HHF 2019 Grant Applications Open

By Lauren McGrath

We are excited to inform you that the applications for Hearing Health Foundation (HHF)'s 2019 Emerging Research Grants (ERG) and Ménière's Disease Grants (MRG) programs are officially open as of September 1.

Call for 2019 Grants.png

HHF's ERG grants provide seed money to stimulate data collection that leads to a continuing, independently fundable line of research. According to a 2017 analysis, every $1 of funding that HHF awards to ERG grantees is matched by the NIH with $91.

ERG grant funding shall not exceed $30,000 for the one-year project period, and only research proposals in the following topic will be considered for the 2019 ERG cycle: General Hearing Health (GHH)*,  [Central] Auditory Processing Disorders, Hearing Loss in Children, Hyperacusis, Ménière’s Disease, Ototoxic Medications, Tinnitus, and Usher Syndrome.

More Information About ERG
Begin Your ERG Application

The highly competitive Ménière’s Disease Grants (MDG) program funds scientists to better our understanding of this complicated condition with an eye for better treatments and cures for those who suffer from Ménière’s disease.

MDG grant funding shall not exceed $125,000 for the two-year project period. Areas of interest for the 2019 MDG Cycle include: the mechanisms of endolymphatic hydrops; genetics of Ménière’s disease; development and validation of biomarkers, including imaging and/or electrophysiologic and behavioral measures for its diagnosis and measurement of therapeutic effectiveness; animal models of Ménière’s disease; and the development of novel therapeutics.

More Information About MDG
Begin Your MDG Application

Applications for both ERG and MDG will close Tuesday, January 15.

If you have any questions about the grant program and processes, contact us at  
Please forward and share this information with your colleagues who may be interested.

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New Grantees Will Advance Understanding of Ménière's Disease

By Lauren McGrath

Hearing Health Foundation's (HHF) newly established Ménière's Disease Grants (MDG) program will significantly advance our understanding of the mechanisms of Ménière's Disease. In 2018, two innovators will have the opportunity to investigate the disorder's diagnosis and treatment.


Ménière's Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of vertigo as a result of fluid that fills the tubes of the inner ear. In addition to dizziness and nausea, Ménière's attacks can cause some loss of hearing in one or both ears and a constant ringing sound. The causes of Ménière's remain unknown and a cure has yet to be identified. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 615,000 individuals in the United States live with the disorder.

Two grants have recently been awarded for 2018 for innovative Ménière's Disease research. Both grantees were also previously funded by HHF’s Emerging Research Grants (ERG) program.

Gail Ishiyama, M.D.

Gail Ishiyama, M.D.

Gail Ishiyama, M.D. of UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine is focusing on cellular and molecular biology of the microvasculature in the macula utricle of patients diagnosed with Ménière’s disease. Her project will provide greater information on the blood labyrinthine barrier and allow for the development of interventions that prevent the progression of hearing loss and stop the disabling vertigo in Ménière’s disease patients.

Ian Swinburne, Ph.D.

Ian Swinburne, Ph.D.

Ian Swinburne, Ph.D. of Harvard Medical School is classifying the endolymphatic duct and sac's cell types and their gene sets using high-throughput single-cell transcriptomics. His work will generate a list of endolymphatic sac cell types and the genes governing their function, which will aid in Ménière's diagnosis (which can be delayed due to the range of fluctuating symptoms) and the development of a targeted drug or gene therapy.

HHF is grateful for the opportunity to fund Drs. Ishiyama and Swinburne. If you are interested in naming a research grant in any discipline within the hearing and balance space, please contact

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Neural sensitivity to binaural cues with bilateral cochlear implants

By Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School

Many profoundly deaf people wearing cochlear implants (CIs) still face challenges in everyday situations, such as understanding conversations in noise. Even with CIs in both ears, they have difficulty making full use of subtle differences in the sounds reaching the two ears (interaural time difference, [ITD]) to identify where the sound is coming from. This problem is especially acute at the high stimulation rates used in clinical CI processors.

 A team of researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School, including past funded Emerging Research Grantee, Yoojin Chung, Ph.D., studied how the neurons in the auditory midbrain encode binaural cues delivered by bilateral CIs in an animal model. They found that the majority of neurons in the auditory midbrain were sensitive to ITDs, however, their sensitivity degraded with increasing pulse rate. This degradation paralleled pulse-rate dependence of perceptual limits in human CI users.

This study provides a better understanding of neural mechanisms underlying the limitation of current clinical bilateral CIs and suggests directions for improvement such as delivering ITD information in low-rate pulse trains.

The full paper was published in The Journal of Neuroscience and is available here. This article was republished with permission of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Yoojin Chung, Ph.D. was a 2012 and 2013 General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International award recipient through our Emerging Research Grants program. Hearing Health Foundation would like to thank the Royal Arch Masons for their generous contributions to Emerging Research Grantees working in the area of central auditory processing disorders (CAPD). We appreciate their ongoing commitment to funding CAPD research.

We need your help supporting innovative hearing and balance science through our Emerging Research Grants program. Please make a contribution today.

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Special Request for Meniere's Disease & Stria Vascularis Applications

By Laura Friedman

Thanks to generous donations, Hearing Health Foundation is requesting Emerging Research Grants (ERG) proposals in the areas of:

  • Ménière's disease, for innovative research that will increase our understanding of the inner ear and balance disorder.

  • Stria vascularis, for research that will increase our understanding of strial atrophy and/or development of the stria.

Letters of intents (LOIs) are required before a full application can be submitted. Full applications are due Thursday, March 31. 

Please review our Policy on Emerging Research Grants for eligibility requirements. If you are eligible, please make note of the deadlines below and review the instructions for submitting a LOI.


  • Full Application: March 31, 2016

  • Award Notification: Spring 2016

  • Grant Period: July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017

If you have any questions about the ERG program and process, please contact us at

Thank you for your interest in the ERG program. Please forward and share this information with your colleagues. 

We need your help in funding the exciting work of hearing and balance scientists.
To donate today to support HHF's groundbreaking research,

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