Academic Proposals

Academic Proposals

CHDI Foundation is exclusively dedicated to collaboratively developing therapeutics that will substantially improve the lives of individuals with HD. Even with that clarity of mission and the generous support from our donors, there is still a practical limit to the number of initiatives that can be orchestrated in parallel. To prioritize where our resources will be most effective in HD therapeutic development we have organized our preclinical research programs into several Major Focus Areas (MFAs), each of which circumscribes a particular aspect of HD biology and/or an approach to advancing associated targets, mechanisms, and therapeutic candidates: HTT Lowering, HTT Structure & Function, Neuronal Dysfunction, Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine, Unbiased Systems-based Approaches, and DNA Handling & Repair.

To manage our diverse research portfolio we fund and work with academic researchers around the world. CHDI does not issue requests for research proposals but we continue to be receptive to novel ideas and will explore new areas of biology that have relevance to HD, particularly when there is either robust evidence from human data or the therapeutic approach has disease-modifying potential. We encourage potential collaborators to read the strategic synopses of the MFA white papers to align their proposals within CHDI’s larger context and priority goals. We will consider proposals outside the MFAs but these will require a higher evidential threshold.

CHDI is a science management organization that provides scientific direction to funded collaborators; we are not a general research funding body that issues financial grants. If we are interested in funding your research proposal then typically CHDI and your research institution will enter into a research agreement that sets out a detailed project description, milestones and deliverables, and a specific budget. CHDI scientists will be involved in the design and oversight of the project and will work with you to develop a mutually agreeable research plan. The investigator must conduct the research as specified in the contract and deliver progress reports to receive milestone-based payments.

Under our standard research agreement the research institution owns the data and intellectual property generated during the project and has the sole and exclusive right to publish. Results may be shared confidentially by CHDI within our own research sphere, a community of investigators and organizations that we fund.

CHDI does not have a research proposal submission cycle. All proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis by MFA team members. If you would like to apply for research funding from CHDI then please submit a short summary of your proposal to If we are interested then a science director will invite you to submit a full proposal and budget for further review and consideration.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to process an external academic research proposal?

Proposals will be assigned to the most relevant MFA and reviewed extensively by our science directors. Initial review usually takes about 4 weeks. If there is mutual interest to enter into a research agreement, the drafting of a work plan and budget and agreement execution may take an additional 3-6 months.

Does CHDI give access to materials, reagents, animals, or special services?

CHDI can make certain materials—such as cell lines, animal models, reagents, antibodies—available, as well as specialized third party services, depending on the project.

What kind of costs are included in CHDI funding?

We have a detailed budget policy. CHDI supports standardized full-time employee costs for postdocs and experienced research personnel, consumables, animals, and various other costs, including limited travel, publication, and overhead. CHDI does not normally support graduate students, training, administrative staff, equipment costs, or office supplies.