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Request for Research Operating Grants
Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) in Relation to Multiple Sclerosis

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The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (the MS Society) invites research operating grant proposals on the topic of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and its possible relationship to Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

The studies from this initiative should help to further develop the current research ideas of the association between CCSVI and MS and determine whether the potential treatment of CCSVI warrants further investigation into potential implication in individuals with MS.


In two recent articles, Zamboni et al.(J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2009; 80:392-399) (J Vasc Surg 2009; 50:1348-58) propose that impaired venous drainage from the brain and spinal cord,  termed by the authors ‘chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency’ (CCSVI), is the primary cause of MS and that percutaneous transluminal opening of the veins is a potential treatment option for this disease. These preliminary results raise the possibility that CCSVI may be involved in the pathogenesis of MS and suggest that further investigation of this concept is warranted.

The MS Society remains committed to supporting investigator-initiated research that seeks to understand the cause, prevention and cure of MS through its traditional funding mechanisms. However, the MS Society recognizes the need to further investigate the subject of CCSVI and its possible relationship to MS in a particularly timely fashion. As the published research on this topic is preliminary and restricted to a single medical center, it will require replication and validation in multiple well-designed studies so that its potential importance in MS can be scientifically clarified.


completed December 9, 2009 Launch of Request for Research Operating Grants
completed January 6, 2010 Letter of Intent Due
completed January 12, 2010 Invitation to Submit Full Application
completed February 9, 2010 Full Applications Due
completed June 11, 2010 Announcement of Funding Decisions, Following Approval by  the MS Society’s Board of Directors
completed July 1, 2010 Anticipated Start Date of Funding
  Up to 2 years Duration of Research Operating Grant
  Up to $100,000 per year Maximum Funding Amount Per Grant


It is expected that the person indicated as the Principal Investigator in an application for a grant is the one who is personally and actively responsible for the conduct of the research and who is considered eligible by his or her Canadian institution to apply for a research grant. The following requisite expertise must be part of the application: an expert in medical imaging and a clinical MS expert. The Principal Investigator must be conducting research in a Canadian institution.


This funding opportunity will comply with the MS Society’s operating research grants policies and procedures. For further details regarding the conditions of this funding program, please view the MS Society Research Funding Program and Awards Policies and Procedures on the MS Society’s research webpage: www.mssociety.ca/en/research/researchfunding.htm

Official Languages

The MS Society has a long history and well established policies of requesting research applications in both official languages.  On an exceptional basis, this Request for Research Operating Grants is issued in English only reflecting the short timeline for the launch of the competition.  As a result, those responding to this Request for Research Operating Grants are asked to complete their application in English only.

Review Process

A Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted prior to submitting the full research proposal. The peer review process of the LOI will be conducted by the MS Society’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC)

The review criteria for the LOI include:

  • Relevance to CCSVI and MS
  • Scientific rigor
  • Potential impact
  • Feasibility

Following the review of the LOI, full applications will be invited. The review of the full applications of the research operating grants will be done by an international panel assembled by the MS Society and the National MS Society (NMSS) (USA). This panel will review applications from the MS Society, NMSS and any other request for applications released by other MS Societies that also address the topic of CCSVI and its relation to MS. The MS Society will initially review the applications for completeness and relevance. Applications that are not deemed to be complete or relevant will be excluded from the competition. The MS Society uses the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) common scale for scoring

The review criteria for the full application include:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of the research proposal
  • Expertise of the investigators and the coherence of the team
  • Appropriateness of the resources and environment
  • Appropriateness of the budget requested
  • Relevance to CCSVI and MS

Preparation of Application

To complete your application, please go to https://www.mscanadagrants.ca
All applicants are required to use the online system for the completion of their proposal. The MS Society will NOT accept paper-based applications.

There are two stages to the application process:

I. Letter of Intent

All interested applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by 11:59 p.m. EST on January 6th, 2010. The LOI will be used to assess for relevance to this request for research operating grant and invitation will be used to submit a full application based on the LOI.

The online submission of the LOI consists of:

Brief Project Description: In 100 words or less, provide a brief project description of the proposed research proposal.

Other Personnel: Add the names and contact information of the Co-Applicants.

Uploads: Please note that some the following uploads will have templates available within the online system

Letter of Intent: A two page letter describing the proposed research and how it relates to CCSVI and MS

CV: An abbreviated CV (maximum 2 pages) which includes information on grants held, relevant publications from the last five years and expertise key words. A separate CV is required for the Principal Investigator and all the Co-applicants.

LOI Required Signatures: Signatures from the Principal Applicant, Head of Department and Dean of Faculty or Institution.

II. Full Application

On January 12th, 2010, invitations will be issued to applicants to submit a full research proposal. Applicants must submit their application no later than 11:59pm EST on February 9th, 2010. Incomplete or late applications will NOT be accepted.

The full online application consists of:

Brief Project Description: In 100 words or less, provide a brief project description of the proposed research proposal.

Relevance to MS: In 200 words or less, describe the relevance of your research proposal to CCSVI and MS.

Lay Summary: In 200 words or less, provide a lay summary of your research proposal.

Budget: $100,000 CDN per year may be requested. The budget categories are divided in to Research Staff, Materials, Supplies and Services, Travel and Equipment. Please view the MS Society’s policies and procedures to determine what is deemed acceptable when developing a budget.

Uploads: Please note that some the following uploads will have templates available within the online system

Operating Research Proposal: Provide a detailed research proposal not exceeding 10 pages. 12 point font size must be used and margins must be set to ½”. Page limit does not include references, tables, charts, figures, or photographs.

Operating Grant Scientific Summary of Research Proposal: One page maximum, single spaced, scientific summary of research proposal.

Budget Justification: Provide details and justification of all budget items relative to the proposed research. In this upload, you may include electronic copies of quotations and other information useful to the reviewers.

CV: You are required to upload the CV of the principal applicant and co-applicants. The MS Society endorses the Common CV, the template for which can be found at www.commoncv.net/index_e.html

Publications: Upload a list of relevant publications. Full publications and or manuscripts may be uploaded under Appendix.

Operating Grant Suggested Reviewers: Provide Names, Addresses (postal and e-mail), telephone and fax numbers of reviewers that are qualified to review the application. Do not suggest individuals who are from the same institution or who have collaborated with the applicant in the past 3 years.

Operating Grant Required Signatures: Signatures from the principal applicant, Head of Department and Dean of Faculty or Institution.

Appendix: Additional relevant documents such as full manuscripts, publications, and letters of support may be uploaded here.

Contact Information

For further information please contact:

Karen Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice-President, Research
Research and Programs Department
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

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