by Sasha Nimmo
Australia’s Mason Foundation is now calling for research submissions into ME. The grants are for up to $120,000 a year for up to three years.
The Mason Foundation grants will support research projects that ‘focus on Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome’ and specify that the Canadian or International Consensus Criteria for ME, or the Jason et al Paediatric Case Definition for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome be used.
This is a major step forward for the Mason Foundation, who have previously funded graded exercise studies for chronic fatigue syndrome at the UNSW and at the University of South Australia using xbox games. ME Australia and more than 700 signatories petitioned the Mason Foundation to stop funding such studies which harm people and use overly-broad cohort classification. The Mason Foundation then engaged ME Australia in consultations on the future direction of funding.
The Mason Foundation is now asking applications to address:
Scientific credibility: the proposal includes a strong hypothesis, endorsed methodology and a publication plan.
Demonstrates impact: the proposal identifies evidence that the research is likely to have a positive impact on people with ME/CFS.
Translation: the proposal identifies how the research will be translated into clinical practice, policy, public education or further research.
Capacity building: the proposal has a capacity building element. Funds may be used for supporting early career researchers and attracting new clinical researchers to the field.
Collaboration: the proposal involves meaningful collaboration between researchers within Australia.
Research focus: focus on priority areas of research for ME/CFS, including:
– Understanding the pathology of an illness
– Developing a diagnostic test for patients
– Improving how health professionals currently diagnose and manage ME
– Severe cases of ME
– Emerging research priorities.
Research grant applications that consider opportunities for synergy with the newly created patient registry and biobank resources will be a priority. Applications are now open, until 5 November 2019. More details.
On 30 September 2019, the NHMRC published advice on their intention to open a grant round by the end of the year. This was announced by the Health Minister earlier this year, we will provide further details when the grant round opens.