Below is a list of frequently asked questions about The Emerging Investigator Awards.  For more information about this program, please read our news release or contact Danielle Chan at FightSMA.

What is this?

FightSMA and Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF) are looking for the newest leaders in SMA research.  Through this program, we will $250,000 in grants to five different researchers.

When will the grants be awarded?

Five $25,000 grants will be awarded to five different researchers on April 11, 2013.  In November 2013, two additional $62,500 grants will be awarded to two of the five initial grantees.

Why are you doing this?

In the words of FightSMA Scientific Advisory Committee Co-Chair Alex MacKenzie: “The leadership of FightSMA and of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation understands that the effort to find a treatment for SMA is a long fight.  We need to continually bring new thinking to this effort, and we need to recruit young, gifted talent to move the work forward in the future.”

Who is eligible?

Emerging investigators ranging from recent PhD graduates engaged in postdoctoral fellowships up to assistant professors within the first two years of their appointment are eligible to apply.

Where can I apply?

Go to for application information, or contact Danielle Chan at FightSMA

What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline has been EXTENDED!  Online applications are now due by February 22, 2013.

Who is FightSMA?

FightSMA ( is a 22-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant death. The group has awarded research grants at more than 40 universities and research institutions in five countries.

Who is GSF?

The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation ( is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing global awareness of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), accelerating research, and supporting families impacted by SMA and other life-altering conditions. The GSF motto: “NEVER GIVE UP.”