The Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation strives to foster research that will have the greatest potential impact on Sjögren’s patients, ensuring new therapeutics are developed and a cure found.
One important way in which we strive for change is to promote innovative research that will have the greatest impact on the lives of those who have this prevalent and devastating disease. We want to help spur the research community to generate fresh ideas that will bring novel approaches to treatment and the development of new therapeutics and lead to a cure. The SSF currently focuses on many initiatives to reach this goal, including: the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines, the launching of a Clinical Trials Consortium, advocacy among federal research entities, and through the SSF Research Grants Program.
The SSF Research Grants Program places a high priority on both clinical and basic scientific research into the cause, prevention, detection, treatment, and cure of Sjögren’s, with support provided to investigators at every career level from student to junior investigator to senior-level leader.
SSF Research Funding Priorities
Innovation is key for all SSF research funding. We must inspire new ideas and the gathering of data necessary to determine if those ideas are viable so that investigators can take a risk to pursue a concept that could prove to be a major breakthrough in Sjögren’s.
Novel Diagnostics is a key area of focus that our SSF Research Review Committee is targeting in 2013. While all areas of research will be considered for grant funding, SSF reviewers recognize that we cannot make major progress until we find a more definitive and easier way to diagnose Sjögren’s. Better diagnostics is an important part of the Foundation’s Five-Year Breakthrough Goal: “To shorten the time to diagnose Sjögren’s by 50% in 5 years!” Better diagnostics also will help encourage clinical trials in Sjögren’s and help raise professional and public awareness of Sjögren’s.
Funding decisions for SSF grants will be based on the following priorities:
- Innovative and creative concepts
- Novel diagnostics and relevance to the SSF Breakthrough Goal
- Direct relevance to Sjögren’s
- High quality science
- Preliminary data; probability of SSF seed money leading to an NIH grant
- Potential practical importance through the use of human tissues or blood samples
- Outcome could define new therapeutic target in SS
- Collaborative aspects of project
- Focused and achievable in the time lines
- Author on peer-reviewed articles
- A young investigator who has already displayed a productive commitment to SS research and a potential career in the field
- Letters of recommendation (if required) praise commitment, focus, high standards and excellence Financial support important for the salary support and execution of the research
- Excellent lab environment and mentorship available if young investigator
Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging between $15,000 and $50,000 a year for two years, depending on satisfactory progress. A human study that reviewers deem to be the most innovative project will be eligible for a $50,000 grant. All investigators will submit a budget for$35,000 and revise the budget once an award offer is accepted.
SSF research grants are open to basic and clinical scientists holding an advanced degree (MD, DDS, DMD, or PhD) at any U.S. university or research institution. Both junior and senior investigators may apply. For physicians, advanced clinical training in a specialty related to Sjögren’s, such as rheumatology or ophthalmology, is desirable.
The application receipt deadline is February 1, 2015. The grant funding period is July 1 through June 30.
Donations Contribute to the Success of the SSF Research Grants Program
Thanks to the generous donations of SSF members, their friends and families, and many in the healthcare community, the SSF has funded more than$1.6 million in competitive research grants to prestigious academic investigators for the study of Sjögren's since 2003. This marks a 270% increase in research grant funding over that time period.
Each and every donation makes a difference in the future care that is available for Sjögren’s patients. Consider making a donation to research today!
The Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation especially acknowledges the generous contributions from the Leach family and the Galewood Foundation who have supported Innovative Concept Research Grants and key medical and scientific initiatives since 2008 and 2009 respectively.