Our current 5-year Strategic Plan (2017-2021) identifies research as one of six key aims of Epilepsy Ireland.
We want to fund any area of research that has the potential to add significantly to existing knowledge into the causes, cures, care, treatment, impact and effect of any type of epilepsy, including SUDEP. We encourage proposals for all types of research including basic, clinical, psychosocial and health services research.
We focus not only on a proposal's scientific quality but also on its relevance to people affected by epilepsy and its potential to deliver tangible benefits/ outcomes to the lives of people with epilepsy through a targeted investment.
Ahead of each call for proposals, we may identify a number of specific priority research areas on which we would particularly welcome funding applications. For example, see our most recent research call (October 2019).
Applications received under our Research Funding Scheme undergo a rigorous review process to ensure that the charity’s fundraised monies are invested in the projects that can have the greatest impact. This involves:
- Internal Review of pre-application submissions to develop shortlist for full application
- International Peer review of full applications
- Applicant's feedback to international peer reviews.
- Evaluation and ranking by Epilepsy Ireland's Research Peer Review Committee
- Approval by HRB/HRCI under the Joint Funding Scheme.
Research Review Committee 2017/18
Prof Martin Brodie, Chairman
Prof Norman Delanty, Adult neurology
Dr Alex Gunko, Adult neurology
Dr Bryan Lynch, Paediatric neurology
Dr Cathy Madigan, Neuropsychology
Prof David Henshall, Basic neuroscience
Dr Gianpiero Cavalleri, Genetics
Dr Christine Linehan, Intellectual disability
Dr Patrick Dicker, Medical Statistician
Ms Margaret McCahill, Patient representative
Dr Ailbhe Benson, Patient representative
We aim to fund research that has the potential to add significantly to existing knowledge into the causes, cures, care, treatment, impact and effect of any type of epilepsy, including SUDEP. We focus not only on a proposal's scientific quality but also on its relevance to people affected by epilepsy and its potential to deliver tangible benefits/ outcomes to the lives of people with epilepsy through a targeted investment.
Below are some of our key research successes to date:
- Over €1m in research funding invested to date, representing approx. 7% of income over the past 8 years and est. 20% of all non-pay expenditure.
- Enabled participation by Irish researchers and Irish patients in large-scale international genetics studies
- Led directly to important genetic and gene activity discoveries
- EI grants have helped Irish research teams achieve major national/ international epilepsy research funding (for example www.epimirna.eu and www.futureneurocentre.ie)
- Progress in understanding the causes of SUDEP
- The Epilepsy Deaths Register for Ireland is one of a growing number of international registries to drive further SUDEP research
- Studies on prevalence and the impact of Epilepsy Specialist Nurses have helped shape advocacy and policy issues affecting people with epilepsy in Ireland
- Research findings have helped shape and develop the services and supports we provide to people with epilepsy and their families, for example, the How 2 Tell project.
- Research grants have helped attract young medical and scientific talent to the field of epilepsy
- Promoted research volunteering among Epilepsy Ireland service users.
- Helped ensure that State research funding has been invested in epilepsy
- Publications in key medical journals including Epilepsia; Nature Genetics; Brain; J Neuroscience; Lancet etc and presentations at major International Epilepsy Conferences.
- Epilepsy Ireland members consulted on research priorities and people with epilepsy involved in evaluating funding proposals