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2022 Call for Proposals

Our 2022 call for proposals is open!

We are launching our 2022 call for proposals seeking hard-to-fund projects that nevertheless have great potential to make a major impact for OCD.

The total budget size for the winning project will be £150,000 + a possible extra £50,000 if our fundraising campaign is successful. This is because we already have £150,000 secured from donors, while the remaining £50,000 will be raised through an international crowdfunding campaign. So you will need to apply for £200,000 maximum.

Our independent Scientific Advisory Board will judge projects according to the following criteria and questions:

1. Scientific validity: how strong is the science?
2. Clinical opportunity: does the project have potential to get a treatment for OCD rapidly into the clinic?
3. Team track record: how credible is the team implementing the project?
4. Crowdfundability: is the project suitable for crowdfunding?

In 2020 we ran our first call for proposals and our scientific panel chose the psilocybin research project as the winner. (https://www.orchardocd.org/research/calls-for- proposals/). We then ran a successful crowdfunding campaign that was matched by one of our donors. 

Please submit an application no more than three pages long, with the following sections:

  1. Summary of the project
  2. Key objectives
  3. Challenges and how they will be overcome
  4. The project team
  5. Timeline
  6. Budget breakdown

Please email your submissions (three pages max) to research@orchardocd.org.

The deadline for applications is Saturday 30th April at 5pm GMT.

Below please find more information on our 2022 call for proposals.

Our friends at the Foundation for OCD Research (FFOR)  provide grants to support innovative research that will advance the understanding and/or treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.  Detailed information is available at:  www.ffor.org/grants

Orchard 2020 funding update: Owing to the uncertainties around Covid-19, we decided not to open a new call for proposal this year.

If you would like to be informed of future calls from Orchard, please join our mailing list.

2019 – Orchard call for proposals winner: psilocybin for the treatment of OCD

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Orchard call for proposals is a project researching the use of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, as a potential treatment for OCD.

Researchers: Professor David J Nutt and Professor Naomi Fineberg
Institutions: Imperial College and University of Hertfordshire, UK

Studies have shown that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can be used to treat depression and even OCD. The potential for an enduring effect of psilocybin, independent of its psychedelic effect, may reflect its central action on serotonin receptors in the brain.

We will carry out a single-dose study to prove this, using a low dose of psilocybin that is unlikely to induce a psychedelic effect but could nevertheless reduce OCD symptoms. This study will be a feasibility study to inform the design of a larger, more definitive study on the role of psilocybin in OCD.

Watch a short video about this here.

We are now organising a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for this project.

The two runner-up projects were:

A controlled study comparing probiotic treatment versus placebo in adult obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Researchers : Michael Van Ameringen MD FRCPC ; Beth Patterson MSc, Heather Dwyer MSc PhD (c), Jasmine Turna PhD, Brent Urbanski, Michael Surette, PhD
Institution: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

There is a growing body of evidence indicating a significant relationship between the effect of gut bacteria on the brain and on human behaviour. Dysregulation of these gut bacteria may be involved in chronic mental illness including OCD. This points to a promising direction whereby intestinal bacteria could be targeted for their therapeutic potential.

Probiotics are commonly found as additives in dairy products such as yogurt but are also widely available in the form of supplements. They are considered to be safe, with no serious side effects and are now commonly used to treat chronic bowel conditions. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether 12 weeks of probiotic treatment can improve clinical symptoms in adults with OCD.

Watch a short video about this here.

Testing whether estradiol, a female sex hormone, could improve therapy outcomes for women with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Researchers: Dr Hannah Levy, Dr David Tolin, Dr Andrew Winokur, and Dr Hugh Taylor
Institution: Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for CBT, Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, Connecticut, USA and Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) incorporating exposure and response prevention is considered a first-line treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder, yet only 43% of patients respond to this treatment and even fewer remit.

An exciting line of research indicates that estradiol, a female sex hormone that regulates menstrual cycles and fluctuates throughout the female reproductive cycle, may improve fear reduction during exposure therapy. We will study whether estradiol administration could improve outcomes in exposure and response prevention for OCD, particularly for women who are low in endogenous estradiol.

Watch a short video about this here.

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