At the PCC, we recognize that applying for grants is a time consuming and arduous process. Despite this, not all applications are fruitful. As the premier anti-doping research collaborative, the PCC has assessed hundreds of grant applications and noticed commonalities between rejected submissions.

The PCC would like to address these commonalities and provide some tips for researchers seeking funding. This blog marks the first in a series designed to increase application success rate.

The PCC’s first tip:

Ensure your research aligns with the PCC Mission.

The PCC develops and updates research priorities based on the expert input of our Scientific Advisory Board and stakeholders. These priorities reflect pervasive challenges in the anti-doping landscape and are a vital guide for funding decisions. It is imperative that applicants highlight how their proposed project contributes to enhanced knowledge within the context of these priorities. “If we can’t link the research a scientist is pursuing to a defined need within the anti-doping sphere, we are likely to reject that application,” says Michael Pearlmutter, PCC’s Executive Director. “The constantly evolving nature of [performance-enhancing drugs] necessitates research focused on drug detection, screening, excretion patterns, and cost effective approaches to testing. While we acknowledge that important research is conducted elsewhere, our mission is to fund projects advancing knowledge in those areas.”

The PCC research priorities are as follows:

  • Developing methods of cost-effective testing to detect and deter the use of banned and illegal substances.
  • Developing testing protocols to detect designer substances used for doping purposes.
  • Improving existing analytical methods to detect particular drugs, ex. GH, IGF-1, EPO, hCG.
  • Developing analytical methods to detect performance enhancing drugs not currently detectable.
  • Longitudinal urinary excretion patterns, metabolism and dose-concentration.
  • Critical reviews to support interpretation of laboratory data.
  • Alternative specimens, (ex. oral fluid, dried blood/plasma spots) for testing.

To date, the PCC has funded more than 85 research projects which directly contribute to advanced knowledge of doping in sport, ranging from how a particular substance interacts with the body’s natural chemistry to innovative testing methodologies. However, there is still much knowledge to be pursued in order to protect the health and safety of athletes. The PCC would like to encourage scientists from diverse fields to contribute their expertise to the clean sport movement via high-quality research which addresses the above priorities.

The PCC is invested in the success of the researchers we fund and we want to make sure your time is spent as efficiently as possible. Ensuring an understanding of the PCC’s mission and priorities will serve to strengthen grant applications, and increase chances of funding success.

Stay tuned for other tips for applicants through following the PCC blog, Twitter​, Facebook​,Instagram​ and LinkedIn. ​

Pre-applications for the next PCC funding cycle are due November 1, 2016. The PCC evaluates micro-grant applications year-round for applications requiring less than $75,000 and six months to complete. Please see our application instructions for detailed information on how to submit a PCC Grant. ​