Research has gained a forefront position in the Mariani Foundation’s activities, with an exponential growth especially after 2002, when the call for proposals was first published on the Internet.
ISO certification of quality has been obtained in this area as well.
The Mariani Foundation supports projects which, on the one hand are consistent with the statute’s aims and have a direct bearing on child neurology, while, on the other hand fostering a better integration between basic and clinical research (“translational research”).
The Foundation promotes studies aimed at investigating both the biological aspects and the psychological-cognitive and behavioural aspects of children. Science is conceived as a challenging combination between the “holistic” and the “specialist” approach.
Five main areas of general interest may be identified:
• Animal models
• Genetics and metabolic syndromes
• Childhood cerebral palsy
• Cognitive and learning disabilities.
The present selection process for research projects comprises two stages:
1. Presentation of an expression of interest by the applicants, whereby the Scientific Committee (Research Section) assesses which projects are eligible and deserve further examination;
2. Grant applications, whose evaluations are then discussed by the Scientific Committee.
Applicants working in Italian laboratories or institutes may apply as Principal Investigators. They are required to have up-to-date skills and appropriate technologies and implement them. Multicentre cooperations, including international partnerships, are encouraged.
Studies completed within the Foundation's research programs are constantly being published or presented at meetings and congresses.