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Foundation holds first meeting of the Research Review Committee to fund new MND research

09 October 2023

This year has been a very exciting year for our research programme; not only did we launch our new research strategy, Catalysing a Cure, we also launched our flagship grant scheme, with applications opening in April for our Project Awards. As part of our renewed commitment to fund only the highest quality research with the potential to have a big impact for people living with MND, we convened a Research Review Committee (RRC), made up of leading academic and industry experts and people affected by MND. The committee rigorously assesses applications to our grant scheme, provides constructive feedback to the applicants and makes recommendations to our Board of Trustees as to which projects we should fund.

Last month, we held our first face-to-face meeting of the RRC, to assess the applications to our 2023 Project Awards. We were kindly hosted by our friends at Leeds Rhinos Foundation at Headingley Stadium and with images of the Rob Burrow marathon on the walls around us, the venue could not have been more fitting. Thirteen committee members* attended on the day, although many more were involved in reviewing applications.

After a round of introductions and discussion about the scope of these awards, the committee delved into a detailed discussion of each application, covering everything from the potential impact to the cost-effectiveness of the proposal. We were encouraged to see the level of engagement of all committee members at the meeting, including people affected by MND. As everyone has an equal voice and vote at the meeting, it means that all the projects we fund are both scientifically robust and have the priorities of people affected by MND at their heart.

Dr Richard Mead, Chair of the Research Review Committee, said “It was a pleasure to chair the first meeting of the Foundation’s review committee. Bringing together leading academics, industry professionals and people affected by MND to share their own perspective is immensely helpful to us in deciding where the Foundation’s funds will have the most impact. I’m looking forward to seeing where this research will lead and working with the RRC in the future to help drive forward the Foundation’s strategy to ultimately catalyse a cure for MND.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to the members of the RRC who have reviewed applications in this award round and provided their feedback for applicants. We look forward to bringing you further updates about which projects have been funded, soon.

*Present at the meeting was Dr Richard Mead (Chair), Dr Jill Richardson, Ang Armstrong, Dr Ruxandra Dafinca, Dr Oliver Freeman, Professor Tom Gillingwater, Dr John Hamlin, Professor Guillaume Hautbergue, Dr Emma Mead, Professor Gareth Miles, Dr Anne Phelan, Professor Peter Richardson and Professor Ludo Van Den Bosch.

Foundation holds first meeting of the Research Review Committee to fund new MND research
Foundation holds first meeting of the Research Review Committee to fund new MND research

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