Information about the ABMRF Grant Program


What kinds of projects are funded by ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research?
The Foundation accepts applications for grants to conduct research on all aspects of alcohol consumption and its effects. Learn more about recently funded grants by viewing the list of grant recipients on the Grants Awarded page of this website.


What are the Foundation’s major research interests?
The Foundation accepts applications for grants to conduct research on the effects of alcohol consumption on health and behavior. The following areas are of greater interest:

  • Studies on how particular patterns of consumption (quantity of alcohol consumed, types of alcoholic beverages consumed, frequency of consumption and context) are related to health and behavioral outcomes.
  • Interdisciplinary, bio-informatics, and other approaches to elucidate genetic and environmental factors that influence the patterns of consumption of alcoholic beverages and related consequences.

The Foundation encourages basic and clinical research, including epidemiology. Examples of research topics include factors influencing underage drinking, mechanisms of alcohol-related organ injury, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and effects of alcohol on general health.


The Foundation does not support research on treatment of the complications of advanced alcoholism. However, research involving treatment paradigms intended to elucidate the pathogenesis of alcohol-related problems will be considered. Non-research activities such as education projects, public awareness efforts and referral services are not eligible for support.


What are the Foundation’s funding priorities?
The mission of the Foundation’s grant program is to energize the field by helping researchers begin their careers and position them to attract greater funding from other sources with the track record resulting from a Foundation grant. Highest priority is given to young investigators, new to the field or trained in the field, to start a new line of independent research. Priority is given to young investigators, defined as a researcher in an independent faculty position, within 10 years of their post-doctoral fellowship and not having yet received a RO1 from the National Institutes of Health. Due to limitations in funding, the Foundation does not encourage current grantees to apply for renewal funding at the completion of their 2-year grant.


Does the Foundation fund projects other than research studies?
No, non-research activities such as education projects, public awareness efforts and treatment or referral services are not eligible for support. The Foundation also does not support the training of pre- and post-doctoral fellows, undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, interns, or residents. It does not fund thesis or dissertation research.


What is the organization’s funding budget?
Approximately US$1.2 million is available each year to fund research studies.


How much money can an ABMRF grant application request?
Annual awards do not exceed US$75,000 for each of two years, which includes a maximum of 15% indirect costs. Funds are paid in US currency.


How long can an ABMRF grant last?
Funds may be requested for a period of up to two years. Funding of the second year of the project depends on the availability of funds and satisfactory research progress during the first year. Secondary data analysis is generally funded for one year only.


Who may submit an application to ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research?
Applications may be submitted by public or private nonprofit organizations such as universities, colleges, hospitals, research institutes and organizations, and governmental research agencies and laboratories in the United States, Canada and South Africa. Since it's founding in 1982, the Foundation has awarded grants to researchers at over 260 distinguished institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Grants are only made to institutions on behalf of a named principal investigator, not to individuals. The proposed principal investigator of the research project must be a faculty or staff member of the applicant institution. This person must be qualified to direct the research and is responsible for its conduct. Persons on training status—such as undergraduate, graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, interns and residents—are not eligible to serve as principal investigators, unless they will be in independent faculty positions, or the equivalent, at the start of the grant period. Priority is given to young investigators, defined as a researcher in an independent faculty position, within 10 years of their post-doctoral fellowship and not having yet received a RO1 from the National Institutes of Health.


May a student be employed as a research assistant on a project?
The Foundation does not fund education or training. However, a percentage of grant funds may be budgeted to pay for research assistance in the conduct of a project. The assistant may be a graduate or undergraduate student or an employee of the university not working toward a degree. The salary or hourly wages for such persons must be consistent with wages paid other persons employed by the university doing similar work. Grant funds may not be used to pay tuition, fees or other costs associated with enrollment as a student.


Are institutions outside Canada, South Africa and the United States eligible to apply for grants?
At this time, no. ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research only awards funds to institutions in these three countries. However, research projects involving international collaborations may be eligible as long as the applicant institution is in Canada, South Africa and the U.S.


Can a single institution submit multiple grant applications to ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of applications a single institution can submit as long as each application proposes a separate, distinct research project. However, a PI may only submit one research proposal each cycle. 


What types of grants does the Foundation award?
The following categories describe the types of support provided; however, applicants need not specify the type of support they are requesting, and should be aware that funds are not set aside specifically for these categories. Awards are made based on scientific merit (refer to "What is the review criteria?" under “Applying for an ABMRF Grant”), and funding priority is given to highly innovative research.


Research Project Grants

  • This type of support provides funds for a specific research project to be conducted by the named principal investigator. The project must be original research to develop new knowledge in a wide range of topics relevant to alcohol use and misuse. These grants provide support for the career development of highly promising new scientists just entering the field of alcohol research. The award is intended to provide funds for an original research project conducted by the awardee, to assist in the transition to independent research status following completion of training.

Data Analysis Grants

  • Funds may be provided for the analysis of previously collected data. Typically, data analysis grants are awarded funding for only a single year. They include such major data sets in the U.S. as the various National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (HANES), National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS), Multiple Causes of Death, Mortality Detail, and Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) and, in Canada, the Canada Health Survey, Canada Health Practices Survey and Canada Social Survey. Requests may be submitted to analyze other national or regional data sets, if made available by the individual investigator. This type of grant is not intended to provide funds to analyze data previously collected by the applicant to complete a research project.

Pilot/Preliminary Studies

  • Funds may be requested to conduct pilot/preliminary studies to determine the feasibility of conducting a study of interactions of biological and behavioral variables which would result in a larger and more expensive research project. Such a study may be designed to test a new method or approach to study biobehavioral events, or to collect data on a sample of subjects to document the practicality of an interdisciplinary project.



Does the Foundation provide funds to purchase just the equipment and supplies for a research program, but not the actual study?
No, the Foundation does not provide general research support for the purchase of instruments or supplies as a supplement to an ongoing research program.



What are the terms of an ABMRF grant?

Funds may be used for expenses related to the conduct of the approved research project, including salaries and wages, equipment, supplies, travel, and other necessary expenses. An allowance for indirect costs, not to exceed 15% of direct costs, may be requested. Awards are customarily paid in equal installments quarterly or semiannually by check payable to the grantee institution.



What is the impact of the ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research grant program?

Many of today's leaders in the field of alcohol research credit the Foundation for their initial breakthroughs and success. To view the many publications and presentations our grantees have earned in part through the Foundation's support, please see our Research Reference Guide. Very often, our grants provide the impetus for more sustained support from much larger organizations.



Who decides which grants to fund?

Grant applications to ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research are reviewed by the Behavioral and Social Advisory Council and the Medical Advisory Council, which are composed of distinguished Canadian, U.S. and South African alcohol researchers. The Foundation's Advisory Council members are preeminent experts in the field of alcohol research, many of whom have received distinguished honors from the research community. Refer to Behavioral and Social Advisory Council or Medical Advisory Council to view lists of current Advisory Council members. 



Who should I contact with further questions about the ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research grant program?

Please contact the Foundation's grants program director for more information about the grant program at or (800) 688-7152.