees


Novel Research Grant

Novel Grants with Documented Success Support High-Risk, High-Reward Scientific Innovation

The Novel Research Grant program provides early-stage support with three-year $300,000 grants for high-risk, high-reward, idea-driven, novel research projects relevant to basic, translational or clinical investigation in lupus. Exceptionally creative and innovative, projects advance novel scientific hypotheses in lupus, aim to stimulate investigation of underexplored pathways, and initiate transformative discoveries that can drive the development of safer and more effective treatments. Open to the global research community, the Novel Research Grants foster investigations into the fundamental mechanisms of lupus and its complications, explorations of novel targets and pathways, and novel technologies. Applications from investigators in diverse disciplines, including those who may not have worked in lupus are encouraged.

Click here to learn more about our Novel Research Grant awardees


Functional Genomics and Molecular Pathways (FGMP) in SLE Grant*

Blazing New Avenues of Discovery

These studies, in uncovering a greater level of detail in how the immune system works, are expanding the list of therapeutic targets.

Selected investigators receive research grants of up to $350,000 for two years or Pilot Grants of up to $75,000 for one year. Grantees will focus on determining how the genes identified by SLEGEN may have a role in the disease, and provide further information about the molecular pathways modulated by these genes.

Click here to learn more about our FGMP awardees

*We are currently not funding any new grants under the Functional Genomics and Molecular Pathways in SLE mechanism.


Pilot Grant Program

Pursuing Research with Great Potential

Although this program has been postponed indefinitely, you may be interested in learning about past projects funded through the Lupus Research Alliance’s Pilot Grant Program. The program was designed to provide lupus research funding of up to $75,000 to investigators pursuing high-risk but promising approaches. The Pilot program’s streamlined application process is designed to entice new minds to lend their talents to lupus research. It also encouraged well-established names in the field to try their hands at highly novel investigations.

Click here to learn more about our PILOT awardees


Federal Funding for Lupus Research

Giving a Voice to Those with the Disease

We believe that the 1.5 million Americans who have lupus deserve the backing of our government. So in addition to direct support, the Lupus Research Alliance also advocates for increased federal funding for lupus research. And our efforts have paid off—with increased funds allocated through the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.

Click here to learn more about Advoacy and Public Policy


Lupus Investigators Network

The Lupus Investigators Network (LuCIN) was formed to accelerate the identification and development of new therapies to treat lupus. The goals of LuCIN are to: conduct safe and reliable clinical studies on new lupus treatments; facilitate sharing of clinical and biological data to better understand lupus; and enlist patient input and participation in clinical studies. To achieve these goals, LuCIN provides grants of up to $80,000 annually to cover institutional infrastructure costs for LuCIN clinical study activities. Submissions are evaluated on the institution’s resources and capabilities to conduct lupus clinical trials.


Research Partnerships

The Lupus Research Alliance has partnerships with several groups and organizations to work collaboratively in finding a cure across varied research models and methodologies.  Learn more here.


1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

172 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Lupus Research Alliance.


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