Joannie’s Unicorn Grant

We are proud to announce the launch of Joannie’s Unicorn Grant!

Unicorn cartoon picture with rainbow hair

Established in March 2019, Joannie’s Unicorn Grant has been created to specifically fund pediatric NMO research in honor of Joannie Rios, a 6-year old girl from Rochester, New York who lost her battle to neuromyelitis optica in February 2019. 

Support the fight against Pediatric NMO

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the grant award?

Clinical, translational and basic researchers with experience in the field of NMOSD and autoimmune diseases, who are affiliated with academic institutions in the United States are encouraged to apply.

How much funding is available?

One (1) 10,000 USD educational grant will be awarded to a single site to be used in its efforts to advance research in NMOSD. As part of the application process, investigators are required to outline their plans for the grant funding, and to demonstrate their leadership in patient care and research in NMOSD for consideration by the TSF Grant Committee.

Yes, this award will be granted to an institution

Who is on the TSF Grant Committee?

To ensure fairness, the grant committee will consist of a member of the medical board, two members of the executive committee and 1 or 2 independent key opinion leaders in NMOSD research. Committee members have been selected based on their leadership role in the practice of patient’s interest, care and research. The grant committee has sole decision-making authority in determining the winner and runner-up and will score applications based on predetermined criteria.

Once a grant is awarded, will there be any requirements for the investigator to meet certain milestones or report to TSF?

Yes, the winning team is required to share its outcomes through a report at the mid-term and completion of the project.

Application Instructions and Deadline

In 2019, TSF will be awarding 2-3 grants to applicants. Interested applicants should provide a two-page summary of their project.

Please be sure to include budget information (funding secured & requested), a list of personnel, and a CV.

Applications are due via email by April 30, 2019. .  The TSF grant committee will review all applications by May 25, 2019.  

Grant recipients will be acknowledged and checks will be distributed on June 3, 2019.

For more information and/or application instructions, please email