A Serious Problem — and a Real Solution: Our Funding Priorities

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A total of 54 million Americans live with a rheumatic disease. This number is expected to reach 67 million by 2030.

At the same time, the United States is facing a serious shortage of health care workers. By 2034, the U.S. could see a shortfall of as many as 124,000 doctors. By 2030, only six in 10 children and four in 10 adults with rheumatic diseases will have timely access to care.

The mission of the Rheumatology Research Foundation is to advance research and training to improve the health of patients living with rheumatic disease. The Foundation’s awards portfolio supports this mission by focusing on four funding priorities:


Cultivating an interest in rheumatology is essential to ensuring students, residents and fellows pursue careers in the field and help fill shortages, both academically and geographically. The ACR Convergence Awards recognize scholarship among aspiring rheumatology professionals. Preceptorships encourage students and residents to learn more about rheumatology and pursue careers in the field by supporting a one-on-one, real-world learning experience.

Education & Training

Building the rheumatology workforce in order to satisfy the growing demand for rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals requires robust education and training opportunities.

Career Development

Federal funding for rheumatology research is declining. That means fewer researchers and discoveries. The Foundation’s Career Development Research Awards are designed to fill this gap and encourage early- and mid-career researchers to study rheumatic diseases.

Innovative Research

The Innovative Research Awards are the Foundation’s largest awards. They were created to help transform care for people with rheumatic diseases and provide researchers with the funding they need to pursue new ideas. Specifically, the awards support scientists whose work generates new insights into causes, progressions, treatments, and outcomes.


Donors like you make our important research funding possible. Consider donating today.