A primary objective of the Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association is to fund medical and scientific research aimed at understanding, treating and seeking a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and in particular, but not limited to, the potential to help children and young people with this condition.
CICRA has several streams of funding which, with the exception of the Bursary Awards, are all Peer Reviewed by the CICRA Medical Advisory Panel (MAP) and external referees. These funding streams include:
- 3 year Research Fellowship – a clinical/scientific training post for paediatricians in training who are seeking to specialise in paediatric gastroenterology with an interest in IBD. Over 32 years many of the leading paediatric gastroenterologists in the UK have received their training through this scheme.
- 3 year PhD Studentship – a scheme to encourage young scientists to gain their PhD whilst researching Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Fees and stipends are in line with Medical Research Council (MRC) rates.
- 1 to 2 year Project Grants – either to support a single project or part of a larger ongoing project. Up to £35,000 per annum.
- Small bursary awards for up to £400 to enable UK based health professionals including trainees, nurses and final year medical students involved in IBD research or with an interest in the subject. Funds are offered to assist with costs for attending scientific/medical meetings. Preference will be given to those presenting their own paediatric work, although exceptionally assistance may be offered for attending IBD-related training courses
CICRA will ensure that it receives expert and independent advice for the objective and impartial assessment of the major applications. This is in accordance with the guidelines set down by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), of which it is a member, and as outlined in CICRA’s Code of Conduct, which includes a conflict of interest clause (2). This will be updated every two years and can be seen by clicking on the second tab on this page.
CICRA is very grateful for the support received from members of the medical profession who act as advisors in the peer review process, whether as members of the Medical Advisory Panel or as independent referees.
- The principal role of the Medical Advisory Panel (MAP), through its Chair, is to make recommendations to the CICRA Trustees on the medical and scientific merit of grant applications, for which a call is made no more than twice per year
- In addition the MAP may be asked to advise on research strategy at the invitation of the Trustees. Members may also be asked to provide email/telephone advice to the Trustees
- Members will be asked to attend at least one full meeting a year at which CICRA representatives will also be in attendance. Members of the MAP must ensure timely completion of their grant reviews and scoring
- MAP members may apply for any of the funding streams, however must declare any conflicts of interest on submission of any application. They will then take no further part in the assessment / grading or discussion of their, or any other applications, in the same funding stream
- All remaining members of the MAP (including the Chair) will be asked to independently review and score grant applications. These scores will be pooled with those of the external referees, and a mean score calculated. A list of the highest scoring applications will be made, in order of priority, by the CICRA Grants Administrator for review by the MAP. The Chair of the MAP will make a final recommendation to the CICRA Trustees, who will then make the final decision on the grants to be awarded
- The Chair of the MAP, the Clinical Director and the Chair of the Trustees will agree on inviting new members to the MAP. The Chair of the Trustees will then invite them serve an initial term of three years, after which they may be asked to extend this period for a further term
- Everybody involved in the Peer Review should treat all documents and correspondence relating to applications for funding as strictly confidential and not disseminate or discuss them, or the outcome, with anyone outside of the review process
- Members of the MAP and external referees can expect that their comments will be treated in confidence by CICRA staff and trustees. Applicants can expect that CICRA staff and trustees will not disclose details of their application to those outside of the review process
- Panel members undertake to keep all documents secure and to dispose of them securely after decisions have been reached in line with Data Protection Guidelines
- Applicants should not, under any circumstances, directly approach members of the MAP in connection with their or another’s research application. Any queries should be referred to the CICRA office
- Anybody involved in the peer review process should refuse any requests for information or feedback from applicants on how a particular judgement was reached, unless instructed to do so by the CICRA Trustees
- When applicants are informed of the outcome of their application, CICRA will provide anonymised versions of referees’ comments, and may also summarise the conclusion reached. Information that might identify the comments of individual MAP members or referees will not be revealed
- Please note that this Code of Conduct also applies to CICRA’s relationship with the external reviewers and it is CICRA policy to let external referees know the final outcome of applications they have reviewed after the decisions have been communicated to the applicants
- The Chair of the MAP will be asked to review progress reports on current grants and make recommendations to the Trustees on whether support should be continued
All applications for financial support (except Bursaries) are initially reviewed by the CICRA Grants Administrator to ensure they meet the criteria set for each type of award. Any application falling outside of the criteria will not be further reviewed and the applicant notified.
Full applications are sent to all members of the Medical Advisory Panel (MAP) for review, comment and independent grading. Suggestions for additional external referees are also sought. Appropriate external referees are approached after discussion with the Chair of the MAP and/or the CICRA Clinical Director. Once agreement to review the applications is received, a copy of the application will be sent to two or three external referees with an evaluation form for comment and grading.
Scores from external referees and all MAP members are returned to the CICRA Grants Administrator, who will calculate mean scores, rank applications by score and collate all comments. At their annual meeting (or by teleconference) at least the top three ranked applications will be considered by the MAP (minimum 5 members), with the Chair making final recommendations for funding to the Trustees.
The Trustees will make the final decision on which grants to fund. Depending on costs and available funds, the Trustees reserve the right to fund more than one application in each category.
The Grants Administrator will notify the applicants of the outcome of the Trustees decisions and members of the AAP may provide specific feedback.
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