Biomch-l members,

I am passing on this call for proposals - please direct all responses to
Dr. Howard Marshall listed at the end of the message - thx

Irene McClay

************************************************** ********************


Pauline Marshall Research & Educational Fund (PMREF)


The PMREF announces that multiple grants are available in amounts up to
$35,000 for research that evaluates the ability of foot orthoses to
influence the lower extremity during gait. The goal is to encourage
studies that establish how a foot orthosis affects the lower extremity
during walking/running.


Custom molded foot orthoses have been a popular, widely accepted form of
therapy for many gait-related pathologies. “Custom made orthotics” are
prescribed by multiple medical specialties: Podiatrists, Physical
Therapists, Chiropractors, Orthopedists, Orthotists, Pedorthists, etc,
and there is typically large disagreement between these specialties as
to how shoe inserts affect foot/leg function. There are a multitude of
studies in the literature, however, many are anecdotal and do not
provide a scientific explanation for the mechanics behind an orthosis’
success or failure. In addition, the research literature provides
conflicting hypotheses regarding how an orthosis functions. These
conflicts may be due, in part to:

1. The small number of subjects studied
2. The wide range of devices tested
3. The differences in the materials in these devices (or lack of such
4. The methods for making foot impressions are not defined
5. The methods for making the orthoses are not documented
6. The shoe gear in which the orthoses are worn is never described
7. There is a lack of a standardized evaluation of subjects prior to

More importantly, the variables investigated in the majority of
published studies have yielded little insight into where, when, or why
an orthosis improves or does not improve the biomechanical function of
the lower extremity during gait. The scientific rationale for using and
justifying more expensive types of foot orthoses is clearly missing from
the literature. New technology and analytical procedures are now
available that should allow for greater understanding of the role of
custom molded foot orthoses in the treatment of gait-related
pathologies. The need exists for well-designed, scientific studies that
combine the skills of clinicians and researchers to further understand
how foot orthoses can improve a patient’s quality of life.


The PMREF encourages clinicians and researchers to collaborate and
design high quality research proposals to establish a scientific
foundation for understanding the mechanisms behind which foot orthoses


The PMREF requires that investigators interested in submitting a grant
application to PMREF first submit a “Preproposal”. The purpose of the
Preproposal is to allow the review committee to evaluate whether or not
the proposed research project is appropriate for PMREF. Preproposals
will be evaluated for subject matter (topic and hypotheses) and for
research/design methodology. Based upon this evaluation, the research
committee will either invite the submission of a full proposal or
indicate that the project is not appropriate for PMREF. A full proposal
will undergo a detailed evaluation by the PMREF review committee for
scientific merit and clinical relevance. Proposals with the highest
scores will be funded.

NOTE: An invitation to submit a full proposal does not imply a
commitment to funding. The invitation merely indicates that the topic
is of potential interest to PMREF and that the general research design
seems reasonable based on the information given in the Preproposal.

Instructions for Preproposal Submission

The Preproposal must be submitted in hard copy (3 page limit, single
spaced) and 3.5” diskette or CD (Windows PC Format) by February 1,
2001. Applicants will get results of the review within 4 weeks after
the Preproposal is received (March 1, 2001). The submission deadline
for full proposals is April 15, 2001 and applicants will get results
within 6 weeks (June 1, 2001). Funding for accepted proposals will
begin August 1, 2001.

The principal investigator must be explicit and concise in providing the
following information in the preproposal:

1. Name, credentials, address, phone, fax, email, sponsoring
institution, and title of proposal.

2. Statement of the problem
Provide a brief statement of the problem and describe explicitly how the
project relates to where, when, or why an orthosis improves or does not
improve the biomechanical function of the lower extremity during gait.

3. Specific aims and hypothesis
Present the specific questions to be addressed and the specific
hypotheses to be tested in the project. Be sure to number each aim and
its related hypotheses.

4. Experimental design and general methods
Create a general outline of the design of the proposed study. Indicate
what methods will be used to: determine subject population,
biomechanical exam, capturing the morphology of the foot, orthosis
manufacture, and data collection/analysis. Care should be taken to
provide sufficient detail to enable grant reviewers to evaluate the
basic info pertinent to the patient exam,
casting/prescription/fabrication of the shoe insert, and analysis of the
foot orthoses.

Mail completed Prepropsal to:

Dr. Howard Marshall, DPM
President and CEO
Pauline Marshall Research & Educational Fund
PO Box 800492
Santa Clarita, CA 91380
Fax: 800-556-3338

************************************************** ***************************

Irene McClay, PhD, PT
Director of Research, Joyner Sportsmedicine Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
305 McKinly Lab
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

(302)831-4263 (ph)
(302)831-4234 (fax)

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