The FUS Foundation's Research Awards Program received a record number of applications during the first half of 2011. By the end of the second quarter, the Foundation had received 15 proposals, eclipsing the whole-year totals of 11 and 14 for 2009 and 2010, respectively. "It's incredibly exciting news for the Foundation," says Hannah Edelen, Director of Research and Fellowship Programs.
Edelen attributes the rise to the Foundation's change from a rolling acceptance policy to a quarterly deadline system that encourages researchers to submit proposals sooner.
The number of applicants has increased steadily since the Research Awards Program's inception in 2007.
This growth is important because the program, which generally provides awards of $100K for a one-year period, has filled a funding void for MR-guided focused ultrasound researchers by providing "seed money" for highly promising studies. Funding enables researchers to compile the preliminary data required for the more substantial grants — from government agencies and other sources — needed to move their work toward clinical reality.
Edelen believes that the upward trend in proposals is also an indication of the solid growth in the field of MR-guided focused ultrasound research. The increase in proposals also allows the Foundation to be more selective in the projects it chooses to fund, ultimately making a FUSF Research Award more prestigious for researchers as they seek future resources.
"There has been a clear explosion within the community in terms of the number of researchers doing work in this area. It's been remarkable to see how much the research has expanded in such a short period of time," she says.
The Research Awards Program passed the $2 million funding milestone in June. Though most proposals have come from the United States, researchers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia have also applied.
Researchers interested in applying for a FUSF Research Award can click here to find out more about submission guidelines. The next deadline is October 1, 2011.