As a kid, I remember seeing those cardboard cutouts for the March of Dimes but I really never knew what the organization did with the money that they raised. I just recall seeing all the dimes and thinking about how many Star Wars action figures I thought I could buy with them. Almost everywhere you went there was another cutout halfway or totally full of dimes. While the use of the dime and the concept of pocket change has mostly gone the way of the debit card, March of Dimes didn’t vanish in that process. Founded way back in 1938 by FDR to fight Polio, this non-profit is still around today fighting to improve the lives of babies. The work of the March of Dimes now focuses on lowering birth defects, infant mortality and premature birth rates.
As part of their larger effort, March of Dimes offers several different types of premature infant scholarships and grants. Premature infant grants are offered only to non-profit organizations in partnership with local chapters. Non-profits engaged in work that improves the lives of babies and their mothers need only apply to their local March of Dimes chapter to receive grant funding. So, if you run an organization like that, contact your local chapter by phone and inquire about how you can get involved with the March of Dimes.
The premature infant scholarships offered by March of Dimes that are available to registered nurses is for those that are enrolled in a graduate level program focused on maternal-child nursing. There is also a professional organization membership to be able to apply. But if you meet the requirements, March of Dimes offers several of these graduate nursing scholarships every year. And they are pretty substantial at $5,000 each. Applications are available yearly in September and are due no later than the following January with scholarship winners announced in May. Feel free to call 914/997-4609 if you think you meet their program eligibility and require additional information to be able to apply.
March of Dimes also offers two other types of monetary awards for people who work with premature babies. The Agnes Higgins award is for professionals with five or more years experience in teaching, research or clinical practice dealing with maternal-fetal nutrition. Check out former winners and get more information about the award at this link. The other professional award offered is only available to state administrators of newborn screening programs. Doubtfully, very few of you reading this are actually eligible. March of Dimes offers four such awards a year and they are handed out based on the results of each state’s program. For more information about that award and how to submit your state data, check out this page on the March of Dimes website.
Another scholarship that is out there for people employed with premature infants is the Synova Associates NICU Scholarship. In 2015, they awarded twelve partial scholarships and one full scholarship to attend their NICU Leadership Forum in Palm Springs, CA and they’ll do so again in 2016 for a similar conference being held in Florida. These scholarships are 100% need based in nature and are available to those of you who are directors or managers of NICU, PICU or C/VICU units. The annual deadline for applications occurs in early February. Download your application from the Synova Associates website and return it by email to email@example.com.
Another potential source of funding for professionals in neonatal care comes from the Foundation for Premature Infants. Their current donation campaign will provide support for among other things scholarships to attend professional conferences and programs. While it doesn’t look like they are up and running with the scholarship program yet, check back with the foundation’s website later on to see when they launch that scholarship program. Or send firstname.lastname@example.org an email to inquire.