Sunday, March 30, 2008

Funding for Web Based Tools

As part of ongoing efforts to develop research tools that can help speed the delivery of life transforming treatments for Parkinson’s disease, the Michael J. Fox Foundation is launching the “Web-based Clinical Assessment Program.” Under this initiative, the Foundation is seeking test web-based tools so that any patient with a personal computer and an internet connection can participate in clinical research from the comfort of their home.

According to Katie Hood, CEO of the Foundation, a web-based clinical assessment can never entirely take the place of face-to-face interactions between patients and researchers, but if used as a supplemental measure, progress can move faster toward new treatments. Todd Sherer, PhD, Vice President for Research Programs said “web-based information can help to increase the participation of individuals who might otherwise not realistically be able to take part due to difficulties in traveling. A web-based clinical assessment could provide a more complete picture of symptoms by enabling individuals to test certain functions at home and throughout the day.”

Applicants for the funding need to focus on three deliverables:

  • Development of an assessment tool that will be available via the internet
  • Creation of a technological infrastructure where patients will be able to access this tool
  • Design and implementation of a pilot study to test efficacy

Applicants may include both U.S. and non U.S. entities, public and private non-profits, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal government, and for profit entities.

The program will provide up to $1 million in funding for web-based clinical assessments of various motor and/or non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Pre-proposals will be reviewed and must be submitted online by May 14, 2008. Applicants selected to submit proposals will be invited by May 28, 2008 to submit full application proposals. Full proposals must be submitted by July 29, 2008. The anticipated award date is September 2008 with funding to begin in October 2008.

More information on submitting pre-proposals go to For more information or inquiries, contact D. Erica Pascual at or call (212) 509-0995 extension 261.