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Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

  • What exactly does the Foundation do?
    • The Rheumatology Research Foundation is the largest private funding source of rheumatology research and training programs in the United States. Foundation funding is awarded to programs that educate and train medical and graduate students, residents, fellows, physicians and health professionals. Foundation grants are also awarded to researchers who investigate all types of rheumatic disease, including gout, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spondylarthropathies, systemic sclerosis and vasculitis.
  • What is the process for awarding a grant?
    • Rheumatology professionals interested in receiving Foundation funding must apply for an award. Once the applications are received, the Foundation uses a peer-review process, modeled after the National Institutes of Health, to determine which applicants are awarded Foundation grants. Expert scientists examine applications, score them against rigorous criteria and rank them. The rankings and evaluations are then sent to the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) for review, which makes recommendations on which applications to fund to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Foundation's Board of Directors reviews and approves the SAC's funding recommendations. The Foundation notifies and distributes funds to the chosen applicants. While some awards are multi-year, this process happens on an annual basis.
  • What happens during the peer-review process?
    • During peer review, a diverse group of scientists who are experts in particular aspects of the field examine applications and score them against rigorous criteria. Each application is assigned a primary and secondary reviewer with extensive knowledge of the subject matter. Both reviewers independently evaluate and score the application. All reviewers then meet to discuss each application’s score and its scientific merit and give them all rankings. The results of the peer-review process are then sent to the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) for evaluation. After that, the SAC makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on which applications to fund. The Board of Directors then reviews and approves the SAC's funding recommendations for the year.
  • I have a rheumatic disease. Where can I learn more about it?
  • I just moved to a new city. How can I find a rheumatologist in my area?
    • You can use the American College of Rheumatology’s directory to find a rheumatologist in your area.
  • I was recently diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. Does the Foundation provide funding for patients?
    • No, the Foundation does not provide funding for patients directly. Although funding doesn’t go directly to patients, all funds go toward improving patient treatment and ultimately, finding a cure.
  • I’m a student looking to go to college and have recently been diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. Does the Foundation fund education grants I can apply for?
    • No, the Foundation does not provide undergraduate education grants or scholarships but there are opportunities for graduate and medical students pursuing a career in rheumatology. 
  • I have a rheumatic disease. Can I participate in a clinical trial?
    • Participating in a clinical trial is one of the best ways for people with rheumatic diseases to help advance rheumatology research and training. Foundation-funded investigators interested in recruiting people with rheumatic diseases to take part in their studies are encouraged to do so through online registries that connect researchers with patients. Anyone interested in participating in a study is encouraged to do the same and volunteer through online registries. Here are some registries to consider:
      • - This registry is run by the National Institutes of Health. It includes information on various studies all over the world and country looking for participants.
      • ResearchMatch  - This registry was developed by major academic institutions across the country to bring together researchers looking for study participants and people interested in participating in research studies.
  • Where is Foundation research being conducted?
    • The Foundation provides funding to researchers at institutions all across the U.S. who study rheumatic diseases. No research is conducted by the Foundation. 
  • I am planning to host or participate in a charity event in my area to help raise awareness surrounding a rheumatic disease such as RA, lupus, etc. and am hoping to raise money. I have one or more of the following questions for the Foundation:
    • Can the Foundation sponsor me or my event?
    • Can someone from the Foundation speak at my event?
    • What items can the Foundation provide me for the event?
      • As an organization, we made the decision to focus the vast majority of our time, energy and funds directly to rheumatology research and training initiatives. As such, we do not sponsor people or events, speak at third-party events or provide branded materials for third-party events. We welcome those interested to host their own event to raise awareness and money for rheumatology research and training. However, we request that no Foundation branding be used at events.
  • I raised money through a charity event and would like to donate the proceeds to the Foundation. How do I do so?
    • You are welcome to donate proceeds from your event through our online donation form. Thank you for your gift!
  • I recently lost someone special to me and am planning their funeral. I would like for friends and family to make a donation in lieu of flowers to honor the memory of a loved one, what do I do?
    • We are so sorry for your loss and understand this is a difficult time. Below is some language you may want to include in the funeral notice, along with contact information for the Foundation. Do not hesitate to contact us directly if you have any additional questions. You can do so by e-mail at or by phone at (404) 365-1373.
      • In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of <name of loved one> may be given to the Rheumatology Research Foundation at or 2200 Lake Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA 30319, or create a personalized memorial page with our quick and easy tool and share the link with friends and family. 
  • If you have a question that has not been answered here, please contact us via e-mail at or phone at (404) 365-1373.


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