Since we started funding research in 2009, we have aimed to support projects of the highest scientific quality and which promise the greatest possible impact for patients. This year, for the first time, the projects we’re funding were chosen with the help of sarcoma patients and their families.
Our Research Grant Lay Reviewers help to inform researchers of the things that matter most to people affected by sarcoma. They evaluate each proposal on the relevance and importance of the project, the way the researchers communicate to nonexpert audiences, and the quality of plans to involve patients in the research.
We have welcomed people affected by sarcoma to our Grant Review Panel, ensuring that the patient perspective was represented when it came to making research recommendations to Sarcoma UK’s Trustees. It’s fantastic to be formally involving people in our research programme, all of whom bring a unique and expert contribution on each project, based on their own personal experience of sarcoma.
John Young became a Lay Reviewer for the first time this year.
‘It has been a privilege to be selected as a Lay Reviewer, and I am pleased to be able to contribute in a further way to the work of Sarcoma UK, particularly as it can be done remotely online,’ he says.
‘As a sarcoma patient it is encouraging to see the extent of the research effort being devoted to this area and to be aware of the dedication and enthusiasm of the various teams submitting proposals.’
Gerry Feeney became one of our first Lay Reviewers.
‘I have very little medical knowledge, but nevertheless was excited to have an opportunity to contribute by offering opinions from a patient’s perspective. The way the Lay Review process is organized means that reviewers do not need specialist knowledge, just an interest in reading the grant applications and to be willing to provide feedback and comments. A very helpful training webinar was also arranged’ he says.
‘Having the opportunity to get an overview of upcoming research was an eye opener and inspiring. It was also encouraging to see just how much effort is being invested in future treatments.’
Emma McCloskey was excited to have found a way she could give back.
‘As my sarcoma was in my leg and lungs, I am unable to do physical challenges like climbing mountains and running marathons. This is a fantastic way to be able to support and help future generations who will sadly be affected by sarcoma. I was honoured to be involved.’
You’re invited to apply to become a Research Grant Lay Reviewer. You don’t need to be an expert in research; you’re already an expert in sarcoma.
Fill out the form by Sunday 11 July. Please note you don’t need to reapply if you joined us as a Lay Reviewer in 2021.
Please note that training for this year’s new Lay Reviewers will be 3-5 pm Monday 8 August or 6-8 pm Monday 15 August, held virtually on Microsoft Teams. You will need to be available for one of these dates.