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About FARA's Research Program

FARA supports research through funding competitive grants across the spectrum from basic research through drug development and clinical research programs in Friedreich's Ataxia (FA). We promote collaboration among scientists, advocate for public-private partnerships and host open forums for leading scientists to share their insights and ideas to advance therapeutic development for FA.

FARA's Grant types, Deadlines, and Budget Limits are described in the table below. You can view special interest requests for proposals (RFPs) and other grant program updates and announcements here.

All investigators interested in FA-related research are invited to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) through our submission portal. All proposed research must fall within FARA's Grant Program Priorities. For more information on how to apply for a FARA grant, click here.

Grant types, Deadlines, and Budget Limits
Grant Type Letter of Intent
(LOI) Deadline
Application Deadline Maximum Budget
(in US dollars)
 +  General Research Grant February 1 & July 15 April 1 & September 15 $125,000 per year
for 1 or 2 years
 +  Keith Michael Andrus
Cardiac Award
January 15 March 1 $150,000 per year
for 1 or 2 years
 +  Kyle Bryant Translational
Research Award
May 15 July 15 $250,000 per year
for 1 or 2 years
 +  Bronya J. Keats
International Research
Collaboration Award
May 15 July 15 $200,000 per year
for 1 or 2 years
 +  Postdoctoral
Research Award
February 1 & July 15 April 1 & September 15 $100,000 per year
for 1 or 2 years
 +  Postdoctoral
February 1 & July 15 April 1 & September 15 Trainee salary
up to 2 yrs
 +  Request for Proposals
and Ad-hoc Requests
FARA will issue requests for proposals (RFPs) on an ad-hoc basis.
Grant program updates and announcements

Request For Proposals: Pharmacodynamic Biomarker Development

FARA is issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to support clinical drug development programs in Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) by promoting the discovery of technologies to measure frataxin or surrogates of frataxin in inaccessible tissues. This RFP focuses on the development and validation of pharmacodynamic and/or efficacy biomarkers that can be used to support early-phase clinical trials that test promising pharmacological interventions, specifically aimed at frataxin gene and protein replacement, increasing frataxin levels and restoring/substituting for frataxin function.

This RFP supports the discovery of methodologies to measure in FRDA affected tissues (nervous system, heart, muscle):

  • Frataxin
  • Biochemical activities related to/downstream of frataxin function
  • Metabolic functions that are modified/negatively impacted by frataxin loss, and correlate with disease pathophysiology and progression
Please submit a Letter of Intent here. The LOI deadline is 7/01/2021.
You can access the full RFP here.

Award for Innovative Mindset (AIM)​

FARA is pleased to renew the request for proposals for a one-year Award for Innovative Mindset (AIM).​
AIM supports innovative, high-impact research that will foster new directions, bring new perspectives to the field and address neglected issues in Friedreich's ataxia (FA) research. ​

This RFP promotes the initial exploration of innovative, high-risk, high-gain, and potentially groundbreaking concepts in FA research. The proposed research project should include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale and study design. The presentation of preliminary and/or published data is encouraged, but not required. ​

The Application Submission Deadline is June 1, 2021. Please submit your proposal here.​
The award recipients will be announced by August 1, 2021.​
​ You can access the full RFP here.

The FARA forum webinars​

The FARA Forum is a monthly webinar featuring investigators who have been awarded FARA grants. The webinar is open to FARA grant awardees and it is held on the second Tuesday of every month. For more information contact

May 11, 2021​
  5:00 PM ET Aseem Ansari, St. Jude Children's Hospital​
  5:45 PM ET Mirella Dottori, University of Wollongong, Australia​

June 8, 2021
  12:00 PM ET Tslil Ast, Mootha lab, Broad Institute
  12:45 PM ET Joshua Meisel, Mootha lab, Broad Institute

July 13, 2021
  12:00 PM ET Javier Santos, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  12:45 PM ET Jaclyn Tamaroff, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

COVID-19 emergency:
If you have been awarded a FARA grant, we will continue to request progress reports as they are due. If your work has been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency – for example if milestones could not be met or no work at all could be performed – we ask you to provide an explanation of how the COVID-19 emergency has impacted your research. We are also requesting that you inform FARA of what actions and measures are needed to assist you in restoring and reestablishing your research. We realize that there may be requests for re-budgeting and no-cost extensions and these decisions will be made on a case by case basis, FARA is implementing a maximum flexibility approach, to meet the needs of our research community and help its recovery.​

Please contact us at or, at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Grant program updates and announcements

View special interest RFPs and other grant program updates and announcements here.

Newly awarded grants

Cell & Animal Models

Paola Costantini, PhD - University of Padova, Italy​ Three-dimensional mature cardiac microtissues from human induced pluripotent stem cells to explore mitochondrial dynamics, cardiac function and therapeutic options in Friedreich Ataxia

Gene & Stem Cell Therapy​

Jill Napierala, PhD - University of Alabama at Birmingham​ Regulation of frataxin expression - implications for Friedreich's ataxia therapy​
Helene Puccio, PhD - Institute NeuroMyoGène, Lyon, France​ Defining the therapeutic window and threshold for neuronal gene therapy in Friedreich Ataxia​

Mechanism or Pathway of Disease​

Nadia D'Ambrosi, PhD - University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy Role of iron-dependent dysfunctions in microglia toxicity
Elisabetta Indelicato, MD, PhD - Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria Hepcidin-Ferroportin axis in Friedreich’s ataxia

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