The Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) is very pleased to announce that thirteen research grants have been awarded to scientists around the world following the fourth cycle of grant review. A total of 2 million Swiss Francs has been awarded in this funding cycle.

After the first four ROTRF funding cycles, a number of lessons have already been learnt about international research funding in transplantation. First, it is clearly possible to have an international adjudication process in transplantation that receives widespread interest. The Trustees and the Scientific Advisory Committee have in general been very pleased with the high level of scientific quality and originality shown by the applicants.

Secondly, we have seen that researchers from some countries have much less experience in filling out the letter of intent and in particular the full paper submission than others. Thus, the ROTRF will strive to give continuing consideration to developing an understanding of the international granting process, such that “grantsmanship” is equivalent in all countries and that applicants from certain parts of the world are not discriminated against.

Many grant-awarding bodies find that clinical research is the most difficult type of research to fund through a formal process. This does not usually represent a bias on the part of the Scientific Advisory Committee, since the clinical research grants tend to get less favorable ratings overall, even from clinicians. This is particularly puzzling since these projects often eventually lead to very high profile publications. The ROTRF intends to take steps to overcome this analogy, and encourages researchers to submit clinical research proposals in subsequent cycles.

In summary, the Foundation is proving to be a great and unique achievement and all involved can be proud of it. All those who have been involved in supporting the ROTRF to accomplish its mission deserve the Foundation’s gratitude.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees

Phil Halloran
Chairman of the Board of Trustees