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Our Assessment Panels

Lay Research Panel

Our Lay Research Panel is made up of people who are affected by a muscle wasting condition. A Scientific Advisor, who does not have voting rights but is there to answer any scientific questions the Panel may have, also attends Lay Panel meetings. 

The Lay Panel does not judge the science behind the projects but assesses the relevance and importance of the project from the perspective of someone affected by a muscle wasting condition. At the meeting the Panel members consider the shortlisted applications and score each application from zero to six. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Lay Research Panel sit on the Medical Research Committee to provide feedback and ensure that the Lay Panel’s perspective is included in the consideration of the applications. These representatives also vote on the funding decisions, taking the average score from the Panel meeting to the scientific meeting. The information you provide in the plain English application will therefore form a significant part of the awards process. The Panel does not receive the scientific application; therefore the plain English application should act as a stand-alone piece.  

Failure to provide sufficient and understandable information in the plain English application could lead to rejection of the application. 

The members of the Lay Research Panel do not have a scientific background so do not use scientific terminology or jargon. Refrain from including references to material that is not available to the general public. Your plain English application will be screened by the Panel prior to the meeting; you will be asked to rewrite the plain English application if it is too technical. See the guidance we have produced with the Lay Research Panel on writing an application in plain English. 

View the members of our Lay Research Panel.

Medical Research Committee

The Medical Research Committee is formed of up to 16 scientific experts and two representatives from the Lay Research Panel. The Committee normally meets in late Spring/ early Summer to examine all the information from the application, Lay Panel and peer reviewers as well as the applicants’ responses. 

The Committee considers applications according to their quality, impact and potential for productivity. Each Committee member scores each shortlisted application from zero to six (with zero relating to a poor-quality application with major weaknesses and six relating to an exceptional, high-quality application with potential for a large impact); these scores are used to determine which applications are fundable. Applications scoring below four do not meet the quality threshold and are not fundable. 

Recommendations for funding are made based on the average score of each application and the charity’s strategic priorities given the available budget. These funding recommendations are presented for approval at the summer meeting for the Board of Trustees.

View the members of our Medical Research Committee.

More information

Our committees and panels

Our Committees and Panels focus on specific tasks, provide detailed insights, and support the Board of Trustees to operate efficiently by leveraging specialist knowledge and dedicating time to governance and strategic issues. Our Medical Research Committee and Lay Research Panel are integral in deciding which research we fund. 

Open grant calls

Our funding opportunities. We fund groundbreaking research to change the future of muscle wasting conditions.

Advice for applying for a grant

Our grant FAQ’s and top tips for writing your plain English application.

Questions about our grants

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our friendly research team are here to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.