Challenge FAQs

What does the entry process involve?

Applicants will first be asked a series of personal questions, which are for reporting purposes only and will not be used in evaluating their entries. Applicants will then submit their proposals. These should be a maximum of four pages including any figures, tables, graphs etc. In addition, they must provide CVs for all team members, a financial breakdown of how funding will be used and letters of support from advisors and collaborators.

How many grants are available in each round?

A total of 12 grants will be on offer across our six Stage I grant categories. At least one award of at least $50,000 will be awarded in each of our six categories, including an award of at least $100,000 for the Collaboration Award. A further six awards will be distributed across the six award categories, according to those that have the strongest applications. One category could therefore feasibly award three or more grants if it received a number of strong proposals.

Do I have to enter Stage I to qualify for Stages II or III?

No. You can enter at any stage of the Challenge Program, and could apply in Stages II or III, without having previously applied for any Challenge. While we see Stages I and II as stepping stones towards Stages II and III respectively, we also encourage new applicants.

If I am chosen as a grant winner, what can I spend the award money on?

You will need to outline exactly how you will use the grant money in the third question of the application form entitled ´financial breakdown´. Where relevant, items you should include but are not limited to are the salary split, supplies (e.g. surgical, drugs, equipment), travel and animals. Grant money can only be used towards the salaries of those who will actually carry out the work proposed.

Can I enter more than one prize or grant?

Each researcher and lab can only apply for one grant in each round of Stage I. However multiple labs or teams can submit from the same institution or organization, as long as they do not share any of the same researchers. Grant applicants can and are encouraged to additionally submit lessons learned from their research to the Trial & Error Prize. 

For the Collaboration Award, how do you define a ´collaboration´?

The consortium of members in the application must be from at least two different labs that focus on different fields of study. They must not have previously collaborated on a project, and have at least one person from each lab working on the project.

Who will be judging my entry and have access to my research (IP etc.)?

Entries will initially be seen by a number of online judges, who are experts from a range of fields and industries including SCI, neuroscience, robotics and stem cells. Our Science Advisory Council (SAC) will then decide the winners from the top 10-15 entries. Unless you are selected for a grant, your proposal will not be shared beyond this circle, and both online judges and the SAC are committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards when reviewing your entry.

What are the conditions of a grant?

Prior to full acceptance of an award, prospective winners will be required to sign a grant agreement and/or further documents as required by Conquer Paralysis Now. Grant money awarded by Conquer Paralysis Now is to be used only for the purposes described in the grant application, and can only be used during the period indicated in the grant agreement. The study must begin within 6 months of the award letter date and must be completed within one yaer after the grant agreement is signed, or the award will be withdrawn. 

Who do grant winners report to?

Each project has to publish their findings obtained with this grant. Conquer Paralysis Now must be recognized in any publication that results from the grant. Each funded project must submit a 2 page results document at the close of each project. This will be reviewed by Conquer Paralysis Now’s scientific advisors.

If I win a grant, what are my obligations?

Each grant-funded project must submit a two page results document at the close of each project, which will be reviewed by CPN’s scientific advisors. The report should summarize the results achieved during the funding period, unexpected difficulties experienced, deviations from the original plan and a plan for the future. A list of publications, patents, and talks that resulted from the funding will also be expected. Grant winners will also be expected to publish at least one article on the Trial & Error platform and generally publish any research they carry out, whether it is positive or negative.


What is the Trial & Error Prize?

So-called ‘negative’ data is just as valuable as positive results to minimize the duplication of experiments and narrow down pathways of innovation. The goal of this platform is to foster publication of lessons learned from research in an easily accessible format. This will help ensure that the total amount of money allocated to SCI research, both inside and outside the challenge program, is more efficiently spent.

Can my research be targeted at acute patients or is it just chronic patients?

In Stage I, all proposals must be suitable for chronic SCI models. If acute models are used, the grant application must clearly state how and why the additional effort of using a chronic model is not justified and how the idea would be translated to a chronic model. During Stages II and III, all research must be effective in chronic patients

What language should my entry be in?

The proposal should be written in English but we welcome and want to attract entries from all over the world.