Leading the way to a cure

Grant Funding Mechanisms

The Lupus Research Alliance has given more money to lupus research than any non-governmental agency in the world; to date, the organization has committed more than $172 million to lupus research. Below is a list of our Lupus Research Funding mechanisms.

Target Identification in Lupus

Accelerating Progress Toward More Effective Treatments

Our TIL grant mechanisms give world-class researchers the opportunity to investigate promising studies through the funding mechanism of large grants for a period of two years. The aim of all lupus research funded under the TIL program is to quickly move a therapy from the laboratory to the patient's bedside.

The Lupus Research Alliance Scientific Advisory Board determines if an investigation is worthy of a TIL grant, which can be as much as $400,000. TIL grantees also have the opportunity to apply for continued funding up to $200,000.

Click here to learn more about our TIL awardees

Distinguished Innovator Award

Highly Promising New Ideas on The Fundamental Causes of Lupus

The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) launched the first $1 million research grants given to lupus investigators by a private research organization in 2012. The LRI Distinguished Innovator Award 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 Award challenges the international scientific community to pursue highly promising new ideas on the fundamental causes of lupus that can lead to a cure. In 2016, the Award was renamed as: Dr. William E. Paul Distinguished Innovator Awards in Lupus and Autoimmunity in honor and memory of Dr. Bill Paul, our late Scientific Chairman. We grant this recognition in deep appreciation for Bill’s leadership and commitment in spearheading this groundbreaking initiative.

Click here to learn more about our Distinguished Innovator awardees

Novel Research Grant

Sound science that challenges conventional thinking and fosters innovation

The Novel Research Grant program provides $300,000 for three-year projects with bold yet sound scientific hypotheses in lupus and is open to US-based investigators only. The Novel Research Grants uniquely support hypothesis-driven basic and clinical research founded on sound deductive logic—but not necessarily backed by extensive preliminary data. In place of safe and tried approaches to thinking about lupus, we encourage and reward innovation, imagination, creativity from all disciplines, and cross-disciplinary work that has potential for translating basic research discoveries into clinical treatments. The program’s success is well-documented, leading to many of the most pivotal discoveries in lupus over the past 15 years.

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


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

1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

106 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Lupus Research Alliance.

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