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Michael J. Fox Foundation Launches Rapid Response Innovation Awards 2008 Following Strong Inaugural Year Response
Date:12/12/2007

NEW YORK, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Having funded $2 million total to support 27 high-risk, high-reward approaches to Parkinson's disease research in the first year of its Rapid Response Innovation Awards (RRIA) initiative, The Michael J. Fox Foundation today announced that it will commit $2 million to a second round of funding in 2008. RRIA is designed to ensure that researchers can pursue good ideas without delay. Under this program the Foundation accepts proposals on a rolling basis with no deadline, makes funding decisions within six weeks of application and speeds up to $75,000 to one-year basic, preclinical or clinical research projects in any Parkinson's-relevant arena.

"RRIA funds 'flashes of insight' in real time, hopefully helping to open new avenues for PD therapy development," said Katie Hood, interim CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

To accommodate these "flashes of insight," the program's criteria and application process are designed with novelty and speed in mind.

Todd Sherer, PhD, vice president of research programs at MJFF, said: "We set up RRIA to attract new researchers to Parkinson's and to provide support for unorthodox ideas -- the sort that could significantly impact PD treatment, but that may have little or no preliminary data, making it hard or impossible to find traditional funding to carry them out. Based on the strong response from the scientific community in 2007, it's clear this program is filling a need."

The program is designed to provide funding for strong ideas being tested for the first time. Unlike other Foundation initiatives, RRIA allows for the submission of applications at any time of year. There is no pre-proposal stage, and the standard application has been shortened to three pages. Additionally, postdoctoral researchers are permitted to apply as principal investigators under this initiative provided the head of their lab serves as Administrative PI to assist with the p
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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