ALS Canada approach
Research is the pathway that will change the course of ALS and make it a treatable, not terminal, disease. As the only national charitable organization that invests in ALS research across Canada, we fund high-quality research that offers the most promise to slow down ALS or even stop it.
The research we fund is only possible because of the generosity of donors and our partnership with ALS Societies across Canada, who donate 40% of the proceeds from the WALK for ALS as well as additional support throughout the year from other fundraising and donor initiatives.
How do we decide which research studies to invest in? Like many organizations that fund research, we use a peer-review process. Regarded as the international benchmark of excellence in research funding, peer review engages a panel of independent researchers in evaluating and ranking all proposed research projects based on their scientific merit and, in our case, on their potential to advance ALS research. Proposals must achieve a certain ranking to be considered fundable. Of these, we fund as many projects as possible based on the research dollars that are available in a given year. Applicants who are not successful in securing funding are provided with feedback so they have the opportunity to strengthen their proposals and reapply for funding in the future.
From time to time, we become aware of research opportunities that are beyond the scope of what is fundable through our peer-review process. In these cases, we engage our Scientific and Medical Advisory Council in assessing these opportunities and recommending to the Board those that are deemed to be a good use of donor dollars. Because of their excellent knowledge of the field of ALS research in Canada, the Scientific and Medical Advisory Council also helps to shape our approach to funding research through the peer-review process.