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This year COVID-19 had a huge impact on the lives of rheumatological patients and really highlighted the value of research, so with our annual research funding call we focused on some recommended priority areas and continued to request applications from members who had little or no substantial involvement with research to date.

After reviewing all the proposals, our panel decided to fund two research project applications. Congratulations to the following members and their winning projects:

  • Megan Rutter: Does having a rare autoimmune rheumatic disease affects a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 (admission/death) during this pandemic?

  • Chris Wincup: Investigating the immunometabolic signature of early juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus: implication for disease stratification and targeting novel therapeutic pathways

Our membership continues to grow and become increasingly diverse and so alongside this the organisation’s involvement in research needs to be relevant to the whole multidisciplinary team, benefiting patients of all ages and with all rheumatological conditions.

The research areas we prioritised for support included proposals using BSR data, health services research, chronic pain, rare diseases and those with a paediatric and adolescent rheumatology focus. We also understandably encouraged proposals which explored the impact of COVID-19 on rheumatology patients.

We look forward to tracing the career development outcomes for Megan and Chris as a result of our awards, as well as any research outputs in the form of posters, presentations or papers from the subjects they have chosen.