The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ (CDMRP), Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP) consumer advocate Gary Talbot recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the SCIRP. Gary Talbot was nominated for participation in the program by the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), Boston, MA, where Talbot serves as staff engineer. As a consumer reviewer, Gary Talbot was a full voting member, (along with prominent scientists) at meetings to help determine how the $40 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2020 will be spent on spinal cord injury research.
Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of patients by preparing comments on the impact of the research on issues such as diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life. When commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Gary Talbot said that, it was a true honor to be able to participate on the peer reviews, this work is incredibly important as we work to find the research that will lead to advancements in care and improve outcomes for military and civilian populations that are living life with
spinal cord injuries.
Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the merit of research applications since FY09. COL Sarah B. Goldman, Director of the CDMRP, expressed her appreciation for the consumer advocates’ hard work. “Integrating consumer perspectives into our decision-making process brings energy and focus to our research programs. Patients, caregivers, family members, and advocates help us keep our efforts centered around what is truly important to those impacted. We very much value this critical input from our consumers who help ensure that CDMRP’s work remains critical and relevant,” she said.
Scientists applying propose to conduct innovative research focused on the development and translation of more effective strategies to improve the health and well-being of Service members, Veterans, and other individuals with spinal cord injury. The SCIRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.
More information about the CDMRP’s SCIRP is available at the website: https://cdmrp.army.mil/scirp/default.