Few opportunities exist for rheumatologists in community-based practice who, in addition to taking care of patients, want to test their own observations through research. Limited funding, time constraints and competition from larger academic medical centers are some of the barriers hindering clinical research in this setting. The Rheumatology Research Foundation is addressing this issue with the Innovative Research Award for Community Practitioners (IRACP).
Rheumatologists in a solo practice, single or group specialty practice, or hospital system are eligible. The amount and term of the IRACP is $50,000–200,000 per year, up to two years, based on the needs and scope of the project. Applicants are highly encouraged to partner with a co-investigator at an academic center or research-oriented institution. If such a partnership is chosen, the partners may work collaboratively in all phases of the research project, including identification of the research question, writing and submitting the application, designing and carrying out the research, analyzing the research findings, preparing reports and disseminating the results to community and scientific audiences.
An outstanding recipient of the IRACP will be chosen by the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council to receive the distinguished Norman B. Gaylis, MD, Research Award for Rheumatologists in Community Practice, established in 2015 with a commitment to the Foundation from Dr. Gaylis. Dr. Gaylis said, “I feel very strongly that practicing rheumatologists have day-to-day exposure and relationships with patients that allow them to notice trends and nuances that regular researchers might not have, yet they usually don’t have access to funding. I really want to support this kind of research for clinicians with ideas but who didn’t have the resources or the time to develop their ideas. ”
Dr. Gaylis hopes his investment serves as a message to colleagues to “give back to what’s made you who you are.” With this additional research funding, he hopes to influence rheumatology’s future and, ultimately, improve the lives of patients around the world.
Visit RheumResearch to learn more about the Foundation’s innovative award programs.