2013 Emerging Investigator Awards Program
We’re so excited to announce the next bold step in SMA research funding for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF); the official launch of the $250,000 “FightSMA and Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Emerging Investigator Awards"!
This innovative program builds on the legacy of the last 20+ years in SMA research by directly investing in emerging talent to ensure that today's incredible momentum continues in the SMA research community. But we’re not focusing on just one program. In April 2013, five initial $25,000 grants will be awarded to the five most promising proposals from emerging investigators around the world. And two additional $62,500 grants will be awarded in November 2013 to fund a year of research for two of those initial five programs.
$250,000 will fund FIVE promising new SMA research programs, two of them for a full year. And all of the research will be conducted by emerging investigators who are interested in committing their careers to helping end SMA. We think that's incredible. And we know it will lead to new avenues and, potentially, the next "game changing" approach to a viable treatment for SMA.
Researchers around the globe have worked tirelessly over the past 20+ years. Strong elements of collaboration and a healthy dose of competition have been key. Avenue after avenue has been explored. Some have led to other avenues. Some have led to new directions. And others have led to complete dead ends. But nearly all, regardless of their outcome, have in some way been intertwined to propel SMA to where it is today; with a handful of very promising research programs in or on their way to human clinical trials and hopefully beyond. We are truly excited about the current state of SMA research. But there is still much work to be done.
The reality is today's most promising programs were started and seed funded many, many years ago. But there is currently a void in the community for the next generation of researchers -- and that's why we are launching this program. We created the Emerging Investigator Awards program to inspire a new group of researchers to get involved in the SMA field. In building on the collaborative foundation and rich, unique legacy forged by the current core group of SMA researchers, this program will encourage fresh approaches to the disease to ensure that the many questions still unanswered continue to be explored.
The program kicks off today and applications are already being accepted at SMAGrants.com.