21st Century | Seed/Starter | Resident/Fellow | Spinal Cord Research 

2024 Research Grant Applications is now closed.



The mission of the Cervical Spine Research Society is to carry out research and exchange information on the cervical spine. All the grant applications undergo a rigorous peer review process by the CSRS Research Committee. Letter of Intent (LOI) submission is stage one of the review process. Selected LOIs will be invited to submit a formal grant application in stage two. 

Selection for CSRS research funding is always a highly competitive process. Many high-quality proposals are received each year – every proposal is thoroughly vetted and reviewed by the Research Committee. CSRS received a total of 46 letters of intent in 2023 and awarded a total of $269,438 to nine grant recipients across four grant categories. CSRS has funded over $4.2 million in research grants since 1990.


2024 Research Grant Timeline

Stage 1: CSRS Call for LOIs (Letters of Intent)

       January 24, 2024 - March 4, 2024

Stage 2: Request for Invited Manuscripts

   Mid April - Mid May 2024



CSRS is open to reviewing and funding all submitted grant applications, even if they do not fall into one of the described categories below.

The following list includes additional topics that CSRS leaders have deemed relevant and important to the field of cervical spine study; however, these are not priorities for topics and are not listed in any order of importance.

Additional topics:

  • Patient reported outcomes in cervical deformity 
  • Optimizing motion sparing techniques in the cervical spine  
  • Utilization of patient reported outcomes in shared decision making and expectation management 
  • Ideal bone graft choices/improving fusion technology in complex cervical spine surgery 
  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning algorithms to improve outcomes in cervical surgery 
  • Novel imaging techniques in the diagnosis/management of cervical disorders  
  • Basic mechanisms in the pathology of cervical disorders  


Restrictions for all CSRS Grants: 

  • One member of the research team must be an Active Member of CSRS. Candidate, CSRS-EU, and CSRS-AP members do not count for this requirement. All candidate applications must also include an Active CSRS member. 
  • Primary Investigators/an Investigative team are eligible for only one grant per year, and may only apply for one grant per year.
  • All grant proposals will be subjected to a line-by-line budget analysis, which may results in an adjustment of the total dollar award.
  • Indirect costs will not be funded


21st Century Grants  (Basic Science and/or Clinical Research)

Goal of Grants: To fund the highest quality applications likely to make the greatest impact on cervical spine research.      


  • Budget: $75,000 annually (up to $150,000 for two years)
    • Funding for key personnel (i.e. nurse, technician, clinical coordinator) may be included in the budget proposal
    • If budget exceeds $75,000 total, funds will be split between the two consecutive years of the project
  • Duration: 1-2 years


Seed/Starter Grants

Goal of Grants: To provide seed-starter funding for promising research for young investigators.


  • Budget: up to $25,000
    • Funding for key personnel (i.e. nurse, technician, clinical coordinator) may be included in the budget proposal
  • Duration: Projects should be focused and capable of completion within 12-18 months.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that are part of a research program with the potential to lead to other sources of funding


Resident/Fellow Grants

Goal of Grants:  To allow orthopaedic or neurosurgery residents/fellows to pursue avenues of interest to prepare them for a lifelong research career.


  • Budget: up to $15,000
    • Funds may not be use for resident or fellow salary
  • Applicants may be orthopaedic or neurosurgery residents/fellows
  • Applicants should remain residents/fellows throughout the course of their project and see it to completion at the same institution. Training must not be completed before December 31, 2024.
  • Duration: Projects should be focused and capable of completion within 12 months of funds being received


SPINAL CORD RESEARCH GRANTS (Basic Science and/or Clinical Research)

Goal of Grants: To fund the highest quality research proposals to help understand, manage, and/or treat spinal cord injuries.

Background: The failure to recognize spinal cord injuries and conditions involving the cervical spine can lead to disastrous consequences.  A wide variety of conditions can lead to spinal cord injury ranging from common (degenerative disc disease) to rare (arteriovenous malformations). Treating practitioners should be made aware of the clinical presentation and causes of these symptoms and act in a timely manner to prevent permanent disability. 

CSRS aims to provide funding to high quality research proposals that focus on improving the understanding and treatment of conditions that lead to acute and chronic cervical spinal cord compression. 


  • Budget: up to $40,000
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • The work funded by this grant will be presented and published as often as possible in appropriate medical journals


Additional Restrictions for all Grants:

  • Investigators who have previously received a 21st Century, Seed/Starter, or Spinal Cord Injury Grant must wait three years/three grant cycles from the date of prior funding before applying for another grant in the same category
  • Investigators previously awarded a 21st Century Grant or Spinal Cord Injury Grant are eligible to submit a proposal in the Seed/Starter category the following year, provided the topic differs.
  • Investigators previously awarded a Seed/Starter Grant are eligible to submit a proposal in the 21st Century category the following year.
  • Investigators previously awarded a Resident/Fellow Grant are eligible to submit proposals in the 21st Century and Seed/Starter categories in subsequent years.
  • The same resident or fellow cannot receive Resident/Fellow grants in consecutive years.