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Research Proposal Submission

The Western States Endurance Run (WSER) Medical Research program seeks proposals to support research directly applicable, but not limited to, ultramarathon running, running performance, health issues for runners, or using the event as a model for other conditions. Up to $25,000 has been allocated to support these efforts annually in conjunction with our race(s). All proposals are to be submitted to and will be reviewed by the WSER Medical Research Committee and approved by the WSER Board of Directors. 

Questions should be directed to research@wser.org


The following criteria will need to be met to be considered for funding:

  • Although up to $25,000 is available, it is anticipated that these funds may be allocated to multiple projects
  • An itemized research budget must be included at the time of proposal submission
  • Projects must have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, or be deemed to be capable of IRB approval, with reference to a specific IRB
  • Lead researcher must be at least Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Master’s degree or Ph.D., Physical Therapist, or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
    • Would be available for presenting or participation in WSER Medical conference
  • Studies are dependent on the voluntary participation of runners entered into the race and subject to the rules, regulations, and organization of the event
  • Preference will be given to proposals deemed most likely to be publishable

Submission Process

  • Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis as we consider work for future years though they must be received by October 1st for the following year’s event. Proposals should be submitted directly to research@wser.org.
  • Submission package must include:
    • Study Title:  Specify the title of the proposed research study such that the proposed research topic addressed is easily identifiable
    • Relevance: What aspect of endurance sports medicine does your study aim to address and how will it provide evidence to fill existing knowledge gaps? How might these results benefit ultramarathon running, running performance, or health issues for runners?
    • Aims: Identify the specific aims of the study
    • Methods: This section should describe the study design including inclusion/exclusion criteria for the study population, primary outcomes to be measured, statistical approach and sample size/power justification. Include analysis of data including instruments, when applicable. 
    • Investigators: Provide the following for the principal investigator and each co-investigator:
      • Name and academic degree
      • Title and department affiliation
      • Office address
      • Phone
      • Email
      • CV of each member and, where applicable, prior publications
    • Conflict of Interest Statement: All relevant conflicts of interest for each co-investigator should be disclosed. If no collaborators have conflicts of interest, a statement should be made a statement should be made declaring no known conflicts.
    • Budget
      • Requested amount
      • Total project budget with detailed breakdown
      • Funds may be used for direct personnel costs, supplies, equipment and other expenses directly related to the approved project. If the funds are not used in keeping with the proposal as approved by the WSER Foundation, the proposal will be voided and the total amount of funds awarded returned to the WSER Foundation upon demand
      • No WSER Foundation research funds may be used for indirect institutional costs or administrative overhead
    • Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval and Informed Consent
      • Discuss the ethical implications of this study and how participants will be protected
      • Include a draft of the informed consent form with proposal. Please note: If awarded, a copy of IRB approval is required before award monies are released
    • Proposed or potential publications for results
    • Any additional materials that will support the proposal may be included. The application should be in MS WORD or PDF format, 11-point font or larger with a minimum of ½ inch margins on all sides. 
    • Proposals should not exceed 4 pages in length (not including references).

Safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research performed at the Western States Endurance Run is the responsibility of the institution with which the researcher is affiliated. Research will not be allowed until a certificate is received assuring the work has been approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). If the proposed work is approved to be performed at the Western States Endurance Run, the following information will be required prior to initiation of the project:

  1. Certification of IRB approval
  2. Copy of IRB-approved human subjects consent form unless the protocol is approved with waiver of consent
  3. Copy of IRB-approved recruitment information