People with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) are a marginalised group. They face numerous secondary health complications which hinder their capacity to lead full and active lives. The impact extends to the families of those afflicted, who are thrown into challenging carer roles. Although SCI is one of the most expensive and complex diseases, researchers only have a small pool of potential participants for any study, due to the low SCI case numbers in any one location. To achieve significant and translatable outcomes in SCI research, international multi-centre studies are needed.
The SCI Research Collaborations Project: Closing the gaps in the research continuum is an SRI project aimed at overcoming barriers to research collaboration so that spinal injury experts from around the world can work together to obtain statistically valid outcomes faster, for the benefit of millions of people with SCI. The SRI recognises the importance of building a culture of trust, openness and shared vision in the international SCI research community, for the benefit of those living with SCI.
The project aims to promote collaboration through several mechanisms, including the development of the world’s first SCI dedicated collaborative online platform called the Spinal Cord Research Hub (SCoRH); travel grants for researchers, and; leading collaboration workshops.
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There is currently a 7-12 year gap between a research study and the translation of its outcomes into practice. Through the SCI Research Collaborations Project, the SRI hopes to significantly speed up the time taken for SCI research to deliver life-changing SCI treatments and health solutions.
The project is supported by a grant from The Ian Potter Foundation.