Applying for a research grant
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign considers applications for research funding in accordance with its research strategy. This includes research into more than 60 different types of muscle-wasting diseases. The charity has an application process in place that involves a rigorous peer review and a panel of "lay experts" so that only the best research is funded.
For more information on how to apply, please read about our application procedure.
Grant funding process
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has one grant round per year and generally puts out a call for applications in the autumn. You will be asked to complete two applications forms – a scientific application and a short lay application.
The scientific application is a detailed description of the project and its costs as well as any ethical considerations, such as the use of animals or human samples. The lay application contains a less detailed proposal, but written in lay English and goes to our Lay Research Panel, which consists of people who are affected either directly or indirectly by muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions. The lay application consists of questions that the Lay Research Panel believe are most appropriate for helping them to prioritise the projects.
The Lay Research Panel will initially assess the lay applications for readability. If you have included too much technical language or there are any questions that the panel feel have not been adequately addressed, they will ask you to rewrite the lay application. This is an important part of the application process since the Lay Research Panel will feed back to our Medical Research Committee and the Lay Research Panel votes may represent as much as 20 percent of the total.
In light of this, please put as much thought into the lay section of the application form as you would the scientific form. Additional guidance is included on the lay application form. The Lay Research Panel meets in spring to discuss and prioritise all the applications. This panel does not judge the science behind the projects but discusses and assesses the importance and relevance of the project from the perspective of someone affected directly or indirectly by a muscle-wasting condition. Two members of the Lay Research Panel sit on the Medical Research Committee and will vote on the funding decisions. As well as people affected by muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions, the Lay Research Panel also has an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist on it. There is also a scientific advisor at all Lay Research Panel meetings who does not have voting rights but answers any scientific questions the Panel may have.
The scientific applications are peer reviewed by international experts and, to ensure the process is constructive, you will have a chance to read and respond to these reviews. The Medical Research Committee will meet in late spring/ early summer and will consider all this information – application, reviewers’ reports, applicant’s response and feedback from the Lay Research Panel. At their meeting, the Medical Research Committee will discuss and score the applications (only applications with certain scores or higher will be considered), finally making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on which of the projects should be funded.
Please also read our grant FAQs for further information or get in contact with the research team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7803 4812