Information for Applicants for Grant Funding

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) welcomes applications for funding for suitable research projects. This page provides guidance for potential applicants on the process used for assessing projects and the criteria used during assessment.

If any queries arise, potential applicants may contact CPT using the details at the end of this page.

What research do we fund?

We fund laboratory or clinical research projects with potential to cure Parkinson’s.  By “cure”, we mean disease-modifying therapy or therapies: to slow, stop or reverse underlying disease progression.  In particular, we prioritise research which has potential to translate into the clinic within five years. 

We do not fund research which is directed only to symptomatic relief.

Our full Research Strategy gives more information on the types of research we fund and our funding priorities.

Making an application

Each application must be submitted by the principal investigator of the project to be funded, identifying the named institution, company or organisation which is to be the legal recipient of the funding.

In order to apply for funding for a research project, potential applicants are requested to:

  1. read our Research Strategy to ensure that the project falls within our funding scope and understand how we provide funding;
  2. read this page - "Information for Applicants for Grant Funding" in full;
  3. read our Apply for Funding webpage for further information on deadlines, historic funding and current membership of our Research Committee (RC);
  4. read our Grant Contract which sets out CPT’s terms and conditions to be applied in the event that the application is successful;
  5. complete a full proposal using the following forms:
  • Our Application Form for Grant Funding (downloadable Word document);
  • Our Budget Form (downloadable Excel spreadsheet);
  • Our Drug/Compound 'CV' (downloadable Word document) if the project relates to specific drug(s) or compound(s); and
  • Our Commercial Entity Form (downloadable Word document) if the application is being made by or on behalf of any entity other than an academic institution or other not-for-profit entity;
  • Submit the completed forms alongside a letter of support from the host organisation to Helen Matthews by the next submission deadline.

Deadlines for applications

Grants applications are typically assessed four times per year.  Application deadlines are set out in our Apply for Funding webpage.

Content of applications

Projects should be milestone-driven with clear deliverables. 

Applications focused on understanding a novel mechanism or novel approach (without focus on a specific drug or drugs) should include, where possible, information on types of drugs or compounds might address this mechanism or approach.

In the application form, an applicant must disclose whether any funding for the project has been received from a third party or is the subject of an application to a third party.

Evaluation criteria

The RC evaluates applications (see process below) following our Research Strategy and using the following criteria:

  • Appropriateness to the aim of CPT to cure PD.
  • The scientific rationale
  • Originality
  • Clarity of the application
  • Experimental appropriateness
  • Appropriateness of statistical methods
  • Collaboration
  • Track record of applicant
  • Engagement of people with Parkinson’s in the process
  • The proposed budget
  • Value for money
  • Proposed milestones
  • Overall quality of the application
  • The reporting process and timescale
  • The proximity of the proposal to clinical translation
  • The potential and likely impact of the project within a specified timescale
  • The steps needed to guide the project to clinic
  • Whether the project is a part of a wider programme of research.

    Evaluation procedure (including written peer review)

    Applications received by CPT are considered for funding under the following process.

    Triage

    1. Applications are initially assessed for eligibility, completeness of application formalities and compliance with CPT’s funding scope (in a “triage” process) according to our Research Strategy by suitably-skilled members of CPT’s internal research team.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    2. Applications which fail the triage process are made available to the RC and/or the Chair of the RC (unless manifestly ineligible, incomplete or non-compliant) in order to provide an opportunity to the RC and/or Chair to reconsider triage.

     Assessment (including written peer review)

    1. All applications passing the triage process (1 or 2 above) are considered and assessed by the RC at the next following committee meeting.                                                                                                      
    2. Where (i) the relevant scope and effect of an application is fully understood by existing members of the RC and (ii) such an application seeks a relatively small level of funding in an area already well-known to RC members, such as top-up funding for an existing funded CPT research project, the RC may assess such application in detail immediately without seeking written peer review.                                                    
    3. Where (i) the relevant scope and effect of an application is fully understood by existing members of the RC but (ii) the RC considers the application to have insignificant relevance, scientific and/or clinical merit based on the “Evaluation criteria” above, the RC shall reject the application.                                                                                                                                                                                   
    4. All other applications are sent by the RC for written peer review. This is carried out by at least two experienced independent researchers in or close to the relevant scientific or clinical field (regardless of membership of the RC) selected by or on behalf of the Chair of the RC after open recommendation and discussion by RC members and/or CPT technical staff. For larger applications (typically those more complex and/or over £500,000), three written peer reviews are preferably sought.  The peer reviewers assess the applications for relevance, scientific and clinical merit based on the “Evaluation criteria” above, including justification for the funding costs (value for money) and milestones indicated.  The reviewers report their findings back in writing to the RC.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
    5. Where appropriate, especially where an application relates to clinical trials, the RC may seek review by a person or persons with Parkinson’s.                                                                                                              
    6. Where appropriate, the RC may seek a commercial review from selected member(s) of the RC, CPT staff, CPT Trustees and/or their advisers under conditions of confidentiality:

    a. to assess whether any overlapping funding application may have been made to other funding body or additional funding secured;                                                                                                          

    b. to assess the applicant’s reasons for seeking funding where alternative funding may otherwise be available to the applicant;                                                                                                                   

    c. to advise on justifiable levels of costs claimed in any application, and/or                                              

    d. to enable assessment of whether the outcome of the research, if successful, may be made available for the benefit of people with Parkinson’s.

    At any time, CPT and/or the Trustees may also seek such a commercial review.

    1. The RC considers all such reviews and considers the application in detail for evaluation at the next RC meeting.

    Feedback to applicants

    1. The RC may respond to an applicant with further questions or suggestions at any stage.                                                                                                                                                                                           
    2. After considering an application in detail, including written peer reviews where requested, the RC evaluates that application by deciding whether to: 

    a. reject the application,

    b. respond to the applicant with further questions or suggestions, or

    c. recommend the application to the CPT Trustees for funding.                                                             

    1. All applicants are given timely feedback. All unsuccessful applicants are notified by the Chair of the Research Committee and/or a suitable senior CPT representative on the Chair’s behalf.  Successful applicants are notified likewise, after ultimate approval by CPT Trustees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    2. If written peer reviews are obtained, such reviews are typically anonymised and shared with the applicant at the outcome of the process                                                                                                         
    3. If the RC suggests amendments to a project, CPT may approach an applicant to offer advice, support or introductions to other researchers of specific relevance (subject always to overriding confidentially obligations). One aim of CPT is to foster appropriate collaborations between different research groups to accelerate progress to a cure.

     Communication between RC, CPT Trustees and/or applicants

    1. The RC makes recommendations to the CPT Trustees to fund specific projects. Where more than one projects are recommended, the RC prioritises the projects in order of merit according to the “Evaluation criteria” above.                                                                                                                                             
    2. At any time, CPT and/or the Trustees may seek a commercial review from selected member(s) of the RC and/or CPT staff in the form indicated in paragraph [8] above.                                                                          
    3. The Trustees decide whether to fund any project(s) based on the RC recommendations, available funding, any commercial review and any other factors in their discretion, pursuant to the charitable obligations of CPT.                                                                                                                                        
    4. All successful applicants are notified at this stage by the Chair of the Research Committee and/or a suitable senior CPT representative on the Chair’s behalf, along with a grant contract to be executed before the project can begin (see below).

    For successful applicants 

    CPT requires that, immediately prior to commencement and for the duration of the research project, all successful applicants:

    • Agree to comply with the charity’s terms & conditions as set out in its Grant Contract.                                    
    • Disclose to CPT if any funding for the project has been or is received from a third party or is the subject of an application to a third party

    Successful applicants must also provide at least six-monthly reports to CPT demonstrating due progress against the milestones set out in the application for funding, as well as a summary of progress, suitable for lay persons, for sharing by CPT with donors supporting the project or the general public.  The RC is provided with copies of such reports, and may advise CPT to make further queries in areas of uncertainty or lack of clarity.  Payments are typically made by CPT in arrears, conditional upon the due receipt of such reports in satisfactory form.  If a report or responses to further queries reveal that the funded work is not being completed to the timetable or standards set out in the application, continuing funding may be withheld and a full investigation carried out. 

    Questions regarding applications

    We recognise that there are many valuable areas of research into Parkinson’s that do not fall within the CPT’s funding scope.  If researchers have any questions regarding our funding scope, application process or subsequent work with successful applicants, please contact us.

    Facilitation and assistance

    In particular, CPT has considerable knowledge and understanding of Parkinson’s disease research being undertaken worldwide and aims to act as a hub for facilitation of research.  We frequently work with researchers to refine proposals and offer guidance on submissions to other funding bodies.  People with Parkinson’s are central to our ethos and are involved in all activities.  We welcome enquiries from researchers in any of these areas.

    Commercial applicants

    We recommend potential commercial applicants contact us before applying to ensure that commercial sensitivities are addressed.

    Confidential information

    Information provided to CPT in support of an application will be disclosed within CPT and its Research Committee (“RC”), identified peer reviewers, internal committee dealing with intellectual property, Trustees and (as appropriate) external professional advisers, all subject to suitable conditions of confidentiality. Applicants should identify all information which they regard as, and wish to keep, confidential, and indicate how they propose CPT deals with this information. 

    All CPT staff, trustees, RC members and peer reviewers are bound by CPT’s Conflict of Interest Policy at all relevant times. 

    AMRC membership

    CPT is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and follows AMRC requirements and guidance for best practice in research.  AMRC charities are obliged to follow rigorous peer review processes to ensure that only research of the highest quality is supported. 

    Contacting CPT

    Potential applicants can reach CPT by emailing Deputy CEO Helen Matthews or calling: +44 20 7487 3892.

    The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

    [22] May 2020