Elmhurst, Illinois – June 7, 2021 – The American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF) announced that it will streamline its grant offerings, allowing all applicants to apply for up to $50,000 in funding in 2022. This $50,000 grant is being renamed as the AHRF Discovery Grant. AHRF expects to award five to six such grants in 2022.
This change increases AHRF grant awards for two specific areas of interest – sudden hearing loss causes, and Meniere’s disease. These topics were funded in prior years at $40,000 and $25,000, respectively. Supported in part by donor contributions, these two areas of study will continue to receive special consideration in the review process.
Additionally, AHRF may award one $75,000 Birtman Grant in 2022 for exceptional scientific investigation, if a promising study is identified.
AHRF Research Committee Chair Donna Whitlon, PhD, commented, “We’re very excited to support our donors’ intentions. The higher levels of funding are certain to attract more ambitious hearing and balance research proposals. We’re also encouraging applicants by simplifying the funding choices.”
AHRF will continue to offer up to five $1,000 Bernard and Lottie Drazin Memorial Grants to otolaryngology residents at specific (primarily Chicago-based) institutions. This award helps residents in otolaryngology programs fulfill requirements to conduct basic science or clinical research projects.
In 2021, AHRF awarded seven grants to investigators who are exploring hearing and balance disorders of the inner ear, with funding exceeding $300,000. These studies address how we recognize speech in noise compared to accented speech, the therapeutic effect of combining hypothermia with medication to treat noise-induced hearing loss, inflammation’s effect in the inner ear, and the role of specific inner ear cells with Meniere’s disease. They also include an online protocol to understand cochlear implant users’ everyday experience with speech recognition.
AHRF is a nonprofit organization that has been making new discoveries possible for more than 60 years by funding novel research to better understand and overcome hearing and balance disorders of the inner ear. Since 2010, the organization has funded 95 projects with more than $2.3 million in research grants.