Parkinson Canada announces funding for 19 research projects for 2016-2018

Parkinson Canada and its partners is proud to support 19 researchers recently named as recipients of its Research Program grant, fellowship and student awards for the next two years. They will advance our knowledge of Parkinson’s, a complex brain disease; share their information with the scientific and Parkinson’s communities; and their work offers hope for the future to those living with the disease.

These latest awards represent a total of $1,124,018 to support new research projects in Canada. The Parkinson Canada Research Program is currently committed to investing a total of $1,439,018, including the nine research awards now in their second year. Since 1981, the Parkinson Canada Research Program has invested more than $26 million in 503 research projects.

The latest awards include:

  • 7 Pilot Project Grants
  • 3 New Investigator Awards
  • 3 Basic Research Fellowships
  • 1 Clinical Movement Disorders Fellowship
  • 1 Clinical Research Fellowship
  • 4 Graduate Student Awards

A detailed list of the 2016-2018 researchers, their project titles, affiliations and funding amounts can be found in the Research section of Later this fall, profiles of this year’s funded projects and researchers will be added to the Research section of the website and highlighted throughout the year in e-Parkinson Post.

How do we decide which projects to fund?
The selection of funded projects follows a rigorous process. Parkinson Canada sends out a call of proposals well in advance of the application deadline to Canada-based researchers, health care professionals and graduate students. A peer review of the proposals is conducted by Parkinson Canada’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), who review, score and rank each application using Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) standards. (Members recuse themselves from reviewing any application where there is a conflict of interest.)

SAB members, all volunteer experts, take about two months to review and score the applications and then gather together to discuss and rate the proposals. Rankings based on the  SAB’s ratings are delivered to The Research Policy Committee (RPC), who recommends that the Parkinson Canada Board of Directors funds those applications with the highest ratings for scientific excellence, innovation and relevance to Parkinson’s.

Members of the SAB gather to rate research proposals.
“We are able to conduct such a rigorous and high-quality adjudication and funding process, with the generous contributions of time and expertise of our SAB members and the members of the Research Policy Committee of the Parkinson Canada Board. The quality reputation of our Research Program is upheld by their efforts and expertise,” says Julie Wysocki, Director, Parkinson Canada Research Program.

The final step in the research funding process is that all grant recipients are required to submit progress reports and financial accounting reports annually and upon completion of multi-year awards.

Progress reports highlight research results and the sharing of them through both scientific and public presentations and publications. “The sharing of the knowledge acquired, is just as important as the research results themselves,” says Wysocki. “Knowledge transfer ensures the work our researchers do is added to the global body of Parkinson’s knowledge.”

In addition to the 19 projects receiving funding for the 2016-2018 funding cycle, another 66 projects that were scientifically meritorious and recommended for funding, fell below the funding cut off and went unfunded. To fund these additional projects would require another $3,557,688 in available funding, which depends on donor support. Your donation to Parkinson Canada helps the Research Program contribute vital and relevant evidence about Parkinson’s disease in Canada and around the world.

More about the Parkinson Canada Research Program
Parkinson Canada is the largest, non-government funder of Parkinson’s research in Canada. Investing in science that explores most aspects of the disease, including: causes, complications, cognitive impairment, biomarkers, neuroprotection and quality of life provides hope and understanding. Parkinson Canada researchers also investigate related disorders such as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and other forms of parkinsonism, and the impact these diseases have on individuals and society.

The Parkinson Canada Research Program invests in:

  • High-quality, innovative Canadian research by established and promising investigators.
  • Discovery-stage research where investigators test new theories and pursue promising new leads.
  • Researchers at the beginning of their careers in order to foster the next generation of Parkinson’s scientists.
  • Novel research to build greater capacity, promote creativity and engage more researchers.
  • Specialist training for clinicians to build capacity in high quality care for people with Parkinson’s.