According to a survey conducted in October 2008 by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, three-quarters of the region’s leading foundations and corporate giving programs suffered a decline in assets because of plummeting returns on investments over 2008. About one-third of the respondents said they reduced grant budgets from 2007 to 2008, and about half of the organizations said they plan to award fewer grants in 2009.
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2009
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For more than two decades the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF), the only foundation in the United States dedicated to supporting the rheumatology profession, has been a highly efficient medical research organization with sound investment policies—policies that have allowed the REF to remain strong during these troubling economic times.
While other nonprofits are unfortunately decreasing funding, the REF is increasing its efforts, and in 2008, it became the second largest funding source of rheumatology research and training programs in the United States—just behind the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Last year, the REF created the new Rheumatology Investigator Award to provide support to young physician-scientists as they complete postdoctoral fellowship training and establish themselves as independent investigators. Funding for this new award will begin this July. The REF also worked with the Arthritis Foundation and the NIH in 2008 to create a bridge award for young investigators close to receiving NIH career development awards.
Also in 2008, the Ephraim P. Engleman Endowed Resident Research Preceptorship was established through an endowment provided by Ephraim P. Engleman, MD. Dr. Engleman is a past president of the ACR and is regarded as one of the founders of the modern practice of rheumatology and the investigation of its diseases. Thanks to Dr. Engleman’s support, the REF is able to supporting a full-time research experience to introduce residents to the specialty of rheumatology through the mentorship of preceptors.
The REF remains committed to its mission to improve patients’ lives through support of research and training that advances the prevention, treatment, and cure of rheumatic diseases. Because of its sound investment policies and the support of donors and industry, the REF will continue to grow and provide the programs necessary to ensure the future of rheumatology. For more information about the ACR REF, visit www.rheumatology.org/REF.