Research Grant Program

The Research Grant Program was created in 2022 by the United Cerebral Palsy Research Committee (URC).  This program awards grants that advance clinical and translational research and focus on knowledge translation to advance the state of the science, bridging the gap between research and care to transform the lives of children with cerebral palsy and related neurodevelopmental disabilities.

In honor of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, the Research Committee will open the 2023 grant cycle on March 25, 2023 with awards up to $20,000 for clinical and translational research that focuses on knowledge translation.  While we welcome applications on any topics relevant to cerebral palsy and related neurodevelopmental disabilities from researchers and clinicians in the U.S., the URC gives preference to (1) those that are focused on early diagnosis and early treatment of cerebral palsy and to (2) research applicants from or collaborating with UCP’s affiliates. Both biomedical and therapy-focused studies are welcomed.

The 2023 application cycle has closed. Stay tuned for another cycle to begin March 25, 2024.  

  • Pilot Grants:  Small pilot grants to provide preliminary data for larger scale future projects or to perform novel analyses on existing data sets.
  • Extension Grants: Grants to expand an existing research project (e.g., add additional interventions, outcome measures, follow up assessments, etc.), or to set up the infrastructure for a collaborative research effort.


  • Pediatric population (0-21 years)
  • Cerebral palsy and related neurodevelopmental disorders

Special Consideration:

  • Early diagnosis
  • Early treatment
  • Research applicants from or collaborating with affiliates of UCP

The UCP Research Committee will sponsor and support high-quality proposals, addressing shared goals and priorities. Grant applicants should consider the following criteria:

  • A research idea should address treatment for cerebral palsy or a related neurodevelopmental disability.
  • Appropriate project goals should be set considering SMART design principles (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Data collection, compliance, and progress reporting will be required.
  • The Principal Investigator and all co-investigators on the grant must in professional good standing and have relevant expertise related to the research proposal.
  • Applicants must have the infrastructure appropriate to their project, including study design and implementation, facilities and services, patient recruitment, and staffing.


Other considerations:

  • Applicants will be invited to apply with a full application after submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI).  The LOI deadline is April 14, 2023.
  • Applicants do not have to be part of the UCP affiliate network, but preference will be given to those applications from organizations who are UCP affiliates or have a strong association with UCP.
  • Applicants can work with other organizations on the same project (multi-center project), but these organizations should submit a common application to better ensure collaboration.
  • Projects that will facilitate sustainable, ongoing novel treatments or services that can be adopted by other organizations after completion of the project will be given preference.

Note: Awardees may be eligible to apply for additional grants to complete the next step of their project if the initial project demonstrates success and ongoing goals are appropriate.

  • March 25, 2023 – Grant Application Form becomes available
  • April 14, 2023 – Letter of Intent submission deadline
  • April 21- 25, 2023 – Full applications requested from strong candidates
  • June 9, 2023 – Full submission deadline
  • August 2023 – Notification of awards sent
  • October 1, 2023 – Grant funding period begins

The following criteria will be scored by UCP Research Committee member reviewers and outside reviewers (ad hoc).

  • Significance: How might this work support or enhance the community or advance the science in the field of cerebral palsy?
  • Innovation: How original and/or novel are the ideas of the application? Both the setting and the field of investigation will be considered (e.g., bringing a novel intervention to a center where it is not currently available may be innovative).
  • Investigators: Does the research team have appropriate expertise or have they shown commitment to obtaining the necessary expertise?
  • Approach: Are the investigators well trained or have they shown commitment to obtaining training? Are the methods sound? Is the research plan realistic?
  • Environment: Is the setting supportive of the research? Will it facilitate the project’s success?
  • Award recipients will be expected to provide a progress report at 12 months in a short-answer format.  At the end of 18 months, a final report will be due.
  • Award recipients should expect to present accomplishments at the UCP Board of Trustees, UCP Town Hall meetings and/or at the UCP Annual Meeting. Findings from URC-supported research may warrant press releases and videos highlighting investigators and describing URC-sponsored discoveries may be used in support of national fundraising efforts.

For more information on the Research Grant Program, view the FAQs.

Questions can be sent to