Funding for Caregiving Research

Research funding Because caregiving occurs across the life cycle and for a diversity of illness conditions, studies of caregiving stress are funded and/or conducted by federal agencies, private and non-profit agencies and state agencies.

Problems facing caregivers are related to a complex array of social, personal and environmental issues over time. Consequently, collaborative research teams that include skilled colleagues from other disciplines are more likely to be attractive to most funding agencies.

Federal agencies

  • National Institutes of Health (e.g. National Institute on Aging, National Cancer Institute, National Institute for Nursing Research, National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke).
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) have funded studies of caregiver adjustment and training. The ACL oversees programs that support older adults, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers including those of the Administration on Aging and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Caregivers are now a focus of concern to policymakers within the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in light of the number of military personnel who return from OIF/OEF with brain injuries, amputations, chronic pain, PTSD and polytrauma.
  • Information on federal government grants is available online.

Private and non-profit agencies

  • Also fund caregiver projects, albeit on a smaller scale.
  • These funds can be very useful in supporting more limited projects of specific focus. Many of these agencies are interested in caregiving associated with particular health conditions.
  • Researchers may find private and non-profit agencies to be receptive to clinically-relevant or program evaluation studies.
  • Agencies that have been interested in caregiving issues include:
    - American Cancer Society
    - Alzheimer’s Association
    - Brookdale Foundation Group
    - Langeloth Foundation
    - National Multiple Sclerosis Society
    - Paralyzed Veterans of America.
    - Reeve Foundation

State agencies

  • To a lesser extent, researchers may find that certain state agencies are willing to directly or indirectly support caregiver research.
  • However, under these circumstances, this work is more likely to be contractual. Caregiver issues may be tangential to the actual needs of the state agency. For example, an agency may be interested in developing better measures of the personal care and educational requirements of children with special healthcare needs (e.g., Fournier, Davis, et al., 2010).
  • It may be possible in such arrangements to take caregiver perspectives into account.


Fournier, C.J., Davis, M., Patnaik, A., Elliott, T.R., Dyer, J.A., Jasek, E., & Phillips, C.D. (2010). Modeling caregivers’ perceptions of children’s need for formal care: Physical function, intellectual disability level, and behavior. Disability and Health Journal, 3, 213-221.