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Updated 10:00 AM September 10, 2007
 

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Grants speed lab discoveries to patients' bedside

A new institute has organized the largest-ever interdisciplinary grant program at the University.

In its first round of awards, the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) facilitated $3.6 million in annual funding, coming from 24 different departments, colleges or units at U-M in a drive to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary research for therapies that improve human health.

The one-time, non-renewable awards were announced in August when deans, department chairs and division directors from the Medical School, schools of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, public health and the College of Engineering notified 57 awardees.

"The rigorous review process drew upon the expertise from more than 200 U-M faculty," says Dr. Daniel Clauw, MICHR director. "The time and attention spent on seeing strong science move forward served as a reflection of how eager and enthusiastic faculty are to participate in translational research. The applications were highly collaborative, with many involving collaborations between faculty and departments that had not previously worked together."

In addition to judging the overall quality of science proposed, MICHR's scientific review committee gave priority to proposals from junior investigators, new collaborations or research directions, and multi- and inter-disciplinary collaborations. The volume and quality of the applications made the process competitive, with 28 percent of the projects submitted receiving funding. Just under 200 applications were fully reviewed.

This is an annual program, and MICHR will be issuing a new round of requests for proposals this fall. Proposals specifically are solicited from basic and clinical scientists for bench to bedside and bedside to practice research to promote development of transformative solutions for improving health outcomes. Additionally, MICHR welcomes proposals for studies on health outcomes, health services, health policy, research ethics and integrity, or community-based research that relates back to the clinical setting to inform screening practices or treatment decisions; interventions to improve medical or psychosocial outcomes; and development or testing of new hypotheses or interventions related to prevention and control of health problems.

More information about the Pilot and Collaborative Grant Program is available at www.michr.umich.edu.

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