Clinical Research Award

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation offers competitive awards to support clinical research projects directly related to cystic fibrosis treatment and care.

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The intent of the Clinical Research Award program is to provide support for investigator-initiated clinical research projects that have the potential to make an important contribution to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's mission. Research projects may address diagnosis, treatment, management of disease or symptom, or the pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis, using clinical, (observational/interventional), translational, or epidemiologic study approaches.

Applicants must demonstrate access to a sufficient number of CF patients and to appropriate controls.

Up to $150,000 per year (plus 12 percent indirect costs) for a maximum of three years may be requested for single-center clinical research awards.

For multi-center clinical research, the potential award is up to $350,000 per year (plus 12 percent for indirect costs) for a maximum of three years.

Applicants must be independent investigators. Fellows may submit applications; however, funding will be considered only if they will hold a faculty-level appointment at the time of the award. Industry-sponsored research projects are not eligible for this award.

Areas of Interest

The CF Foundation seeks applications for the Clinical Research Award from all areas of clinical research that will have an impact on the lives of people with CF. However, the following research areas are of particular interest to the CF Foundation as they will address critical needs of people with CF:

  • Studies that investigate CF disease complications (lung, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, pancreas, reproduction, mental health, endocrine, etc.)
  • Strategies to improve care and quality of life of people with CF
  • Assessment and validation of biomarkers, clinical trial tools, outcome measures, and efficacy endpoints
  • Translational or clinical studies in lung transplant1 research
  • Characterization of CF disease manifestations and management in the era of highly effective modulator therapy
  • Novel interventions that improve CF patient care and outcomes
  • Studies designed to translate laboratory findings of disease pathogenesis/treatment to clinical evaluation
  • Studies that identify and characterize racial, ethnic, and/or societal contributors to CF disease expression and management

Areas of Encouragement

In addition to CF Foundation Areas of Interest, the CF community (people with CF, family members and caregivers) has identified key research Areas of Encouragement that are most important to them. The areas selected by the CF community in surveys are listed below in order of prioritization. Applications may address any topic area advancing CF care, treatment, or research. However, applications addressing the following areas in CF are particularly encouraged:

  1. Respiratory microorganism detection and treatment
  2. GI symptoms (including, but not limited to, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Distal Intestinal Obstruction Syndrome (DIOS), and pancreatitis)
  3. Reducing treatment burden
  4. CF-related diabetes
  5. Diet and nutrition
  6. Mental health
  7. CF-related liver disease
  8. Exercise
  9. Sinus disease
  10. Allergies and asthma in CF
  11. Alternative/holistic treatments and therapies
  12. Sexual reproductive health
  13. Bone/joint health
  14. Pain management

More information regarding the research priorities of the CF Foundation can be found here. For specific questions regarding your proposal and the CF Foundation's research priorities, please contact the Program Officer, Dara Riva (

Policies and Guidelines

Please review the Fall 2022 Policies and Guidelines for complete submission information.


All letters of intent and full applications for Fall 2022 must be submitted online at by 5 p.m. ET.

Fall 2022

  • Letter of Intent: March 28, 2022
  • Full application: August 8, 2022

For More Information

Those who are interested in any funding programs offered by the Foundation may get further information, or discuss the potential relevance of their studies or research by contacting the Grants and Contracts Office at

Please Direct Inquiries to:

Grants and Contracts Office
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
4550 Montgomery Ave.
Suite 1100 N
Bethesda, MD 20814

1 In 2017, the CF Foundation created the Lung Transplant Initiative to address the unmet needs of people living with cystic fibrosis with advanced lung disease. The mission of this initiative is to improve the care and long-term outcomes of individuals with CF and advanced lung disease. For more information about this initiative, or the CF Foundation's priorities in lung transplant research, please email Carmen Ufret at

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Researcher Resources
Clinical Research Award Policies and Guidelines Download (PDF)
Role of Community Members in CF Clinical Research Download (PDF)
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