Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation 2021 Creating Opportunity and Independence Program

These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should visit the OOR funding opportunity site.

Vanderbilt University may submit one application to the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation for the Creating Opportunity and Independence program.

The goal of the Creating Opportunity and Independence (CO&I) program is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families living with spinal cord injury. CO&I grants support innovative programs/projects that improve participation and independence for individuals living with spinal cord injury and address critical areas of need in rehabilitation, transitional stages and in the community.

VU is eligible to submit an application for the community support grants in the CO&I portfolio. Community support grants fund efforts that can include discrete projects, program support and/or capacity building. Areas of focus include assistive technology, education, employment, independent living, rehabilitation and arts, sports and recreation. The Neilsen Foundation is interested in projects that have broad impact, affect people across the lifespan, demonstrate community partnerships and empower individuals with spinal cord injury by providing options and opportunities to achieve greater independence.

Funding amounts range from $25,000 to $100,000. Funding is for one year. The maximum amount allowed for indirect costs is 10 percent of the total cost.

Application timeline: The selected VU applicant will submit a letter of intent to the sponsor by the Feb. 1, 2021, letter of intent deadline. If reviewed favorably and invited by the sponsor, the applicant will then submit a full grant application to the sponsor by April 23, 2021.

See last year’s guidelines and how to apply for more information and the program timeline.

Interested faculty should visit to apply for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity. The deadline for the internal competition is Dec. 2, 2020.

Any questions about these opportunities may be directed to