Bowden-Massey Strategic Research Initiative in Bipolar Disorder

The International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) is excited to announce this first of its kind request for funding application (RFA) made possible by a generous gift from the Bowden-Massey Foundation, established by Charles and Virginia Bowden in 1992.  Details of this philanthropic funding opportunity and application forms are available below.  


To fund a 3-year research study that leverages the international collaborative opportunity and strengths existing within the membership of the ISBD.  The research should be based on a strong rationale with the potential for high impact and translatable findings that will improve diagnosis and outcomes for individuals living with bipolar disorder and their families.  At the end of the 3-year funding term, the project should ideally provide the basis for an innovative international research program that will attract additional funding.  

The Application Period is Closed

Applicants will be notified on or after June 15th, 2018.

Eligibility Criteria

The proposal must include at least two investigators that are ISBD members working in different countries and all personnel listed on the proposal must commit to maintaining ISBD membership for the duration of the period covered by this funding.  One investigator should be identified as the Administrative Principle Investigator responsible for submitting the proposal and administering the grant, including subcontracts to collaborative sites included in the proposal.  The proposal should demonstrate the potential for benefit to patients or those at high-risk of developing bipolar disorder and represent the development of a new line of collaborative research for the investigators with the possibility of continuation past the 3-year funding term.  Projects with matching funding are encouraged, although this is not a prerequisite and will not influence the review of the scientific merit of the proposal.  

How to apply

A complete application uploaded as a single PDF file should include:

  • 5-page maximum proposal
  • 1-page budget overview
  • 4-page NIH style Biosketch for the Administrative and other Principle Investigators
  • 1-page list of references. 

Note: applications should include the following headings: scientific problem, hypotheses, study plan; background; specific aims; preliminary results (if available); methods; key investigators and roles; scientific significance, potential impact for patients, and future research directions.  

The PDF document should be submitted electronically with the online application form and should have 1" margins and no smaller than 11" font.  Pages should be numbered and include the Administrative Principle Investigator's name in the upper right-hand corner and a short title in the upper left-hand corner.  In fairness to all applicants, any supplementary material included will not be considered and any material exceeding the specified length will be discarded.  

Budget Outline

The gift supports a maximum of 200,000 US dollars per year for a period of 3 years (Total $600,000.00 US).  A budget outline and justification is required as part of the application and limited to 1-page.  Given the philanthropic nature of this funding it is preferred not to include overhead in the budget, although a maximum of 10% institutional overhead will be admissible within the maximum allowed budget.  You may use the budget worksheet available for download here and transfer amounts from the total column to the budget outline and justification (do not include the worksheet in your final proposal).  This should include an overview of costs of any trainees, research staff and consultants; equipment and supplies; travel and other operating expenses.  No funds can be allocated to support investigators time or to support the requirement for ISBD membership noted in the Eligibility Criteria above.  The successful applicant will be asked to define reasonable milestones for year 2 and 3 of the project.  

Evaluation and Selection Process

A core review committee comprised of members from the ISBD Executive Council and other experts from within the ISBD membership will oversee the review process, which will follow acceptable standards of peer review and conflict of interest guidelines.  The review committee will reach out to experts from within the ISBD community in order to provide thorough comprehensive reviews of the applications.  The review committee will hold a meeting to discuss rankings and reach a final decision as to the fundable application.  As all funds from this generous gift are being directed to support the successful research proposal, reviewers are volunteering their time and therefore no feedback to applicants can be provided.  

Any misdirected or late submissions are not the responsibility of the ISBD.  All funding decisions are final.  

The date of notification to Applicants will be on or after June 15th, 2018.  

Any questions in regard to the RFA should be directed to Chad Daversa, ISBD Executive Director, at