2024 Research Grant Program Focused on IBM and JM

The Myositis Association (TMA) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of those who live with myositis, funding innovative research, and increasing myositis awareness and advocacy. Since 2002, TMA has provided funding for research into the cause, prevention, detection, treatment, and cure of myositis. TMA administers research projects through its Research Grant Program.  

TMA provides grants to qualified investigators and clinicians for basic, translational, and clinical research. The hope is that these studies will ultimately lead to new understanding, diagnostics, treatments, and/or cures for myositis diseases.  

These guidelines provide a framework for the funding and conduct of that research. Application of the guidelines will be under the direction of TMA’s Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Board, and the Research Committee. 

Timeline for the 2024 Grant Program
Letter of intentMay 24, 2024
Invitation for full applicationJune 3, 2024
Full application July 15, 2024
Notification of awardsNovember 2024
Funding to beginJanuary 2025

2024 RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM 

With the goal of advancing research into the cause, prevention, detection, treatment, and cure of myositis and related diseases, this year’s grant cycle targets projects specifically related to inclusion body myositis and juvenile myositis.  

Inclusion body myositis (IBM)  

One award of up to $80,000 will be granted for a disease-specific, targeted project that adheres to the following guidelines. 

  • Focuses exclusively on new or existing projects aimed at specific, predicted IBM disease defects, processes, therapies, challenges, and/or functions.  
  • Focus may include quality of life or therapies for IBM-related conditions such as dysphagia, hand function, mobility challenges, preservation of muscle function, and/or other impairments.  
  • Proposals must discuss the likelihood of new or improved treatment options for IBM based upon the described project. Priority is given to submissions that clearly link the project to the likelihood of new or improved treatment options for IBM within three (3) to five (5) years. 
  • Priority is given to collaborative projects.  
  • Funding is provided over a one-year period. 

Juvenile myositis (JM) 

One award of up to $45,000 will be granted for a disease-specific, targeted project that adheres to the following guidelines. 

  • Focuses exclusively on new or existing projects that advance the understanding of the cause, prevention, detection, treatment, or cure of juvenile myositis diseases.  
  • Funding is provided over a one-year period. 

GOVERNANCE 

Medical Advisory Board 

TMA’s Medical Advisory Board is a group of medical and scientific experts from a variety of backgrounds with a track record of interest and experience in myositis research and treatment. The Medical Advisory Board advises TMA’s Board of Directors on medical and scientific aspects of the organization’s activities. The Medical Advisory Board and its Research Committee provide recommendations for funding to TMA’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors makes all final funding decisions. 

Research Committee 

The Research Committee is comprised of members of the Medical Advisory Board with knowledge and experience in myositis research. Its goals and responsibilities include promoting and administering TMA’s Research Grants Program, in partnership with the TMA research staff. The committee also generates interest in working with myositis among new researchers and clinicians by encouraging the submission of proposals. 

APPLICATION PROCESS 

The application process begins with submission of a brief letter of intent followed by submission of a full application for those invited. These Research Guidelines provide specific directions and detailed requirements. 

Letters of intent and full applications must be submitted online through Proposal Central, an electronic grant submission system. 

The letter of intent must contain the following information: 

  1. A one-page letter of intent must be submitted by May 24, 2024. This includes a cover letter with administrative information, a three-paragraph description of the proposed project, and a biosketch of the applicant in NIH format. Please specify which targeted area your project addresses. The letter of intent should be submitted electronically through Proposal Central.  
  1. Please identify any persons who might have a conflict of interest in reviewing the application (e.g. former and present collaborators, mentors, and/or competitors.) 
  1. The letter of intent will be screened by TMA representatives shortly after receipt, and a select number of applicants will be invited to submit a full application. 
  1. Full applications must be submitted electronically by June 30, 2024 through Proposal Central

Letters of intent must be submitted through the Proposal Central platform and be received by midnight Eastern Time on May 24, 2024

Invitations to submit the full grant application will be sent by June 3, 2024

Full applications must be submitted through the Proposal Central platform and be received by midnight Eastern Time on July 15, 2024.  

Institutional involvement and requirements: 

  • If awarded, the grant funds will be administered through an institution only. Recipient institutions should be accredited medical schools, universities, or research institutes. Where a grant proposal requires the use of clinical and/or laboratory facilities, institutional approval is required.  
  • For applications involving participation of human subjects, the applicant must provide an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved consent form. If the IRB has not yet approved the study, a letter from the IRB acknowledging receipt of the consent request must be included and TMA must receive confirmation of the approval from the IRB prior to funding. 
  • Applications involving participation of animal subjects must follow the process described above for human subjects, with references to “Institutional Review Board” replaced by the institution’s “animal care and use committee.” 
  • For applications involving the use of drugs not approved by the FDA, evidence of an IND number is also required prior to funding. 

GRANT SELECTION PROCESS 

The initial request for proposals asks applicants to submit a letter of intent comprised of a brief description (abstract) of the proposed research project along with the principal investigator’s professional qualifications and a draft budget.  

The PI must have sufficient education and experience to demonstrate subject matter expertise. Grants are available to researchers both within the United States and internationally. 

Once all letters of intent have been submitted, TMA’s Research Committee leadership reviews the submissions and selects projects that align with TMA’s current research priorities. A subset of applicants is then invited to submit a full grant application describing their proposed project in detail.  

Full grant applications are reviewed by the Research Committee in partnership with TMA research reviewers. The strongest and potentially most impactful applications that adhere to the priorities of TMA’s current research cycle are recommended for funding. 

Funding recommendations are provided to the Medical Advisory Board and to TMA’s Board of Directors. TMA’s Board of Directors approves all grant awards.  

TMA’s grant review process is adapted from the peer review standards utilized by the National Institutes of Health. Every attempt is made to make the grant selection process fair and unbiased. Awards are based on scientific merit and TMA research priorities. Any reviewer with a conflict of interest is excused from voting on a specific proposal. Stakeholder reviewers may participate in the review process. 

POST-AWARD PROCESS 

Payments and reports 

Award payments will be made according to a predetermined schedule throughout the funding period. Review of annual reports and recommendation of continued funding is based on progress as assessed by the Chair of the Research Committee. 

Awarded investigators are required to submit narrative progress reports annually. Approval of second year funding for two-year grants/fellowships is dependent upon satisfactory progress during the first year as outlined in the annual report. Reports are reviewed and approved by TMA’s Research Committee Chair. 

Any significant deviation from the project’s direction as outlined in the applicant’s funded proposal, or delay in beginning or concluding the project according to the proposed timeline, is to be reported to TMA’s research staff in writing in a timely fashion. 

The final payment will be released following receipt of the final narrative report at the conclusion of the project. The grants and contracts office at the awardee’s institution must provide a final expenditure report within 30 days of the final payment to TMA. TMA may request documentation of outlays reported on the expenditure report. Any unused funds are to be returned to TMA. 

Public reporting of results 

In making public the results of work related to projects supported by TMA funding, investigators must adhere to the following:  

  • Present the results at TMA’s invitation at TMA’s Myositis Research Symposium. A portion of the funds granted may be used for travel for this purpose.  
  • Acknowledge The Myositis Association in all publications, posters, and oral presentations resulting from this TMA funding or any future projects that build on the results of this research.  
  • Tag The Myositis Association in all social media coverage pertaining to this research and mentioned as the project funder in any press releases or coverage that result from or builds on this project. To tag the Myositis Association, use the following social media tags: For Facebook: @Myositis, for Twitter (X): @TheMyositisAssc, for LinkedIn: @MyositisAssociation, for Instagram: @themyositisassociation  
  • Provide timely notification, citations, and copies of any publications, posters, and oral presentations that build on the results of this research. 

TMA will publish periodic research updates though its communications and on its website. This may include a publication list of papers resulting from TMA funded research. 

Proprietary Information 

Any research proposal submitted for funding to TMA will remain the property of the applicant. TMA will distribute proposals to reviewers and decision-makers in accordance with the selection processes described above. TMA retains digital copies of research proposals in accordance with our document retention policy.  

All TMA-funded proposals must contain a plain language summary (lay abstract) for use in publications as TMA sees fit. All other information from proposals will be kept confidential. 

TMA is grateful for the continued support and generous gifts that have enabled us to promote critical foundational research for myositis diseases. Please consider donating to help sustain this important program.