National Scleroderma Foundation Receives Record Number of Grant Applications

2021 marks 40% increase in submissions

The National Scleroderma Foundation announces an increase of its peer-reviewed scientific research funding to $2.723 million in fiscal year 2022, more than doubling its commitment from the prior fiscal year. In addition to the increase in funding made available, the Foundation increased the amount of its awards by $50,000 per grant to $200,000. The funding increase includes support for research in two key areas: scleroderma-related lung disease and pediatric scleroderma. Information about the Foundation’s peer reviewed research program is available at

The Foundation received 36 applications in response to this year’s request for proposals, representing a 40% increase over the 5-year average. The current round of applications includes 14 proposals for Established Investigators and 23 for New Investigators. 25% of proposed projects are lung-related and 11% are focused on pediatric scleroderma.

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see renewed interest and energy around scleroderma research inspired by the announcement earlier this year regarding our increased commitment to research funding. I applaud the members of the board for their vision, and the investigative community for their response,” shared Mary Wheatley, CEO of the Foundation. “The outcomes from the grants we support through this program will continue to have an impact for years to come.”

The Foundation’s peer reviewed research committee is comprised of medical and research experts from across the United States, who use the same merit-based scoring system as the National Institutes of Health. The Foundation is the leading nonprofit funding scleroderma research in the United States. Through this program, the foundation is committed to discovering the cause of this disease, understanding the mechanisms behind it, and overcoming scleroderma forever. since its inception, the Foundation has committed $30 Million to this mission priority.


Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue and the vascular system producing excessive collagen that causes fibrosis in the skin (localized) or in internal organs (systemic sclerosis). More than 300,000 Americans live with some type of scleroderma. Today, the face of scleroderma includes people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Scleroderma can affect young parents, children, grandparents, and teenagers, causing pain, disability, and death. Thanks to the passion and dedication of volunteer leaders, scientists and supporters, great strides have been made. Yet despite these advancements, the challenges in scleroderma today are greater than ever, requiring committed resources to achieve ambitious goals and outcomes.


The National Scleroderma Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1998 to advance medical research, promote disease awareness, and provide support and education to people with scleroderma. Supported by a network of thousands of individuals across the United States, the Foundation aims to help people living with scleroderma find their best path.

Original Release: October 15, 2021

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