Boston Marathon Medical Research Funding Program

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced a new research funding opportunity for scientific researchers surrounding the Boston Marathon. The newly established B.A.A. Medical Research Funding Program will provide an annual request for proposal to conduct research at the world’s oldest annual marathon. Investigators will be asked to submit scientific proposals for projects that can be conducted in conjunction with the race.

The Boston Marathon has a long-standing tradition of supporting clinical and physiologic research, with published medical studies dating back to the early 1900s. Clinical and scientific questions surrounding athlete health and performance are often studied in field projects such as organized road races. Over the last several decades, at least one study has been annually conducted in conjunction with the April event.

Program Information

All proposals received by the October 31, 2022 submission deadline will be considered by B.A.A leadership and an external panel of scientific experts. Awardees will be chosen and notified with ample time to secure institutional review board approval. This program will provide investigators with a one-time itemized budget of up to $25,000 to complete the proposed work.

Proposals for field studies aimed at delineating key aspects of athlete health and performance are encouraged, as are studies inclusive of Para athletes and studies that examine issues related to gender and diversity. Proposals and any program questions should be emailed to medical@baa.org for review and response by the B.A.A.

Scientific proposals will be judged based on:

  1. The scientific merits and impact of the proposed hypothesis to be tested
  2. The quality and appropriateness of the study design
  3. The ability to secure institutional review board oversight
  4. Subject recruitment, enrollment, and data collection that is thoughtful and nonintrusive
  5. Intimate knowledge of race weekend logistics
  6. Investigator(s) scientific track record 
Materials requested for submission:
  1. Scientific proposal (3-page limit, Arial font size 11, minimum of ½ inch margins side and top) which must include a clear statement of hypothesis, study aims, scientific rational, study design, and anticipated challenges to study implementation
  2. Itemized budget inclusive of all direct study costs (no indirect costs will be awarded)
  3. NIH-format biosketch (preferred) or CV of the principal investigator and co-investigators
  4. Cover letter including documentation of which Institutional Review Board will provide study oversight
Tentative Boston Marathon Medical Research Funding Program Timeline:
  1. Announce Request for Applications (RFA) via the B.A.A. website – September & October, 2022
  2. Letters of Intent Reviewed by B.A.A. – November, 2022
  3. Submission/review of Full Proposals – November/December, 2022
  4. Project Decisions/Awards – December, 2022
  5. IRB approval/logistic planning – January/February, 2023
  6. Study Execution – April, 2023
  7. Post-Race Follow-up – May-June, 2023