Grant Application Procedure

Applications are made online, via an application portal provided by one of our member organisations, AFM-Téléthon. Please click here to access the application portal.

Because SMA Europe has just one member of staff for the administration of the Calls for Projects, the AFM-Téléthon Scientific Direction supports us by organising the external reviews of each application. Only our SAB members, a member of AFM-Téléthon’s Scientific Direction and our Research Programme Manager will have direct access to the applications and to the respective external evaluations. 

A dedicated meeting of our SAB takes place in the autumn of the year the Call is launched. The final evaluation of applications and the selection of the projects to be funded are done by our SAB. 

Each project will be peer-reviewed according to the following criteria:

Application portal

At a glance


1. Relevance and significance

How is this research relevant to a better understanding of SMA, its causes, cure and/or prevention? Does this study address an important problem or a bottleneck in R&D? Is there a sufficient body of high quality fundamental, pre-clinical or clinical research that supports the rationale for the proposed study? What is the potential impact of the proposed intervention on health care and quality of life? 

2. Project quality/ scientific soundness:

Are the rationale and experimental design adapted to the study objectives? 

3. Innovation

Are the aims of the study original? Does the proposed study design represent advancement in the field? Does the project advance international cooperation in the field? 

4. Feasibility

Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies? Is the principal investigator well suited to carry out the proposed study? Is the scientific environment adequate? Is there evidence of institutional support? Have appropriate agreements with collaborators been established? 

5. Reasonableness of the budget

Is the budget reasonable in relation to the proposed research? 

In focus

Scoring & Selection

The written reviews of external referees are an important element in the decision-making process, but these are not the sole criteria for deciding the success or failure of an application.

In practice, only projects which attract the best scores are likely to be successful. We expect to provide feedback to both successful and unsuccessful applicants in the form of reviewers' comments plus any relevant points arising from the SAB’s discussions, but this may not always be practical. 

Whilst there are many inherent problems with the peer review process, we believe that this process constitutes the fairest and most consistent way to assess grant applications. We shall endeavor to ensure that the process is as open and transparent as possible and that we maintain the best possible communications with all our applicants. 

SMA Europe will hold contractual, financial and administrative responsibility for awarded projects.