Competitive Research Grant Program

About the Competitive Grant Program

The IFOPA offers the FOP Competitive Grant Program to help accelerate development of a safe and transformative therapies for the disease. The program provides, through a competitive application process, research funding to scientists conducting research on fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).

Research Focus

Research grants should be focused on discovery and advancement of new therapeutic approaches to FOP with a disposition toward approaches likely to have near-term clinical or translational relevance.

Mechanism of Support

The program awards research grants for a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $100,000 for one year. A total of $100,000 is available in the first year of the program, allowing for either multiple grants of less than $100,000 or a single grant for the full amount. Researchers may receive a second year of funding based on their progress and milestones achieved in the first year and the availability of continued funding.

Applications that are scored favorably but not funded during the initial awards cycle may be funded as additional money becomes available.

Proposals involving meaningful collaboration among investigators with complementary capabilities are encouraged. Awards can be split among investigators' institutions as needed.

Grant funds may not be used for indirect costs.


FOP researchers with a doctoral degree (MD, PhD or equivalent) at any stage of their career in any country are eligible to apply.

2016 Application Schedule

  • April 26, 2016 Announcement of program
  • July 1, 2016 Deadline for proposals
  • October 2016 Anticipated award announcement
  • December 1, 2016 Funding available

How to Apply

Please consult and follow these application materials and instructions:

Grant Program Application Guidelines

Grant Program Terms and Conditions

Complete applications should be submitted in a single PDF file to this email address:

Scientific Advisory Board

Applications are reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Board that is free of conflict of interest and has relevant and appropriate expertise related to FOP to evaluate proposals.

Vicki Rosen, PhD, Chair
Department of Developmental Biology
Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Karen Lyons, PhD
Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
UCLA/ Orthopaedic Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Ernestina Schipani, MD, PhD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Michigan

Michael Whyte, MD
Division of Bone & Mineral Diseases
Washington University School of Medicine

Michael Zasloff, MD, PhD
Department of Surgery
Georgetown University Medical Center

Active Grants

Project Title:  Validation of novel diagnostic and targeted prophylaxis for FOP related heterotopic ossification
Principal Investigators:  Yuji Mishina, PhD and Benjamin Levi, MD

Institution:  University of Michigan, United States
Award Date: October 22, 2015
Award Amount:  $41,800
Project Start/Stop Date: December 2015 to November 2016
Project Description: The University of Michigan team plans to define the early chondrogenic environment that precedes heterotopic bone formation. They then plan to use a repurposed HIF-1-alpha inhibitor, both alone and in combination with an ACVR1-specific kinase inhibitor, to alter this environment and subsequently inhibit the formation of heterotopic bone in vivo.

Project Title:  Assessment of small agents in FOP primary fibroblast cultures to explore new therapeutic targets
Principal Investigators:  Gerard Pals, PhD and Marelise Eekhoff, MD, PhD

Institution:  VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Award Date: October 22, 2015
Award Amount:  $55,000
Project Start/Stop Date: December 2015 to November 2016
Project Description: The Dutch Amsterdam FOP dedicated research team (VUMC/ACTA) of the Netherlands developed an innovative in vitro model to study ectopic bone formation from very small skin biopsies that can be obtained safely. In this model small molecular compounds will be investigated on their treatment potential. The result will generate new treatment options for FOP and support personalized treatment in the future.

Project Title:  The role of exercise in the progression of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva
Principal Investigators:  Paul B. Yu, MD, PhD and Yue Shen, MBBS

Institution:  Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, United States
Award Date: October 22, 2015
Award Amount:  $28,000
Project Start/Stop Date: December 2015 to November 2016
Project Description: The impact of physical activity on the progression of FOP is not currently known, and thus clinicians are unable to provide evidence-based recommendations to patients on whether or not to pursue organized athletic activities or regular exercise as part of their routine. Using a knock-in mouse model which expresses the classic FOP-causing mutation ACVR1R206H under endogenous promoter control, they have observed spontaneous ligamentous and joint ossification that occur slowly but progressively with age. They will test the impact of voluntary exercise versus limb immobilization, versus normal cage activity on the progression of heterotopic ossification in these mice, hypothesizing that physiologic levels of activity have a beneficial impact on the disease.