Grant Programs

We now have 2 grant programs:

Ultra Sports Science Foundation Grant Program

The Ultra Sports Science Foundation supports basic, applied, clinical and behavioral research associated with ultra-endurance sports via grants up to $5,000-10,000 (US).  Research directly applicable to ultra-endurance sports, as well as research using ultra-endurance activities as models for other physiological or psychological stress, is of interest.  The Foundation will also consider supporting sociological, environmental and economic related research that is relevant to ultra-endurance sports.  These grants are funded through donations from individuals, corporations, other non-profit organizations, and proceeds from our educational programs.

Western States Endurance Run Grant Program – New for 2019 Submission!

The Western States Endurance Run (WSER) Foundation supports research related to ultramarathon running that will be performed at the WSER.  A total of $20,000 (US) has been allocated to support this research in 2020, to be awarded as multiple grants.  These grants will be awarded and facilitated by the WSER, but the Foundation Research Committee receives and reviews the submissions.

Grant Proposal Submission

The annual deadline for receipt of all proposals is November 1.  All proposals should be submitted electronically to Dr. Marty Hoffman at

Proposals should be submitted as a single pdf and include the following sections:

  • Cover Page:  Include the title of the project, principal investigator’s name and contact information, and research team members with affiliations.  Please also clarify the grant program for which the proposal is being submitted.
  • Abstract of the Project (1 page):  Include the headings Introduction, Purpose, and Methods.
  • Narrative of Proposal (maximum 5 pages):  Include the headings Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Data (if available), Experimental Design and Methodology, Anticipated Problems, and Reference Citations.
  • Biographical Sketches of the Research Team (maximum 3 pages each):  Include information regarding Education, Professional Experience, Memberships and Honors, Research Support, and Publications.
  • Budget:  Funding requests are best limited to $5,000-10,000 (US).  Funding for major equipment items and salary support will not be considered.  Institutional overhead is also not covered.  Note that partial funding may be considered when budget requests appear excessive or limited resources are available.  Also, when the study is dependent on other sources of funding, please provide evidence that such funding will be available.
  • Letters of Support:  When the project is to be performed at a specific event, it is essential to provide evidence that the research has been discussed with and approved by the event organizer.  This is best achieved through a letter from the event director making it clear that there is agreement on the level of support required for the project to be successful.  Letters from other key individuals involved in the project may also be included in the proposal submission if the investigator believes this will clarify the level of support from these people.

Safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research funded by either Foundation is the responsibility of the investigator and institution with which the researcher is affiliated.  The investigator must assure institutional review board (IRB) approval of the work prior to initiation of the work.

Review Process and Funding Decisions

The Foundation Research Committee, composed of scientists with combined expertise across the broad scope of ultra-endurance sports science, oversees the Foundation Research Program, and the review and ranking process of grants submitted to both grant programs.  In the case of the WSER Grant Program, the final funding approval will be made by the WSER after ranking by the Foundation Research Committee.

The Foundation Research Committee will provide unbiased review of grant submissions to both grant programs.  If a Committee member has involvement with a grant submission, they will be properly recused.  Decisions regarding approval of proposed research will be based upon the importance, practical impact, and feasibility of the work, likelihood that the work will result in scientific publications, evidence of an appropriate risk to benefit ratio, and that the work will result in tolerable interference for the study participants and the event, if performed at a race.

It is expected that funded research will result in publishable work.  Investigators funded through the Ultra Sports Science Foundation Grant Program are expected to present their findings at a future Congress on Medicine & Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports.