EB Resnet’s Expert Panel meeting closes this year's All Priorities Call
Online meetings can be pretty boring and exhausting. But the focus on research excellence did not waver at this year's international research meeting on December 6, 2022. Our Expert Panel of EB researchers and clinicians from leading EB centres worldwide held in-depth discussions to identify the best research proposals from the 2022 All Priorities Funding Call.
In June, EB research proposals were invited within all EB Resnet’s priority areas. EB Resnet member DEBRA Austria coordinated the comprehensive external peer review, whereby opinions are sought from researchers and clinicians with expertise directly relevant to the topic of the individual proposals they are asked to review. The evaluation of proposals is based on three main criteria:
- Scientific quality and originality
- Feasibility within a time frame, team expertise, and project resources
- Strategic relevance for people with EB
The strictly formalised peer review process enables the best projects to be identified, expected to lead to outcomes ultimately benefiting EB patients. The Expert Panel then meets (again, this, year, virtually) to discuss the proposals’ merits and accompanying external peer-review reports and make a clear recommendation for or against funding.
This year, the Expert Panel met on December 06 to discuss the 13 eligible project proposals. The project proposals came from South America, the USA, Europe, and Australia, showed extensive research-topic diversity, and covered all EB forms.
The two chairs, Prof. John Marshall (Queen Mary University UK) and Prof. Adrian Heagerty (University Hospitals Birmingham, UK), moderated the scientific discussion in close cooperation with Dr. Gaston Sendin (DEBRA Austria Research Manager). Two projects received sufficient points to be recommended for funding, as having achieved a standard of ‘international’ merit.
Two other projects reached the ‘national’ standard, which means that they may be fundable after some modifications, if they meet the specific research priorities of national DEBRA groups or other EB Resnet member groups: in general, such proposals, while valuable, are considered to have outcomes of narrower benefit to people with EB, compared with ‘international’ standard proposals. All applicants receive feedback from the Expert Panel and external peer-review with recommendations for improving their projects.
In the coming weeks, DEBRA Austria will coordinate arrangements for financial support of recommended proposals with EB Resnet members who indicated interest in supporting proposals from this Call. As the main funder, DEBRA Austria will itself also provide research funding to promote the best research worldwide.
Besides DEBRA Austria, the following EB Resnet members were also present at the meeting: DEBRA France, DEBRA Spain, and DEBRA Ireland. The Expert Panel members advise EB Resnet voluntarily and free of charge.