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The 2017 Grant Cycle is now open!

About the program:

The ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS program is a competitive request for proposal (RFP) based grants initiative developed to underscore the company’s ongoing commitment to support the comprehensive needs of people affected by mental health and substance use disorders. Through this initiative, Alkermes will award up to $1 million in grants for the development or expansion of innovative programs to support the mental health and addiction communities in two key areas:

  • Improving or enhancing support or resources for people affected by mental health concerns or addiction
  • Integrating the perspective of people affected by mental health concerns or addiction into drug development or care delivery

Eligible non-profit organizations can apply for programs with varying budgets. Multiple submissions are permitted.

Selected programs will be chosen by Alkermes in partnership with external reviewers who represent the perspectives of the community. External reviewers include a patient advocate, a representative from the criminal justice system, a person in recovery and a caregiver. Proposals will be evaluated based on a standard set of review criteria, which include potential impact, identification of need and creativity of the solution, the organization’s ability to execute, and the sustainability of the program.

2016 Outcomes:

In November 2016, 15 programs were awarded funds through the ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS initiative. The communities affected by mental health conditions and substance use disorders face significant societal challenges that often stand in the way of patients and families getting the best possible care. Alkermes developed this competitive grants program to fund innovative programs to support people affected and serve as a catalyst for change.

Last year, the program launched in mid-September and when the submission period closed on Oct. 7, the company had received more than 330 requests. The overwhelming response and the quality of the applications demonstrated that the lack of support and infrastructure to support patients and families is far greater than we imagined.

Applicants ranged from large advocacy organizations, to academic institutions to small grass roots organizations trying to make a difference – and the selected programs were equally diverse. To view the full list of recipients, please click here.

Application Information:

The submission period will be open from Sept. 6 to Oct. 6, 2017 (Midnight ET), and grants will be awarded to selected organizations in November 2017. Qualified non-profit organizations of any size may submit program proposals with varying budgets not to exceed $1 million. Historically, funding amounts ranged from $2,500 to $100,000. Multiple submissions are permitted.

Proposals will be evaluated based on a standard set of review criteria, which will include the quality of the application, creativity of the solution and the organization’s infrastructure and past program success.

Click here for submission instructions

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The online application is available here

Send any questions to

About the reviewers:

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Kim McCleary, Health Advocate

Kim McCleary is managing director at FasterCures, leading efforts on key programmatic areas, including the FDA and how it evaluates risk and benefit for patients, and medical innovation and how we determine value and reimbursement. Prior to FasterCures, Kim was the president and CEO of CFIDS Association of America from 1991 to 2013. She helped found the Chronic Pain Research Alliance and partnered with advocacy leaders and Pfizer to establish the Campaign to End Women’s Pain in 2010.

Kim has led the “Partnering to End Pain” project selected by Sanofi U.S. as a finalist in the 2012 Collaborate Activate Innovation Challenge. Kim has participated in FDA meetings to help shape its Patient-Focused Drug Development Initiative (PFDDI), including a range of consultations leading up to the first of the 20 PFDDI workshops focused on CFS and ME in 2013. With leaders in the narcolepsy community, Kim has helped design and launch the Unite Narcolepsy initiative to educate, engage and empower narcolepsy patients and their advocates to participate effectively in the PFDDI meeting held in 2013. Kim has helped family members navigate challenges associated with mental health conditions and substance. Kim is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Timothy Woods, Criminal Justice Professional

Tim is the Director of the Grants & Contracts Division at the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), overseeing all grants to NSA since 1997. He has also been the Project Director at NSA on approximately 25 federal and foundational grants through which he has authored and co-authored numerous training manuals for law enforcement. Tim served on the Board of Directors for the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) from 2011 to 2015. He holds an LL.M. in International Law from the Georgetown University Law Center, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and a J.D. from St. Louis University School of Law.

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Susan Sheena, Caregiver

Susan Sheena is a mental health advocate and “star” of “Hearing Voices of Support,” a Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) initiative to promote hope, support, acceptance, and recovery for people living with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Susan’s advocacy on behalf of the community began following her oldest son’s mental disorder diagnosis and drug addiction recovery. Susan is passionate about advocating for her son’s recovery and others living with mental health disorders. Her advocacy work with SARDAA has contributed to improvements in the lives of people living with schizophrenia and other brain-related illnesses through education, support programs, and collaboration.

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Maegan Kenney, Person in Recovery and Patient Advocate

Maegan Kenney is a second year student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at William James College in Newton, Mass. She also has lifelong experience with opioid addiction and is in long-term recovery. As the Founder and Chair of the school’s Opioid Crisis and Advocacy student group, she has organized educational opportunities for students including a naloxone training and panel discussion about opioid use and misuse with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. She is a student member of the American Psychological Association, the Massachusetts Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services, and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association. Maegan was an integral planning committee member of Moving Beyond Stigma, a public education conference at William James College, and was recognized in the school’s 2016 annual Rapport as well as the Spotlight column for her advocacy work related to opioid use. She has shared her journey of recovery and perspectives on the opioid epidemic with media outlets such as CNNMoney, NBC Boston, and A Deadly Silence in Brockton, MA. Maegan has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from William James College.

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