MicroGrant Program

The Tumour Foundation of BC, in partnership with the Rare Disease Foundation, provides grants, which expedite the exploration of new ideas for understanding neurofibromatosis, and improving patient care.

For patients with neurofibromatosis, and other rare disease, research IS care.

Awards of up to CAD$5000 will be available, one investigator may apply for multiple awards and awards are in effect for 1 year from project start date. Please ask only for what you need to complete the proposed studies as our funds are limited. Travel expenses to conferences will not be covered but technical services or salaries, reagents, etc. will be. No overhead is paid with a microgrant.


  • involve a rare disease or rare sub-type of disease (lifetime prevalence < 1 in 2000)
  • directly impact patient care for one or more patients
  • scientifically valid and feasible
  • ethics approval (microgrant activation requires an ethics approval certificate, where applicable)


Applications may be submitted by anyone as long as they have a collaborator to receive funds who is associated with a Canadian institution or a Registered Institution listed here. Research proposals are about 1 page in length, must indicate how this study will improve care, include a scientific summary containing background, hypothesis, methods and brief budget justification sections, and include a lay summary addressing a non-medical, non-scientific audience.

Proposals are due at the end of January, April, July and October each year. Decision letters will be emailed within 15 business days.

Applications will be de-identified and reviewed by both scientific and parent/patient (lay) reviewers for their impact on care, scientific validity and for their adherence to the priorities of patients and their families. Successful applicants are expected to provide a 1 paragraph lay summary describing their results upon project completion and describe how their work improved patient care. Funded projects are expected to lead to dissemination of results through publication or meeting presentation, and/or generate preliminary data for larger studies directed at improving patient care. If funding is readily available elsewhere, the rationale for requesting it from this program should be provided.

For program inquiries please contact the Executive Director Desirée Sher at desiree@tumourfoundation.ca

We request that publications containing data supported by microgrants acknowledge the support of the Tumour Foundation of BC.

This program is made possible by the incredible support of the estate of Paul Ralfs, the fundraising of the NF Run Team, and other generous donations.