Sjogren’s Foundation Welcomes Applications for 2021 Research Grants

Mary Chapman avatar

by Mary Chapman |

Share this article:

Share article via email
research grants opening

Applications for a next round of Sjögren’s Foundation research grants are being accepted from U.S. investigators working to better understand Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic immune system disorder, and improve patients’ lives.

The one-year grants are available to basic and clinical scientists who hold an advanced degree at a U.S. university or research institution. Junior as well as senior researchers may apply. Ideally, physician applicants will have advanced clinical training in a Sjogren’s subspecialty, such as rheumatology or ophthalmology. Previous Sjogren’s Foundation grant recipients are eligible.

All application materials are due by Feb. 1, 2021. Awards will be announced around mid-May. Grant periods start Sept. 1.

“The Sjogren’s Foundation strives to foster research that will have the greatest potential impact on Sjogren’s patients,” the organization states in its grants announcement. “An important way in which the Foundation strives for change is to promote innovative research that will have the greatest impact on the lives of those who have this prevalent and devastating disease.”

Two different Sjogren’s Foundation grants are available: the $75,000 High Impact Research Award, and the $25,000 Pilot Research Award.

High Impact grants support highly developed research proposals. Such proposals should show that preliminary data and methodology are already in place for project advancement.

The organization’s Pilot award is designed to help investigators conduct feasibility studies by funding preliminary data collection or other research assistance necessary for a project. Work completed through funding should also help scientists gain and prepare for larger forms of grant funding.

In addition to the proposal, an application for either grant requires a biographical sketch, links to published works, a proposed project budget, letters of recommendation, lay and scientific abstracts, a list of positions and honors, and citation of ongoing or completed research.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of experts representing a variety of Sjogren’s-related research and medical specialties. The foundation’s staff and board will also contribute opinions.

For questions about the grants, send an email to [email protected]

Current High Impact awardees include David T. Wong, PhD, of the University of California. His project entails the use of biopsy in the early detection of Sjogren’s syndrome and sicca patients (those with dryness symptoms). Currently ways of early detection are not available.

Another High Impact recipient, Seunghee Cha, PhD, with the University of Florida College of Dentistry, hopes to establish the scientific foundation for diagnostic criteria and targeted therapies for pediatric Sjogren’s.

Pilot Research Award grantee Sharmila Masli, PhD, of Boston University is using her funding to explore diagnostic tear biomarkers specific to Sjogren’s. Currently, no clinical tests distinguish Sjogren’s-related eye dryness from that caused by other conditions.

The Sjogren’s Foundation focuses on Sjogren’s research, education, and awareness, as well as programs that support patients and their families.