Early Career Funding

As one of the largest non-governmental funders for those starting careers in epilepsy research, AES is committed to developing the next generation of epilepsy investigators.

AES grants are made possible by the generosity of AES members, funding partners, and philanthropic donations to the Susan S. Spencer Fund for clinical research fellowships and the Lennox and Lombroso Trust for research grants and fellowships. 


Early-career clinician scientists may also be eligible for additional funding opportunities offered by our partner organizations with funding or administrative support from AES.


AES research dollars support trainees, fellows, and newly independent investigators working across the full spectrum of epilepsy research, from basic science through translational and clinical research for all types of epilepsy, seizures, and related conditions. Reviewers are recruited each year with the goal of matching the field of research of the submitted proposals. Some specific fields of research are eligible for targeted support by our rare disease partners (see below).


Many thanks to LivaNova for its recurring support of a Named Fellows Grant, which is deeply appreciated. 

In addition to funding from AES, funding may be available from partner organizations for the Predoctoral, Postdoctoral, Research and Training Fellowships for Clinicians, and Junior Investigator Research Awards. Some partners will support a proposal in full, with money earmarked for a quality proposal that aligns with their priorities. Other partners will help to support a proposal that aligns with their priorities if it competes successfully for AES co-funding.

Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation invests in finding new therapies and a cure by funding clinical up-and-coming scientists. Up to two full research grants will be supported; either Junior Investigator Awards or Research and Training Fellowships for Clinicians.

FamilieSCN2A Foundation hopes to accelerate the development of therapeutic treatments and disease-modifying advancements for those living with changes in the SCN2A gene. Up to one full Seed or early career grant will be funded in full by the FamilieSCN2A Foundation. 


The Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation supports research in pediatric epilepsy and other pediatric neurologic conditions, with emphasis on pediatric neurologists. They will support half of a Pediatric Research and Training Fellowship for Clinicians.

bow fdn The Bow Foundation is focused on supporting research into GNAO1 genetic mutations. The foundation supports research that improves medical understanding and enhances treatment options for patients with GNAO1 related neurodevelopmental disorders. They will consider co-funding a research proposal.
cureshank CureSHANK has a singular purpose: to accelerate the development of cures and treatments for SHANK-related disorders.  Our approaches are to identify and fund projects that overcome critical barriers to successful drug development and to coordinate scientific efforts to improve efficiency and speed in the field. They will consider co-funding a research proposal.
hope4harper Hope4Harper is committed to advancing research on the CDKL5 genetic disorder. They will consider co-funding a research proposal.
Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartoma (HH) promotes research toward early detection, improved treatments, better living with HH, and cures. They intend to co-fund a proposal and may consider funding a proposal in full.
Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation (PMSF) is a rare disease patient advocacy group that exists to improve the quality of life of people affected by Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS) worldwide by providing family support, accelerating research and raising awareness. They will consider co-funding a research proposal focused on the connection between seizures and 22q13, and/or the Shank 3 gene.
ring14 Ring14 USA funds research on Ring14 Syndrome and other anomalies originating from the 14th chromosome to improve treatments, quality of life, and the understanding of these conditions. They are particularly interested in researching any relationship between epilepsy and the 14th chromosome. They will consider co-funding a research proposal at 25%.
SLC6A1 Connect funds research that focuses on the development of therapy and biomarkers to improve SLC6A1 patient outcomes. They intend to co-fund a research proposal and may consider funding a proposal in full.
SRF exists to improve the quality of life of SynGAP1 patients through the research and development of treatments, therapies and support systems.  SRF welcomes all research that aligns with these goals but is currently prioritizing biomarkers. They intend to co-fund a proposal and will consider funding a proposal in full.
tess TESS Research Foundation’s mission is to find the best treatment options and ultimately a cure for Citrate Transporter Disorder (SLC13A5 Deficiency), an autosomal recessive epileptic encephalopathy with seizures beginning in infancy. Research priorities include disease model creation, drug screens, clinical biomarkers or surrogate endpoints, and potential treatment modalities. They intend to co-fund a proposal and may consider funding a proposal in full.
Wishes for Elliott Wishes for Elliott (WFE) is committed to accelerating research to bring hope to children struggling with SCN8A mutations. High priority proposals will either focus directly on SCN8A or investigate factors that contribute to the wide diversity of phenotype within these genetic disorders, with particular focus on the most severe phenotypes. They will consider co-funding a research proposal.


AES is proud to partner with other non-profit organizations to leverage resources and make dollars go further to support scientists. Our partnerships have built-in flexibility to accommodate partners of all sizes and to allow both the partners and AES to decide whether a given proposal is the right one for their funds. Organizations interested in partnership are invited to contact Penny Dacks, PhD, pdacks@aesnet.org.