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Scoring New Research Proposals

This is an exciting time for the Association and its connections to the college and medical communities!! The Histio Student Scholarship application window just closed, and the next Research Grant application window is about to open!

The Histiocytosis Association Research Grant Program Logo

Starting this Monday, April 17th, the Histiocytosis Research Grant Program will be open for 2023. The program, as previously mentioned in our 2022 Research Grant Recipients post, supports new histiocytosis research, which has helped form the current medical and pharmaceutical landscape around the treatment of histiocytic disorders.

In this post, we will be talking with our Secretariat, Kathy Wisniewski. The Secretariat is the person who connects us to our partner organization, the Histiocyte Society. A big part of Kathy’s role is also managing the Histiocytosis Association’s Research Grant Program, which opens for a new cycle each year.

The Society Furthering Research

I am a part of the Histiocytosis Association team, and Secretariat for the Histiocyte Society. It’s a really engaging and important role, and the partnership between the Association and Society for the last [nearly] 40 years has helped us do groundbreaking work together. The partnership is further demonstrated through the Annual Research Grant Cycle for the Histiocytosis Association, where the Histocyte Society’s Scientific Committee acts as a review committee for the research project proposals received each year. With this connection in mind, part of my role within the Histiocytosis Association is to manage the Histiocytosis Research Grant Program from beginning to end.

The grant cycle starts with submissions, which for these past 2 years starts in mid-April through Early June. My role there is to compile all the applications that come in and look for conflicts of interest among the Histiocyte Society Scientific Committee members (10 in all). I then update the portal based on any conflicts of interest, so committee members are only scoring the ones they have no conflict in.  

Everyone who can review the application does, and then primary, secondary and tertiary reviewers comment. Then, the rest of the committee members compile their scores. The applications are scored on four different criteria: Scientific impact, relevance, feasibility and overall impact. They use the NIH scoring system for each of the criteria.

We give committee members up until soon before the Annual Histiocyte Society Meeting to submit their scores. After which, I average the scores by mean to present at the Society Meeting. The committee’s final evaluations are due by November, at which point the final scores of all applications, with their final rankings, are sent to the Association board and then all applicants are notified of their status in December.

The New Cycle Begins Monday

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Research Grant Program scoring process, stay tuned for the Beyond the Diagnosis Podcast episode this June where Kathy will be talking to Caroline Hutter, the chair of the Histiocyte Society Scientific Committee, for a deeper dive into the scoring process.

The 2023 Histiocytosis Association Research Grant Program cycle opens this Monday, April 17th and closes on June 2nd. To apply, researchers can go to this link. We are eager to see the projects that are proposed this year and in awe of all the accomplishments the investigators from previous cycles have had – they have led to novel therapies, better understanding of histiocytic disorders, better patient outcomes, and faster/earlier diagnosis. It’s an honor to continue to support this program, and YOU help make this possible. Your generous contributions to the Association go directly to funding research and support programs for the histio community. Thank you!