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Call for research proposals: 'Wound Healing in EB'

Call for research proposals: 'Wound Healing in EB'

DEBRA International is now inviting expressions-of-interest for funding support targeting wound healing in EB.

The scope of eligible projects includes:

  • Research projects that will develop a better understanding of the causes and consequences of non-healing or chronic wounds specific to EB, with the ultimate goal of improving treatments for wound-healing;

  • Clinical studies or clinical trials of therapies to improve wound healing in any type of EB;

  • Symptom-relief treatments that address clinical consequences of EB wounds that impact upon quality of life (e.g. itch, pain, scarring, contractures).

A recent priority setting meeting identified detailed areas of research interest, including but not limited to;

  • Elucidation of genotype-phenotype correlations underpinning the heterogeneity of clinical presentation

  • Data collection and/or biobanking of tissues (blister fluid, exudate and biopsies)

  • The natural history / time course of wound development and predisposition of anatomic site.

  • Influence of microbiome on wound healing

  • Influence of inflammatory status on wound healing

  • Oral and gut mucosal wound healing

  • Factors pre-disposing to fibrosis, scar tissue and contractures

  • Achievable incremental changes to the quality of life of people living with EB - itch, pain, management of exudate and odour

  • Evaluation of dressings or other wound management approaches

  • Evaluation and standardisation of the tools by which we measure wound healing in EB. Clinical validation of protocols and tools that will support clinical trial and regulatory processes.

The focus of the call is on wound-healing and relief of symptoms associated with EB wounds, rather than curative therapies that would address the underlying genetic defect, or treat squamous cell cancer. (Proposals in the latter categories may be submitted to the DEBRA International ‘All-Priorities Spring 2017 call’; see details at

Key criteria:

  • Proposals must target wound healing in EB only

  • The proposal must target eventual development of clinical diagnostics or treatments to improve wound healing in EB, or improved symptom relief / quality of life

  • The proposed project should be for a period of not less than 6 months, and not more than 3 years, with commensurate budgets

  • Short-duration and longer-duration projects are equally welcome; projects should be planned to address the issue under consideration

  • Proposals should demonstrate the clinical and research expertise necessary for successful completion of the project; collaboration between research and clinical groups with complementary expertise is encouraged

  • All proposals are subject to the same criteria of innovation, quality and feasibility of research, and ultimate patient benefit

Key criteria for funding:

  • The application may be from a single research or clinical group, or a consortium; International collaboration is welcomed

  • Consortia including collaboration with healthcare providers, healthcare or biopharma industry are welcome

  • Applications are welcome from all countries

  • Lead applicants must be academic or clinical researchers employed in fully-salaried positions, for at least 12 months longer than the duration of the proposed project

    • Principal investigators from collaborating research groups must be similarly employed

  • While applications from co-applicants with equal status are welcome, the application must be submitted by a single lead applicant with whom DEBRA will correspond.

  • There is no upper limit to the proposed budget, but DEBRA will only provide a maximum of €300K to any one project. Proposals seeking larger-scale funding will be expected to source additional funding

  • Any grant offer eventually made will be issued to a single institution, which is responsible for managing any subcontracting to collaborating institutions


DEBRA funding (to a maximum of €300K) may be used to co-fund or match-fund grants from other funding bodies (e.g. from host institution, other charity or government bodies, or industry). The same criteria for deadlines, process of evaluation, award of funding, and progress reporting will apply in all cases. Any awards made by DEBRA will be in accordance with DEBRA Terms and Conditions.

Application process:

There is a two-stage process of application:

  • The Stage 1 form to register an ‘Expression of Interest’ should be submitted to and by 20th February 2017

  • The form is available here:

  • If you are invited by DEBRA International to submit a Stage 2 ‘Full Application’, further information and an application form will be sent to you. You will be informed if your Stage 1 application was unsuccessful.

  • The submission deadline for Stage 2 Full Applications is 14th June 2017

  • All Stage 2 Full Applications will be subject to peer-review mediated by an Expert Panel convened for the purpose by DEBRA International on 24th September 2017: the final funding decision will be at the discretion of DEBRA International. It is anticipated that funding decisions will be made no later than 16th November 2017.

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