Research grant information

Our research grants support studies that will increase our understanding of suicide or test treatments and other interventions that save lives.

Grant cycle 2020 - 2021

Click here for information about our application review process.

Review CycleLetter of Intent DueDue DateReview DatesFunding DecisionsEarliest Start Date
Innovation Grants (six categories: see below)None
* Excluding Linked Standard Research Grants (see below)
Nov. 15, 2020Spring 2021End of May 2021October 2021
Focus GrantsAug. 1, 2020Dec. 7, 2020Spring 2021End of May 2021October 2021

Research Grant Types

Research Grant Types

    Focus Grants

    Up to $500,000 per year for up to three years

    Each year our research department requests applications for innovative, high-risk, potentially high-yield projects that focuses on a specific area of suicide prevention. These areas have been determined by AFSp and its Scientific Council, and reviewed and updated annually.

    Applications must submit a Letter of Intent by August 1st to be eligible to apply.

    Learn more about the Focus Grants or
    download the Focus Grants Flyer

    Download Policy Document

    Learn more

    Linked Standard Research Innovation Grants

    Up to $450,000 over 2 years

    Grants awarded to investigators at any level performing research involving two or more unique sites with each site contributing unique expertise, as well as data collection.

    Applications must submit a Letter of Intent by September 15 to be eligible to apply.

    Download Policy Document

    Apply now

    Distinguished Investigator Innovation Grants

    Up to $125,000 over 2 years

    Grants awarded to investigators at the level of associate professor or higher with an established record of research and publication on suicide.

    Download Policy Document

    Apply now

    Standard Research Innovation Grants

    Up to $100,000 over 2 years

    Grants awarded to individual investigators at any level.

    Download Policy Document

    Apply now

    Young Investigator Innovation Grants

    Up to $90,000 over 2 years

    Grants awarded to investigators at or below the level of assistant professor. These grants must allocate $10,000 ($5,000 per year) of their award for an established suicide researcher to mentor the Young Investigator. AFSP is available to assist you in identifying a suitable mentor.

    Download Policy Document

    Apply now

    Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Innovation Grants

    Up to $120,000 over 2 years

    (Salary of $50,000 per year. Allowance of $10,000 per year.)

    Grants awarded to investigators who have received a Ph.D., M.D., or other doctoral degree within the preceding six years and have had no more than three years of fellowship support. Fellows receive a stipend of $50,000 per year and an institutional allowance of $10,000 per year.

    Download Policy Document

    Apply now

    Pilot Innovation Grants

    Up to $30,000 over 2 years

    Awarded to investigators at any level, these grants provide seed funding for new projects that have the potential to lead to larger investigations. These grants typically entail feasibility studies rather than hypothesis-driven research. Examples include manual development and new biomarker development.

    Download Policy Document

    Apply now

Suicide research priority areas

We define priorities for funding every two years to stimulate research in understudied areas. We also encourage applications that address the priorities set out by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Research Prioritization Task Force. Priority area research applications are reviewed along with the general pool of grant applications, with priority given to strong grants in the designated areas.

AFSP suicide research grants program priority areas for 2020–2022

  • Diversity: Suicide prevention research related to underrepresented communities, health and mental health disparities and inequities, as well as researchers from underrepresented backgrounds proposing research focused on understanding and preventing suicide.
  • Evaluation of technological tools for suicide prevention: The application of implementation science methodology to evaluate technological tools available in order to expand access and overcome barriers for suicide prevention.

We aim to fund at least one to two rigorously designed priority area grants among those awarded in each cycle. Our two-year priority period allows for resubmission of unsuccessful applications in the second year. While we encourage applications in these priority areas, we also encourage and welcome all applications related to preventing suicide. In addition we continue to maintain a strong interest in research related to survivors of suicide loss.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has defined its priorities in terms of six questions

  1. Why do people become suicidal?
  2. How can we better or optimally detect/predict risk?
  3. What interventions are effective? What prevents individuals from engaging in suicidal behavior?
  4. What services are most effective for treating the suicidal person and preventing suicidal behavior?
  5. What other types of preventive interventions (outside health care systems) reduce suicide risk?
  6. What new and existing research infrastructure is needed to reduce suicidal behavior?

The full text of the alliance’s priorities is available here.

Supplemental applications

We welcome applications that supplement to a larger, already funded grant. Such applications would be considered if they add to our understanding and prevention of suicide. For example, adding a group with a recent history of suicidal behavior or loss to suicide are encouraged.

Eligibility

AFSP Suicide Research Grants support studies aimed at increasing our understanding of the causes of suicide and factors related to suicide risk, or that test treatments and other interventions designed to prevent suicide. At least one suicide outcome measure must be included in all grant projects. We also consider studies of treatment feasibility, and studies that add a suicide component (e.g., population or treatment) to an existing grant in another area.

Grant Period

AFSP grants are awarded for 2-year periods with the exception of Pilot Research Grants and Focus Grants.

Eligible Applicants

Investigators from all academic disciplines are eligible to apply, and both basic science and applied research projects will be considered, provided that the proposed study has an essential focus on suicide or suicide prevention.

A current grantee may submit a new application as their grant nears completion but it will not be funded until completion of the current grant and submission of a Final Report.

New grantees must begin their studies within 6 months of the approved start date. Failure to begin the study within this time frame may result in withdrawal of the grant award.

Exclusions

Grant applications are not accepted from for-profit organizations, or from federal or state government agencies. Applications from the Veterans Administration are eligible.

Allowable Costs

Click here for an explanation of allowable and non-allowable costs.

Resubmission

For each annual grant cycle, all award decisions made by AFSP are final and not subject to revision or appeal. However, if your application is not funded, you may resubmit your grant application up to two times after your initial submission. AFSP strongly encourages resubmission. If you decide to resubmit please include a letter outlining your consideration of the feedback provided on previous applications.

Grantee Expectations

AFSP expects funded investigators to assist us with the important task of disseminating new research findings. In particular, we aim to disseminate findings to our constituents and donors who generate financial support for our research grants program. Following grant completion, we may invite you to present your study results at an AFSP-sponsored research forum, and expect you to provide us with periodic updates on your publications and research projects. Acceptance of AFSP grant funding assures your place in a growing community of suicide prevention researchers, and we appreciate your willingness to play an active role in that community, and in assisting us to communicate with our constituents.

Applicants should carefully review AFSP’s grant policy statements for additional guidelines and restrictions. Grant applications that do not conform to our stated policies will not be reviewed.

Assessing for Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

Survey data suggest that individuals who are LGBT are at greater risk for suicide attempts (Haas, Eliason et al. 2011). However, confirmation of this finding is needed across a wider range of samples and using a wider range of data collection methods. In an effort to learn more about this issue we suggest that all AFSP-funded researchers who are collecting original data systematically assess research participants for sexual orientation and gender identity. Recommended methods of assessment can be found in the policy manuals. It is designed to serve as a model for federal agencies and other funders of mental health and suicide research. Click here for full guidelines.

Application Review Process

Click here for more information about our application review process.

Managing your AFSP-funded grant

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