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2015 research focus begins to take shape following the MS Research Australia Research Management Council meeting

Following a very rich and promising round of grant applications earlier in 2014, MS Research Australia recently held the annual Research Management Council meeting to consider all funding applications and recommend the best new projects to receive funding in 2015.

The MS Research Australia Research Management Council(RMC) is a multi-disciplinary team responsible for monitoring and reviewing grant applications, and recommending funding allocations.

Comprised of fourteen independent experts in MS research or a related field, and chaired by Professor Simon Broadley from Griffith University, the Research Management Council provides invaluable and unbiased guidance to the MS Research Australia Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors regarding the best new research projects to support.

The Research Management Council contains two subcommittees: a Biomedical Subcommittee chaired by Professor Broadley, and a Social and Applied Research Subcommittee chaired by Dr Elizabeth McDonald, a practicing Rehabilitation Physician and also Medical Director of MS-ACT/NSW/VIC. Each panel assesses all applications falling within their field, to ensure all applications are considered fairly and equitably. The rigorous and transparent ‘peer review’ process utilised by MS Research Australia have enabled our grants to be considered ‘Category 1’ in competitive funding awards on the Australian Competitive Grants Register, in line with major government funding awards.

This year, the Research Management Council Subcommittees debated over 35 applications in total, including a range of Project Grants and Fellowship applications.

The peer-review process includes the recommendations provided by at least two independent international External Assessors who comment on each de-identified application. The RMC then debates each project in detail taking these recommendations into account and gives it application a score. Once all applications have been considered, the applications ranked by score and the most highly ranked applications are presented to the MS Research Australia Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors for their consideration. The final decision for which grants will receive funding is based on meritorious applications and then the available funding.

The standard of applications received in 2014 was extremely high making the rigorous process even harder. However, the robust debate ensured the finer details of each project were brought to light and MS Research Australia is now in a position to consider the funding allocations for 2015. The results of this year’s grant applications will be announced later this year.

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2015 research focus begins to take shape following the MS Research Australia Research Management Council meeting