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Special Emphasis Grant

For multidisciplinary, outcome-driven initiatives. Target outcomes should be based on restoration of neurological function, clinically relevant and of high priority to patients with spinal cord injury translating neurological plasticty.

Strategy Award

Basic science research grants usually three years in duration. These grants are available to international researchers. Strategy grants form our basic science programme and are normally awarded following an internationally-advertised competitive call for proposals based on themes identified by our Scientific Advisory Committee with reference to our research strategy discussion document. Calls for project proposals are advertised in published academic journals and through email alerts to researchers on our database. Project grants are generally for the support of a postdoctoral researcher to undertake the approved research plan over a period of up to three years, plus necessary consumables, travel or technical assistance. Support will also be considered for equipment if essential to the project.

PhD Studentship

Available to principle investigators in UK research institutions, these three and a half year awards include a highly competitive stipend and consumables budget. These calls are not usually themed. The awards are aimed at encouraging the development of talented, highly-motivated young scientists in the field of spinal cord repair, in both clinical and basic science research environments. Calls for project proposals are advertised through email alerts to researchers on our database. The successful project supervisor is responsible for recruiting a suitable post graduate candidate. The PhD degree must be awarded from a UK university and a high priority is given to collaborative proposals between more than one laboratory or institution. Support includes university fees, competitive stipend, plus funds for consumables, travel costs and IT equipment. Typically, the PhD student is recruited to a team that is already established in the field of spinal cord injury research, where they will receive an excellent quality of training and support. As well as obligations within their own institution, all students are encouraged to attend and present their data at research conferences and to attend our annual Network Meetings.

Suitable applicants would be those who are already dealing with, or researching into, spinal cord injury and have a good training setup within their department or facility. Although not essential, applications involving a collaborative element between more than one laboratory will be looked upon more favorably. Spinal cord injury is a multidisciplinary problem and is likely to be tackled successfully by a multidisciplinary approach that requires relatively broader training. Therefore, multidisciplinary, collaborative studies are preferred.

The stipend for basic science students will commence at £21,000 in London or £19,000 outside London followed by 3.5% annual increments from the date of start. Our 3.5-year studentship awards also cover University Fees at the level of UK students and consumable costs for £12,000 per annum. £1,000 for travel and £1,200 for a laptop and associated basic software are also part of the allocated budget over the length of the study. The stipend for clinical science students will be in line with the relevant clinical scale without overtime payments.

Translational Award

Two year grants focused on translational activities aimed at addressing scientific and technical hurdles on the critical path to the clinic. These grants are not expected to be rich in new hypothesis.

Grants will be awarded to support the translation from the laboratory into the clinic of promising new treatments for spinal cord injury. Candidate treatments should already have demonstrated efficacy in a peer-reviewed publication in at least one in vivo spinal injury model, and should involve a clinically-feasible delivery procedure.
Funding is designed to bring promising treatments to a stage that they are ready for first-in-man studies, and will provide support for pre-clinical studies of the following example types: dose-response, toxicity and studies of the optimum therapeutic windows; optimisation of delivery methods; assessment in additional spinal injury models. Support for phase I clinical trials and clinical feasibility trails will also be considered. Funding through this scheme will not be available for projects where the primary aim(s) are to examine mechanisms of action, test novel therapeutic concepts or establish proof of principle. Milestones that are demonstrably on the critical path to the clinic are essential and will have a strong bearing on the success of the application.

Applicants will be expected to have considered possible primary and secondary clinical outcomes and the target patient cohort.