The Institute for Biomedical Research is offering grants to drive research

Every year, the Institute for Biomedical Research of Salamanca (IBSAL) reinvests the profits generated from its projects and clinical trials. This year, as confirmed by its Scientific Director, Rogelio González Sarmiento, these have been of up to €500,000 and have helped design a grant scheme to meet the needs of researchers. “We are growing year after year”, he points out.

This half a million euros earned will be reinvested in research funding, PhD and Masters grants, and in the capacitation of medical staff (doctors and nurses), amongst others. According to Mr González Sarmiento, this investment is part of IBSAL’s philosophy, “which complements other grants, such as those offered by the Department of Health of Castilla y Leon”..

Five of the research grants being offered by the Institute for Biomedical Research have a peculiarity, since they are: “only open for researchers from Castilla y Leon not working at the hospital in Salamanca, to encourage coordinated research within the region’s health care system”, clarifies the Scientific Director.


                   IBSAL’s Scientific Director and Scientific Deputy Director, Rogelio González Sarmiento and Ángeles Almeida.

IBSAL is not looking to invest only in Salamanca, but also “in other groups from the region”. These projects will receive up to €200,000 over two years. One of the specifications they must meet is that they have to be developed by at least three IBSAL research groups.

However, this constraint will not apply to projects working in the field of public health care and management. As set out on the call for applications, a group from the institute, or from the Departments of Primary Health Care or Specialised Health Care, will be able to apply for funding. In doing so, it complements other similar regional and local grants “investing in biomedical research”, points out González Sarmiento.

It should be noted that as part of their work methodology, the proposals will not be evaluated in Salamanca, but at the Institute of Health Carlos III, “to guarantee our impartiality”.

IBSAL is divided into six research units: Cancer, Cardiovascular health, Neuroscience, Infection, inflammation, metabolism and degenerative disorders, Gene and cellular therapies, and Primary care, public health and pharmacology.

“The fact that we have a primary care research unit is important because not all research institutes have one, and in Salamanca the groups from La Alamedilla, Garrido Sur and Miguel Armijo are very valuable”, points out IBSAL’s Scientific Director. Another characteristic that Rogelio González Sarmiento highlights as unusual is to have researchers in public health management, “because we want to encourage not only research that focuses on the lab and general practice, but also other areas like management, to cover the broadest possible spectrum of research themes that can be useful”.

The €500,000 to be reinvested by IBSAL will also fund the capacitation of medical staff, as the grant will allow for the hire of support workers for half of their workday “allowing them to carry out research”. The regional Department of Health offers the same grant and, as IBSAL’s Scientific Director points out, this increases “the number of medical staff that can benefit from this type of grant”. Specifically, for three doctors and one nurse or physiotherapist. To encourage research among the young professionals, one of these grants is aimed at them.

As part of this grant scheme using its own funds, IBSAL is also offering PhD, Masters and conference funding “for the young researchers of the institute that can be complemented with the schemes offered by the University of Salamanca”. For example, travel expenses to attend conferences, “to finance partially the cost of publications, pay tuition fees for their Masters or PhD, etc.”. Rogelio González Sarmiento claims it is money the University of Salamanca is getting to help researchers complete their training.

For the first time this year, IBSAL will offer pre-doctoral grants for researchers from the institute who don’t have a project with the University of Salamanca, after the university excluded them from its grant scheme; “and we hope this discrimination will end”.

A number of the grants offered to the researchers of this institute are aimed at funding the travelling expenses of health care professionals taking a residency outside of Salamanca, especially abroad. “To learn about clinical work in addition to lab research”, explains IBSAL’s Scientific Director. This grant scheme is carried out in collaboration with the hospital’s management “to help the health care professionals of our hospital travel abroad to complete their training”. In this sense, each service can choose the destinations where the latest surgical, medical or clinical technique is being developed, “and we will pay for the travel costs, while the hospital commits to paying the wages while they are away”.

IBSAL believes its role is to offer a service to society in the area of Biomedicine “and to do so we must partner with the Hospital, the University and the Department of Health, of which we are directly dependent”.

The researchers from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) that are also working at the institute can apply for this funding research with equal conditions.

One of IBSAL’s goals is also to encourage young researchers, “which is why for all these grants, in addition to taking into account the quality of the project and the researchers’ résumé, an added value is to be a young researcher, as we want to help them take off and start”..

Source: El Norte de Castilla


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