Women’s Health Innovation Grants

Program Overview

The Women’s Health Innovation Grants are part of the MLSC’s Women’s Health Initiative. The grants focus on projects with translational potential and preliminary supporting data, but still require a key set of proof-of-concept experiments prior to attracting a commercial partner or spinning out into a new company. Projects could include hiring a postdoc to perform research, working with a CRO, entering into a sponsored research agreement, etc.

Individual grants of up to $300,000 will be awarded to Massachusetts-based women’s health researchers, and up to $3 million is available for the whole program.

The application period will run from July 31 to Nov. 17, 2023 at 5 p.m. EST.

Eligibility & Evaluation

An eligible applicant must be a full or part-time employee at a Massachusetts-based research institution proposing as a Principal Investigator a project focused on increasing our understanding of sex and gender differences in biology (that has translational potential) or developing solutions for diseases or conditions that affect women solely, disproportionately, or differently. Funding must be used to support an experiment or experiments that increase(s) the translational opportunity for the technology with a defined goal such as filing patents, securing sponsored research agreement, attracting other industry support, etc.

To evaluate applications, an external panel of scientists from academia and industry with expertise in women’s health and translating early-stage innovations will review applications with an eye towards their value to our understanding of women’s health, the unmet need they are addressing, and the proposed solution, among other criteria.

Please see full list of eligibility requirements and evaluation process.


Sample Application

Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions

Learn more about the Women’s Health Initiative

R.E.D.: Research Equipment Database

D.A.T.A. (Databases, Algorithms, Tools, and Analyses) Repository

Impact on the Ecosystem

Massachusetts recognizes there has been a lack of development in novel solutions to treat conditions that affect women solely, disproportionately, or differently. This impacts not only patients but also employers and the healthcare system. The consequences are profound, with women more likely to have adverse drug reactions than men, and the lack of effective therapies results in reduced quality of life. The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center aims to support and incentivize translational project teams developing novel solutions in this area of need.

Connect with us to Learn More

If you have any questions regarding the application process, e-mail WomensHealth@masslifesciences.com with the Innovation Grant in the subject line.