In the 1980’s individuals working in the cleft and craniofacial field saw a gradual decrease in the availability of small research grants, especially funding for junior investigators. Smaller funding grants for preliminary research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) diminished during the 1980’s causing researchers to look elsewhere for investigational seed money. The Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) recognized the need to fund small grants that could potentially lead to larger projects and in 1989, established the first junior investigator grant. CPF is now ACPA Family Services, enabling professionals and families to work more closely together. Currently, ACPA provides small competitive research grants totaling $54,000 per year. Funding is available to individuals conducting research related to cleft lip/palate or other craniofacial anomalies.
Research grants from ACPA have an overall goal to improve treatment outcomes for patients. For example, this may be through research and development into the improvement of discipline based patient care, interdisciplinary care, prevention, translational research, quality of life and technology. The current research budget for ACPA allows for the funding of six projects annually.