This call is focused on supporting any primary or secondary research that advances our understanding of the causal links and potential mechanisms between COVID-19 and stroke. It is anticipated that the findings from this call will lead to larger-scale grants from national funders.  

We welcome grant proposals in data analyses, epidemiological analyses, systematic reviews, basic laboratory science or early developmental/proof of concept studies. We are not expecting to fund new cohort or clinical studies through this funding scheme. 

Research eligible for this call will be focused on one of the following areas: 

  • Basic, pre-clinical and early-stage research to understand the underlying mechanisms of COVID-19 and how it is causing stroke. 
  • Increasing understanding of what makes some people with COVID-19 more susceptible to stroke. 
  • Links between COVID-19 and the subtype of stroke, and mechanisms involved. 
  • Looking for biomarkers or other ways to detect potential stroke risk in COVID-19 patients. 
  • How strokes could be prevented in COVID-19 patients. 
  • Whether there is a need for the acute stroke treatment in COVID-19 patients to be different from the standard of care for strokes unrelated to COVID-19. 

Research that is not eligible for funding in this call: 

  • Association and causal links between stroke survivors having poorer recovery from COVID-19 infection. 
  • Management of stroke survivors who contract or who have recovered from COVID-19. 
  • Changes required to the stroke-care pathway as a result of the pandemic.  

There are several large collaborative COVID-19 research studies that are providing infrastructure or platforms to investigate the virus and the longer-term outcomes for patients. We would welcome research that addresses research questions within the scope of this call that builds upon these platforms. Please have agreement and support from the lead PI and data custodians of the collaborative study prior to submission of your grant.  

Award amount and duration

These awards are for up to £60,000, over a period of up to 12 months

Deadline

The deadline for applications for our COVID-19 and Stroke Grant Award is 5 pm on Monday 19 October.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

We strongly encourage all applicants to involve people affected by stroke and/or COVID-19 in the planning and development stages of their funding application, and will continue to do so, should their application be successful. This involvement should be meaningful, and people affected by stroke should have a real opportunity to contribute to your research.

Find out more about how we can help you to involve people affected by stroke in your work.

We normally require applicants to submit their requests for PPI support no less than eight weeks before an application deadline. Due to the shorter than usual application window for this funding call, the final date to submit requests for PPI support will be Friday 18 September (four weeks before the application deadline).

Eligibility

Stroke Association Awards must be carried out at Universities, NHS Trusts, Statutory Social Care Organisations or other Research Institutions within Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The lead applicant must be a senior researcher holding a PhD (or equivalent) with a track record of managing grants, delivering research studies and a strong publication record. The salary of the lead applicant has to be guaranteed for the duration of the proposed programme; the Lead applicant’s salary cannot be requested in the budget. For this funding call masters, PhD studentships, and clinical fellowships are not eligible to be included in the budget.

For the full eligibility criteria, please see the guidance document.

Apply

Stroke and Coronavirus Grant guidance document and Conditions of Award. Applications must be submitted to our online award management system.

To begin an application, please create an account. If you have previously interacted with us, then your email address may already be in the system. If that's true, please click on ‘Login’ and ‘Forgot password?’ The system will then email you instructions to set yourself a password.

After you have logged in, please click on ‘Application Portal’ at the top of the page, then select which award you would like to start an application for, from the 'Click here to start an application' search bar in the blue panel on this page.

Our online award management system should work on all major browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge, but we would not recommend using Internet Explorer below version 9.

If you have any issues with the system or have any feedback, please email us at research@stroke.org.uk or call 020 7566 1543.

Our adjudication process

For this funding scheme, the application will be adjudicated by a COVID-19 and stroke Research Awards Panel. The panel will consist of international and UK experts from relevant fields as well as members of our Stroke Voices in Research group (made up of people affected by stroke). The panel will review applications and recommend the awards that should be funded based on the highest quality proposals. All reviewers sign our Confidentiality and Conflicts of Interest Policy. 

The Research Awards Panel will make a recommendation for which application(s) should receive funding at a panel meeting in November 2020. Successful applications then need to be signed off by the Stroke Association’s Board of Trustees. You will be informed of the outcome in December 2020.

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