Grant application

The Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation is a privately funded research charity organisation with the exclusive aim to promote basic and clinical research related to spinal cord injury with the perspective to improve outcomes.

Basic research projects may address the following aspects of traumatic spinal cord injury
•    nerve regeneration/plasticity
•    neuronal and glial protection
•    functional deficits induced by lesions
•    preferentially in mammalian models
•    preferentially on mechanisms present/validated in humans

Clinical research projects may address
•    spinal cord injury management
•    other areas related to traumatic spinal cord injury essential to the propagation of neurological and functional recovery

A preference is given to research projects, which have
•    a perspective of translation from the laboratory to the clinical setting
•    the potential to provide real benefits to spinal cord injury patients
•    a focus on chronic spinal cord injury, in case applicable

Despite unquestionable clinical relevance, basic or clinical projects in the areas of medical complications (bladder/bowel function, cardiovascular function, pressure ulcer, neuropathic pain, spasticity) and technological developments represent only a secondary focus. Applications in those areas can only be considered, if the approach is novel, original and offers a unique and innovative treatment perspective or the ability to run clinical trials more effectively.


Wings for Life offers these forms of grants

A. Individual grants

This grant is intended only to cover the salary of the applicant: Post-docs, PhDs, and/or technicians. The goals of the individual research grant program are to encourage new investigator’s work on regeneration and recovery processes and to encourage researchers to develop new ideas and/or to transfer their efforts of other areas into spinal cord research.

B. Project research grants

This grant is intended to sustain a full research project. Funds cover personnel, equipment, consumables, etc.

C. Wings for Life Accelerated Translational Program (ATP) (clinical trials)

Even with very promising discoveries, the translation from scientific discovery to applied therapeutics is a long and difficult road due to regulatory burdens, complexities of clinical trial design, patient recruitment and retention barriers, and the high cost of cutting edge research. The Wings for Life Accelerated Translational Program (ATP) has been specifically designed to be able to accommodate obstacles to efficient clinical translation.

The ATP strives to assist applicants to find the best way forward in clinical translation of high caliber, promising therapies.  The ATP is supported by a network of clinicians, scientists, and other professionals with expertise in all aspects of clinical trials.  Select members of the ATP Support Network will be called upon, as required, to assist in ensuring that treatments with auspicious potential are translated in the most scientifically rigorous and efficient way possible.


The two-stage application procedure

Before sending the full application for grant formats A) and B), the principal investigators are required to send an executive summary. Please go to to register an submit.

Below, in the download section, you will find the application documents for clinical trials. Please send this executive summary form via email to and

Acceptance or rejection of the projects (prior to sending the full application) will be communicated shortly afterwards.

Deadlines for Grant Proposals (Format A and B)

  • Executive summary: September 1, 2022
  • Full grant application: November 2, 2022

No deadlines for clinical proposals for the Accelerated Translational Program (ATP) 

  • Executive summaries will be reviewed as they are received (please submit via email using the zip file below).
  • Full grant applications will be requested by invitation only within one month of receipt of the executive summary.

Your contact

Dr. Verena May
Phone: +43 (0)662 6582-4246

Dr. Beatrice Sandner
Phone: +43 (0)662 6582-4242