B.A.A. Establishes Inaugural Boston Marathon Medical Research Funding Program

BOSTON —The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced a new research funding opportunity for scientific researchers surrounding the Boston Marathon. The 127th Boston Marathon will be held on April 17, 2023, featuring a field size of 30,000 participants.

The newly formalized B.A.A. medical research funding program will provide an annual request for proposal to conduct research at the world’s oldest annual marathon. Investigators will be asked to submit scientific proposals for projects which will be considered in conjunction with the race.

“Scientific research related to athletic performance and health and safety is a long-standing tradition at the Boston Marathon,” said Michael P. O’Leary, MD, MPH, and Chairman of the B.A.A. Board. “The Boston Marathon medical research program will promote future work to address key areas of clinical and scientific research relevant to endurance athletes.”

Clinical and scientific questions surrounding athlete health and performance are often studied in field projects such as organized road races. Over the last several decades, at least one study has been annually conducted in conjunction with the April event.

All proposals received by the October 31, 2022 submission deadline will be considered by B.A.A. leadership, medical directors and an external panel of scientific experts. Awardees will be chosen and notified with ample time to secure institutional review board approval. This program will provide investigators with a one-time itemized budget of up to $25,000 to complete the proposed work, though the B.A.A. may choose multiple proposals at lower amounts to support depending on submissions received.

Proposals for field studies aimed at delineating key aspects of athlete health and performance are encouraged, as are studies inclusive of Para athletes and studies that examine issues related to gender and diversity. Proposals and any program questions should be emailed to medical@baa.org for review and response by the B.A.A.

Information on submission requirements, judgement criteria, and a timeline of the Medical Research Funding Program can be found here.