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First Step: Apply with Confidence

October 15, 2008

Following our announcement of the 2008 awards recipients, we received a number of questions from research teams wondering how to make projects stronger for future funding consideration.

First and foremost, we emphasize that our grants are awarded on a competitive basis.  If an application uses our criteria to describe a highly qualified project with a rigorously developed scientific methodology, it still may not be selected.  Multiple applications impress our scientific advisors and are enthusiastically received by our board, but we select the project(s) that, in our opinion, will most benefit this field.

While we receive many excellent applications in each grant cycle, there are still many that do not follow our guidelines thoroughly enough to qualify for funding consideration.  One recurring shortcoming in many applications is the area of pilot studies.  Some applicants have not completed a pilot study.  Some report a pilot study that is not relevant enough to the research project being presented for funding.  Other pilot studies do not go far enough verifying the critical areas, such as the reliability, validity or sensitivity of their select measurement tools.

It will be helpful to applicants to carefully study all the criteria on the Research page of our website.  All areas of the application should be complete and thorough, leaving no question or doubt in the mind of reviewers of the intent of the research team.

In the Spring 2008 edition of the our newsletter, Renee Casady of our scientific advisory council wrote an article, Take off with a Pilot Study, on the importance an original pilot study.

Here are some excerpts from her article.

“A pilot study may be designed to provide a preliminary test of the presumed hypothesis and an investigation of the feasibility of a larger protocol.”

In order to be considered for funding, Horses and Human Research Foundation needs to know research will yield results.  A pilot study gives our advisory council a sample of your research plan, investigational experience, and indication toward the success of a larger scale project.

“Validate the scientific approach and methods to investigate a research question.  Present relevant findings from the pilot in any research proposal.”

Our advisory council is seeking results from your original pilot study.  Results from someone else’s pilot study, or from someone else’s research, could yield different results, and may not be accepted.

To read Renee’s full article on page 2 of the recent HHRF newsletter, click here.

To view the HHRF application guidelines, click here.

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