Neilsen Foundation Creating Opportunity & Independence Grant

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Limited Submission

The Creating Opportunity & Independence (CO&I) portfolio supports organizations that provide programs and services that enhance the quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury

The Spring 2020 Community Support Grant funds efforts that provide services for individuals with spinal cord injury and 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.


$100,000 over one year


  • Internal Deadline: December 16, 2019
  • Letter of Intent Due: January 10, 2020

Selection Criteria

Address these to be competitive.

  • Focus on SCI: Applicants must clearly address how the needs of people living with SCI will be served. While it is understood that spinal cord disease/conditions may be closely linked, the Neilsen Foundation’s primary area of focus is on traumatic and chronic SCI.
  • Impact: The Neilsen Foundation prioritizes applications that clearly describe the potential to enhance the quality of life of people living with SCI. Applications will be evaluated for their ability to address barriers in the field or to expand services or opportunities.
  • Feasibility: The application should document the experience and expertise needed for success.
  • Collaboration: Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate community partnerships and should avoid duplication of services. Demonstration of shared community resources is also encouraged.
  • Evaluation: Clear evaluation measures including but not limited to citing the number of persons served, should be defined.
  • Medical supervision, if equipment is requested: Any organization requesting funding for medical/clinical equipment must provide clear documentation demonstrating medical supervision by clinically trained staff.
  • Other funding: It is strongly recommended that organizations have additional sources of funding. Under no circumstances will the Neilsen Foundation be obligated to continue funding following the grant term.

Submission Information

Send the following as a single PDF document to Jennifer Kluge at (new window)

  1. 1-page research proposal with a summary budget and a rationale for why you should be nominated. You should consider the aforementioned “Selection Criteria to be Competitive”.
  2.  Abbreviated CV or NIH-style biosketch

Additional Details

For further questions about the sponsor, contact George Kosar, Assistant Vice President, Office of Institutional Partnerships at (new window).