To achieve a world free of MS, the Society supports a comprehensive strategy to stop MS, restore function, and end MS forever by managing an international portfolio of academic and commercial research projects, by training the next generation of scientists and MS specialists through fellowship and faculty development awards, by fostering global collaboration between MS researchers, and by convening experts to identify strategic research priorities. These Society objectives are achieved through centralized research administration and core support functions to ensure that the best science is funded regardless of geography.
We receive over 500 study proposals each year from researchers who hope to explore particular questions about MS.The Society relies on the advice of leading scientists, physicians and other experts from virtually every field related to MS to help us make decisions about which research projects and programs have the best chance of moving us closer to a world free of MS. The peer review process is the critical stage in the evaluation of proposals from both new and experienced investigators.
There are nine standing committees to review research grant applications for basic and clinical MS research. All told, the Society’s 100 peer reviewers volunteer 5,000 hours to review the scientific merit and feasibility of research proposals received.
The senior oversight committee (Research Programs Advisory Committee) is comprised of renowned scientists, staff and volunteer leadership. This committee reviews the advanced projects of merit from the various Peer Review Committees and makes recommendations to the Society’s CEO on which projects should receive funding. This senior committee considers a variety of topics at their quarterly meetings to inform development of policies and priorities for the research program. (The Society’s commercial development arm has a separate review processes that takes into account scientific merit and also business feasibility.)
In addition to its standing review committees, the Society frequently convenes special task forces and other committees (such as our advisory committee on clinical trials below) to focus on emerging research trends and to help steer our research efforts in new directions. Recent task forces include a Task Force on Epidemiology of MS and the MS Prevalence Workgroup.
International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis
The International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis is jointly supported by the National MS Society (USA) and the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). The Committee provides perspective and guidance related to planning and implementing clinical trials for new agents for the treatment of MS.
Read more (.pdf) about the Committee’s current members, projects, and past successes.