August 2004 Bulletin

OREF announces available 2005 funding

By Gene R. Wurth, JD

In 2004, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) funded 134 grants and awards totaling $3.4 million. Now the 2005 application cycle is open, and OREF encourages individuals to submit applications by October 1, 2004, for any of the following awards: Fellowship in Health Services Research, Career Development Awards, Research Grants, Prospective Clinical Research Grants, Resident Research Awards and Zimmer Orthopaedic Career Development Awards.

All applications are subject to a peer-review process modeled after that of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). OREF provides researchers with seed money to begin their projects. Since 1955 more than 30 percent of the orthopaedic investigators who received grants and awards from OREF used data garnered from their OREF-supported research to earn funding from larger organizations, including the NIH. OREF has funded much of the research and many of the researchers that have made a difference in the practice of orthopaedics.

Individual awards

The Fellowship in Health Services Research is open to physicians who have completed an orthopaedic residency. The two-year fellowship supports orthopaedic surgeons who have the research skills necessary to undertake and manage various types of health services and outcomes research. Applicants, who must be recommended by their department chairs, may receive $70,000 per year and are encouraged to earn a public health degree. The fellowship will begin in July 2005.

Career Development Awards provide $75,000 per year for three years to candidates who show a commitment to scientific research in orthopaedic surgery. Candidates for this award must have completed an orthopaedic surgical residency and demonstrated a sustained interest in research. Letters of support should offer evidence of the candidate’s potential to develop as an investigator.

Research Grants supply up to $50,000 per year in start-up funding for up to two years. The principal investigator or co-principal investigator must be an orthopaedic surgeon, although PhDs and DVMs affiliated with an orthopaedic department may also apply. Research grants may not be used for salary, and funding is conditional upon annual review.

Prospective Clinical Research Grants fund promising prospective clinical research projects. Subject to available levels of philanthropic support, awards of up to $50,000 per year for up to three years will be considered on all topics.

Resident Research Awards encourage development of research interests for residents and fellows in approved orthopaedic programs. The $15,000 grants may be used over a 12-month period to cover research expenses but not salary or travel.

The Zimmer Orthopaedic Career Development Awards help advance the scientific and clinical training of new orthopaedic surgeons who have an interest in total joint surgery and trauma treatment. Awards include, but are not limited to, support for an individual receiving training or pursuing investigation, support for travel that furthers training or investigation, or support for special resources required to advance training or investigation. The candidate and the sponsoring institution will develop the specific training and research plan. Minority and female surgeons are encouraged to apply for awards reviewed and selected by members of the J. Robert Gladden and Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Societies.

Institution/organization awards

OREF funding is also available for institutions and organizations. These group awards include: Educational Awards; the Fred W. Hark, MD, and William A. Hark, MD, Lectureship; and the State Orthopaedic Society Lectureship. Applications for these awards are due Oct. 1, 2004.

Educational Awards furnish one-year funding of up to $25,000 for educational programs developed in conjunction with a recognized national organization. These programs should evaluate the effectiveness of orthopaedic education at all levels. Programs can include clinical consensus conferences; workshops and symposia; research and development of educational electronic media; and innovative approaches to education.

The Fred W. Hark, MD, and William A. Hark, MD, Lectureship provides up to $2,500 for a lecture on a topic of interest to orthopaedic surgeons. This award is available to orthopaedic departments and orthopaedic organizations in the United States.

Finally, the State Orthopaedic Society Lectureship provides an honorarium of $1,000 for speakers at state and regional society annual meetings.

Importance of research

OREF-funded research enhances clinical care, which leads to improved health, increased activity and a better quality of life for patients. Since 1955, OREF has awarded more than 1,900 grants totaling more than $55.7 million. As OREF approaches its 50th Anniversary in 2005, its role in the evolution of orthopaedics is becoming more clear.

“Almost without exception, the prominent researchers in our specialty got their starts with grants from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation,” according to Regis O’Keefe, MD, professor and associate chair of academic affairs of the Orthopaedic Department at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and current president of the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade.

Be part of that 50-year tradition; apply for an OREF grant. Contact Carmen Metoyer, grants secretary, with any questions via e-mail at metoyer@oref.org or by calling (847) 384-4351.

Gene R. Wurth, JD, is president and chief executive officer of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. He can be reached at wurth@oref.org


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