Ensuring the Future of Rheumatology
The launch of this new award coincides with an enormous increase in the amount of funds the REF will be providing throughout its entire portfolio. In 2008, the REF will fund $10.5 million to rheumatology research, training, and education programs—a budgeted increase of $3.5 million over 2007. This money comes from two very important REF grant programs—Within Our Reach: Finding a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis research grants and the REF core portfolio of research and training awards that amounts to $4.5 million of the $10.5 million.
One of the REF’s primary objectives is to annually increase the amount of money allocated to its core award portfolio so that grants for rheumatology training and early career development will be funded in perpetuity. Of the $4.5 million, over $2 million will fund research awards that cultivate new investigators.
The REF’s increase in funding should be a significant boon to the specialty by both replacing disappearing funds and also increaseing the amount of money available to new investigators so they can begin—or continue—down the path to becoming independent researchers.