NMSG Shark Tank 2024: Small grant award scheme

The next NMSG Shark Tank session will be held at the annual meeting in Tarrytown, New York in September. If you have a proposal and would like to be considered for the Tank at the meeting, please send your proposal based off the criteria listed below. Please email all submissions to Liz Paulk at epaulk@kumc.edu by June 1, 2024.



We are delighted to announce the NMSG Shark Tank event. This is an opportunity for young investigators to present a research proposal with a neuromuscular focus for pump-prime funding of $10,000. The scheme is intended to drive new and developing research collaborations and result in further grant applications. If chosen to receive the award you will be considered a NMSG study and are eligible for NMSG help with your study, for example help with statistics. 


  • Lead applicant:
    • Is an early career researcher associated with a principal investigator who is established in the field of neuromuscular diseases. 
    • Has not previously received an NMSG Shark Tank award.
    • Is willing to present their research findings at a future NMSG conference.
  • A proposal for a specific piece of research or pilot data collection which will be completed within 12 months of the grant award and is feasible with the $10,000 funding available.
  • A proposal relevant to neuromuscular diseases.


  1. Applicants will submit a 200-word abstract outlining their research proposal. This should be written in language understandable by a non-specialist in your particular field and should include:
    1. Type of research (e.g. Basic science, clinical trial, epidemiology, qualitative etc.)
    2. Background and research question (e.g. What unmet need are you addressing? What knowledge gap are you filling? Why is it important?)
    3. Specific aims of the project
    4. Expected outcome and next steps, including plans for future study and funding bids
  2. Based on review of abstracts, selected applicants will present their proposal to the NMSG Shark Tank. This is a panel of experts who will scrutinise your plans. The presentations will take the following format:
    1. A 5-minute presentation using no more than 3 slides. You should view this as an “elevator pitch”. Your job is to get the panel interested in your idea and highlight the importance of your project. Be sure to outline exactly what the grant will fund.
    2. 10 minutes of questions from the “sharks”. Here your proposal will be scrutinised in more detail.

Your presentation will be scored in the following domains:

  1. Clarity of the Objective
  2. Importance of research
  3. Feasibility
  4. Justification of Budget
  5. Quality and clarity of presentation


The successful applicant will be expected to submit an itemised budget prior to release of funding. Progress reports are expected once every six months. The successful applicant is expected to present research findings and outputs (e.g. publications, new collaborations, funding applications) at a subsequent NMSG Conference.