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ACL Announces Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) Grantees

| Source: acl.gov

The Administration for Community Living’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is announcing the 2021 cohort of the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) program grantees.

The planned project period for these 14 grants is September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2026 with annual awards a total of $6.5 million (ranging between $440,000 – $490,000 for each grantee).

The Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) program is the largest network of research centers devoted to SCI in the world. This network creates opportunities for critical collaboration between SCI clinicians and researchers from across the U.S. and allows investigators to generate sample sizes that are adequate for the development and testing of a wide variety of interventions. The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) currently supports 14 SCIMS centers through this program.

The system of rehabilitation care developed through this program encompasses a continuum of services that include emergency medical services, acute care services, acute medical rehabilitation services, and post-acute services. Since its origin 51 years ago, the program has evolved into a national network of SCI clinical centers that collaborate on multi-site research efforts and longitudinally track the experiences and outcomes of people with spinal cord injury. A clinical center’s comprehensive SCI service delivery system is now a prerequisite for receiving a SCIMS Center grant to conduct high-quality research used to improve services and outcomes for people with spinal cord injury.

There is an ongoing need for research that can improve services and outcomes for people with spinal cord injury in health & function, community living, and employment. There are approximately 296,000 individuals living with SCI in the United States. While SCI remains a low-incidence condition (estimates are that 17,900 individuals acquire new SCI in the U.S. each year), it has a profound impact for those that survive the initial trauma. Increased survival rates and aging of individuals with SCI have created the need for new research-based information to improve clinical services, community supports, and a wide variety of outcomes for this population. The relatively low incidence of spinal cord injury makes collaboration across SCIMS Centers critical in order to involve investigators with the necessary expertise and to combine the number of research participants who are available for testing of interventions and other rigorous research aims and approaches. Learn more about spinal cord injuries and their impact.

SCIMS Grant Recipients:

  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago dba Shirley Ryan AbilityLab: Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System
  • Craig Hospital: Rocky Mountain Regional Spinal Injury System
  • Shepherd Center, Inc.: Southeastern Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SR-SCIMS)
  • Kessler Foundation, Inc.: Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System
  • Rancho Research Institute: Southern California Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SoCal-SCIMS) Program at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLANRC)
  • University of Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Model Center for Spinal Cord Injury
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: Mount Sinai Spinal Cord Injury Model System
  • Case Western Reserve University: The Northeast Ohio Regional Spinal Cord Injury System: NORSCIS
  • University of Miami: South Florida Spinal Cord Injury Model System
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center: Northern California Spinal Cord Injury Model System of Care
  • MedStar Health Research Institute, Inc.: National Capital Spinal Cord Injury Model System (NC-SCIMS)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University: Virginia Consortium for Spinal Cord Injury Care
  • Regents of the University of Minnesota: Minnesota Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System
  • Baylor Research Institute: Baylor Scott and White Spinal Cord Injury Model System

Since 1973, the SCIMS centers have collected and contributed information on common data elements for a centralized SCI database, referred to as the SCIMS database. This database is maintained through a NIDILRR-funded grant for a National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). The data that these and other database participants have contributed provides invaluable information about the life course of people with spinal cord injury and about trends in their experiences and outcomes. Learn more about the SCIMS database.

Contact the NIDILRR if you have questions about the SCIMS Program.


NIDILRR, part of ACL, generates new knowledge and promotes its effective use so that people with disabilities can perform activities of their choice in the community. NIDILRR also works to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for people with disabilities.

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