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Focus Grants

Grants to USA, Canada, and International
Researchers for Studies on Suicide Prevention

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA, Canada, and International individuals affiliated with nonprofit organizations and institutions for research that will further suicide prevention efforts. LOIs are due August 1. Applications will be accepted from investigators representing all academic disciplines for both basic and applied research. All studies must focus primarily on suicide or suicide prevention.

Types of Grants:

Short-Term Risk:

The Focus Grant for Short-Term Risk is open to innovative, potentially high-yield proposals that focus on short-term risk for suicide.

Goal: To develop identification and/or intervention strategies for short-term suicide risk that can be implemented in clinical settings.

-The outcome measures for baseline and follow-up must include suicidal behavior.
-The assessments should include multi-modal, clinically relevant measures.
-The study must be based in the U.S.
-Evidence for the feasibility of data collection must be provided.

AFSP encourages collaborative projects with investigators experienced in suicide research.  

Reaching 20% by 2025:

AFSP has set a goal to reduce our nation’s suicide rate 20% by 2025. AFSP believes that by targeting areas known to contribute to suicide burden, this goal may be reached. This Focus Grant RFA seeks applications that address potential biological, psychological, social and/or environmental pathways and interventions that can significantly reduce the national suicide rate if ultimately implemented on a large scale.

Goal: Universal, selective and indicated interventions that target one or more specific risk factors for suicide and that, if implemented on a large scale, would reduce the annual U.S. suicide rates.

-The study rationale must address feasibility to measurably reduce U.S. suicide rates with widespread implementation.
-Consistent with AFSP grant policies, the study must include measurement of suicide or nonlethal suicide attempts at baseline and follow-up assessments. However, in a study of this size, a change in suicidal behavior may not be robust enough to detect. In addition, therefore, investigators may use a conceptual logic model linking a measurable proxy behavior (such as adherence to the intervention) to suicide in order to demonstrate that the intervention could have an effect on suicide if widely disseminated.
-A conceptual model and quantitative analysis demonstrating the potential impact on U.S. suicide rates if the study were implemented broadly are requested. Important considerations include population based attributable risk, acceptability, feasibility, and ease of dissemination.
-The study must be based in the U.S.
-Evidence of feasibility to conduct the study must be provided.

AFSP encourages collaborative projects with investigators experienced in suicide research.  

Hypothetical Examples (for illustrative purposes only):

1. Building barriers on bridges and adding and training bridge staff is an hypothesized pathway to reduce suicide deaths. In an application that proposed to test that hypothesis, the investigators would explain the proportion of suicides that are due to jumping from bridges, estimate the reduction that should result from the proposed prevention strategy if it were found effective, and indicate on that basis the impact that the intervention would have on suicide deaths and rate nationally.

2. Suppose there is a gene that is uniquely found in 30% of people who die by suicide and is associated with a positive treatment effect with a specific medicine. A new rapid genetic test has been developed that can be used to identify the presence of the relevant gene allele suggesting that the medication should be started immediately. One could calculate how many lives would be saved if the test were available in emergency departments. If successfully treating this subgroup could prevent suicide, then the impact of the test would depend on how many potential suicides had the test. If 30% of future suicides had the genetic test and then one would predict that 30% of those would test positive for the risk genotype, then about one ninth of all suicides would be prevented and that is over 4000 deaths per year being prevented or 11% of all suicides.

Blue Sky Research Grant:

Supports an innovative, impactful study in an area of suicide research that will achieve significant goals. This mechanism is intended for studies that, by their very nature, are clearly beyond the financial scope of our Innovation Grants.

Goal: Innovative projects in new areas of investigation with potentially high impact for the understanding and prevention of suicide. Open to all fields of inquiry.

-The study must be highly innovative.
-The impact for suicide prevention must be clearly described. If impact will not be in the near term, please describe the path from discovery to implementation.
-The study is clearly beyond the financial scope of our Innovation Grants for reasons other than only increased sample size.
-The study must be grounded in a conceptual model.
-Evidence for the feasibility of data collection must be provided.
-The outcome must include suicidal behavior.
-This is not a mechanism for local program evaluation.
-Not limited to studies conducted in the U.S.

AFSP encourages collaborative projects with investigators experienced in suicide research.  

Allowable costs include:
-Compensation for investigators and other personnel required to conduct the research (e.g. technicians, research assistants, clerical staff), including salary and fringe benefits
-Consultant fees
-Consumable research supplies
-Costs related to assessment measures, tests or procedures
-Travel specifically required of personnel or participants to achieve the research aims
-Subject/participant fees
-Software licenses for the term of the grant
-Other direct costs required to carry out the proposed research

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174472

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $500,000 per year

Term of Contract:

Grants may be funded for up to three years.

New grantees must begin their studies within 6 months of the approved start date. Failure to begin the study within this time frame may result in withdrawal of the grant award.

A current grantee may submit a new application as their grant nears completion but it will not be funded until completion of the current grant and submission of a Final Report.

The earliest start date is October 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Investigators from all academic disciplines are eligible to apply, and both basic science and applied research projects will be considered, provided that the proposed study has an essential focus on suicide or suicide prevention.

AFSP research grants and fellowships are awarded to individuals affiliated with not-for-profit institutions or organizations in the U.S. and abroad.


Grant applications are not accepted from for-profit organizations, or from federal or state government agencies. Applications from the Veterans Administration are eligible.

Non-allowable costs include:
-Indirect costs
-Construction, alteration or maintenance of buildings
-Standard office equipment or furniture
-Durable equipment (e.g. computers, microscopes, imaging and other laboratory equipment)
-Expenses related to conference attendance or presentations at conferences
-Books, periodicals or other publications
-Personnel recruiting and relocation expenses
-Per diem charges for hospital beds
-Purchase of software
-IRB fees

Pre-Application Information:

Matching funds or partnering with a large healthcare system is encouraged.

The Letter of Intent is due August 1, 2018. Full applications for invited applicants will be due December 7, 2018.

If your application is not funded, you may resubmit your grant application up to two times after your initial submission. AFSP strongly encourages resubmission. If you decide to resubmit please include a letter outlining your consideration of the feedback provided on previous applications.

-Letter of Intent Due: Aug. 1, 2018
-Due Date: Dec. 7, 2018
-Review Dates: Spring 2019
-Funding Decisions: End of May 2019

Grant Information:

Review Process:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Letter of Intent should be emailed to:

Jill M. Harkavy-Friedman, PhD, Vice President of Research
212-363-3500 ext. 2039

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.