According to the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine, scoliosis causes a sideways curve of the human spine 2. Most common in late childhood and early adolescence, scoliosis can have symptoms that include leaning to one side or having uneven hips and shoulders. The curve may be temporary or permanent; sometimes individuals with scoliosis need to wear a brace or require surgery.

Research Grants

Researchers seeking funds can apply for research grants created to promote investigation of some scoliosis-related topic. One such grantmaker is the Scoliosis Research Society, which provides exploratory grants and investigator grants for research to be performed; be aware that the grant is not meant for industry developers, individual manufacturers or those seeking to profit from a personal business related to scoliosis. Recipients of the award are expected to cite the Society in any publicity that results from the award or its results.

Scholarships for Patients With Scoliosis

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Grants are also available in the form of academic scholarships for students living with spinal conditions that can include scoliosis 1. For example, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and North Arizona University award two $500 scholarships each year on behalf of the Sonoran Spine Foundation, while the Gunnar B. Stickler Scholarship supports recipients diagnosed with Stickler Syndrome--which can include scoliosis--with $500 yearly for a maximum of four years 1. Check with local spine health organizations or the university you plan to attend if you are a student with scoliosis seeking financial aid.

Conference Attendance for Surgeons from Developing Nations

In order to waive the financial burden of attendance at the annual Scoliosis Research Society meeting, the organization provides educational scholarships for surgeons from developing nations. Applicants are required to have a university degree, financial need and be working in the field of spinal deformities as a researcher or practitioner.

Study Fellowships for Surgeons

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Members and Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, or those who are on the cusp of becoming a member of the Royal College of Surgeons once they pass their exam, are eligible to apply for a fellowship. This award provides one year of salary, on-costs and some running expenses for research related to scoliosis. The Fellowship is supported by the British Scoliosis Research Foundation.

Practicing Fellowships for Surgeons

Research Fellowships available at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia support a one-year funded opportunity open to any orthapaedic surgeon with experience in “orthopaedic basic science research, genetics or developmental biology.” The program is designed to help fellows gain expertise in a research setting, and fosters collaboration with the faculty, involvement division research projects, as well as the option to work independently on projects of special interest. The Orthapedic Surgery division’s current areas of research emphasis include spinal deformity and spine biomechanics, congenital vertebral malformations and musculoskeletal tumor research.