Leoni Fund Seeks Grant Applicants


The Nicholas Leoni Endowment Fund supports research that addresses developmental motor disabilities across the lifespan. These disabilities may include, but are not limited to, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, autism spectrum, and depression.

Kinesiology faculty members, or faculty members from other units at the University of Michigan who collaborate with Kinesiology faculty members or graduate students, are eligible to apply for funding to support their work in these areas. Translational research that transfers knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic is especially encouraged.

Deadline for submission is 5:00pm Eastern Time, April 1, 2014. Award notification will be by May 30, 2014.


The Nicholas Leoni Endowed Research Fund was created as a 48th birthday present to Mike Leoni, Nicholas's father, from some of his closest friends. The annual income from this endowment is used to provide seed funding to researchers in the U-M School of Kinesiology.

More than a decade ago, long after Mike Leoni got involved with the Special Olympics, he and his wife Diane gave birth to twins; one of them, Nicholas, has cerebral palsy. As difficult as the news was, the Leonis say that Nicholas has brought great joy to their family.

Read more about the Leoni Fund in an article that appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of Movement magazineSurprise Birthday Gift is New Hope for Disabled.