What type of research do we fund?
The Psoriasis Association has funded many projects in the last 50 years. These have ranged from genetic research through to psychological interventions to help people cope with the impact of psoriasis on everyday life.
In the most recent Psoriasis Association membership survey, members confirmed that they feel funding research to be a crucial part of our work, and we continue to raise funds for this purpose and remain committed to supporting innovative and informative research projects that will improve the lives of people living with psoriasis.
What type of research grants do we award?
Whilst we may at times offer various types of grants our current main research grants are PhD studentships and the Cecil King Memorial Award.
These grants are awarded to research group leaders to fund a graduate student to undertake a three year PhD research project, which will culminate in the student being awarded a PhD. These grants not only progress psoriasis research but also develop the next generation of psoriasis researchers.
Cecil King Memorial Award (Small Grant)
A small grant of up to £10,000 will also be available through the Psoriasis Association. This grant is from the Cecil King Memorial Foundation and is available for psoriasis research projects where the lead researcher is under 35 years of age or within the first five consecutive years of their first permanent independent academic research post or a named limited-tenured/fixed-term academic research post in the UK or Ireland.
How do we decide which research projects to fund?
The Psoriasis Association does not award funding to every grant application that we receive. Instead, we use a peer review system to identify the best research projects that meet our objectives.
Scientists looking for research funding from the Psoriasis Association are required to fill out a detailed application form. The applications are then assessed by our Medical and Research Committee (chaired by Susan Morgan and made up of Prof Jonathan Barker, Dr Antony Bewley, Prof Chris Griffiths, Prof Eugene Healy, Dr Elise Kleyn, Dr Julia Schofield, and Prof Nick Reynolds), our external peer reviewers, and our Experts by Experience Committee (EXEC).
The Medical and Research Committee and panel of external peer reviewers are made up of experts from different areas of psoriasis research – from genetics to healthcare practices. They assess and score the suitability of each application by thinking about questions such as, 'Will the project progress psoriasis research?', 'Is the project a good use of the funding?', or 'Is the project scientifically sound?'.
Having this peer review, where experts in the same field assess the applications, means that only the highest quality projects will be recommended for funding. The committee and external reviewers will be able to judge the benefits each project could have to the progress of psoriasis research, or see whether a project is a dead end. They will also know whether the work has been done by another group and be able to comment on whether the amount of funding requested is reasonable or not.
The Experts by Experience Committee (EXEC), is made up of people who have psoriasis, or are parents of children with psoriasis. This committee provides a reality check for the research grant applications. The members of the EXEC are invited to read, comment on and prioritise the applications by thinking about questions such as, ‘Will people with psoriasis take part in this research?’, ‘Is this research relevant to me?’, ‘Will this research make a difference to me?’
The applications are then discussed by the Medical and Research Committee in light of the comments and scores from all of our reviewers. They then give recommendations on which projects to fund to the Psoriasis Association trustees who have the final decision on which applications to fund.
There is a Conflicts of Interest policy in place to ensure that reviews are conducted and funding recommendations are given without bias.
In order to continue funding vital research into psoriasis we need to work in partnership with the research community as well as continuing the appeal for donations.
The Psoriasis Association is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), and therefore abides by their conditions of membership. All AMRC members support the AMRC position statement on the use of animals in research and on supporting research in universities.