Clinical Research Funding: Where Do I Look for Capital?

Ask any clinical research coordinator about the most challenging part of their work, and they will undoubtedly say, “securing funds for the project.”

Research requires money, and finding the funds you need to carry out your project is essential and time-consuming. While there are many funding bodies to pitch to, you have to realize that they go through hundreds, if not thousands, of research proposals. We have another blog post that talks about getting their attention with eye-catching proposals, but in this article, we talk about ways you can attain funding.

Before you start applying for funding, here’s what you need to do

To ensure successful awards of funds, you need to ensure:

  1. Develop a hypothesis and clearly explain in the proposal about how you will be designing experiments to test it;
  2. Finalize what groups or entities will be interested in participating;
  3. Shortlisting the funding bodies who would be interested in funding your research;
  4. Start well-ahead of the submission deadline of the funding bodies you want to apply to.

Sources of funding

As you start your clinical journey, you may have come across numerous websites and organizations that are dedicated to helping you find funds. But most of them have one thing in common — you have to pay hefty subscription or membership fees to get access.

While it may seem convenient to pay them to get you funding, you’ll be surprised to know there are many resources available that help you get access to the capital you need, including research grants, awards, fellowships, cooperatives, and more.

Here’s a list of different types of funds available to clinical researchers:

Federal Grants records all fellowships, grants and other funding possibilities across all 26 agencies of the U.S. government, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. The website has an extensive search feature that allows you to search for funding based on keywords, funding type, category, agency, and more.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIH is the most comprehensive public funder of biomedical research in the world. They have over 24 institutes and centers awarding $32 billion a year in grants to enhance human life and overcome disease and disability. The website offers extensive information to researchers on the different types of funding available through their organization, and what kind of researches and studies are eligible for their funding. The site also offers a dedicated page for researchers with information and tips on applying for grants. They also provide a section for researches with animals, which provide special requirements for creating a grant.

Disease-Specific Private Grants

There are many organizations and funding bodies that offer grants based to projects studying specific, rare, diseases. They include:


The most extensive group of bodies currently fund cancer studies. As its one of the most prevalent and common diseases affecting the US and Canada, it’s understandable that it has the most funding budgets available. Following is a list of all organizations that fund clinical research:

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Cancer Society
  • Children’s Leukemia Research Association
  • Conquer Cancer Foundation
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • Mary Kay Foundation
  • Melanoma Research Foundation
  • Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Susan G. Komen

Other Diseases

There are many other organizations that cater to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Heart, Lung, Brian, and other increasingly common diseases. They include:

  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Thyroid Foundation
  • American Brain Tumor Association
  • American Federation for Aging Research
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association
  • American Society of Hematology
  • Arthritis National Research Foundation
  • Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association

Did we miss out on any funding organizations? Let us know in the comments below!