ON Pilot Grants

Application Guidelines


  1. General Information
  2. Funding Policy
  3. Application and Review Process
  4. Instructions for completing the online application
  1. 1. General Information

    ON, the Orthoregeneration Network, is an independent, internationally active Foundation in the field of orthopedic tissue regeneration, with the mission of driving the development and clinical implementation of new treatment strategies to improve the quality of life of patients.
    To promote innovation, the Foundation provides funding for research projects in the field of orthopedic tissue regeneration that test innovative approaches or answer important open questions.
    ON ensures strict confidentiality of all applications, and of the review process.

    Fields of Interest

    ON aims to improve clinical practice by the development of new or improved techniques and materials for the regeneration or enhanced repair of lost, diseased, or degenerative musculoskeletal tissues. The Foundation will identify areas of special interest in calls for research proposals that address specific fields of interest. Please refer to the ON website (www.my.on-foundation.org/Grants) to see the current focus of the ON innovation grants.

    Grant Types

    ON Pilot Grants are intended to prove a new concept or to answer important open questions in a small but innovative research project or pilot experiment. This might be a clinical, preclinical or in vitro study. The funding is limited to a total of CHF 25’000 and the study should be completed within two years.

    Clinically relevant issues shall be addressed that have the potential to lead to improved clinical practice. The goal is to have the results published in an international peer-reviewed journal, open access.

    Process and Timeline

    The online applications will be reviewed by experts and the best application/s will be awarded an ON Grant. Suggestions for improvement will be provided to non-funded applications.

    Application documents must be submitted electronically via the online application system. To do so, the applicant creates an account on myON (http://my.on-foundation.org)

    Deadlines will be announced on the ON website and myON.

    Questions regarding the online application and the application process can be addressed to the ON Office by phone (+41 58 234 99 00) or
    E-mail (info@on-foundation.org).

  2. 2. Funding Policy

    Payment Modalities

    Pilot Grants will be paid in two installments, 90% in the beginning (upon submission of the necessary institutional approvals) and 10% upon submission of the final report or a copy of the submitted journal manuscript.


    An annual progress reports must be produced for grant projects exceeding one-year duration. The deadline for submission of the annual progress report is February 1 of any given year.

    • The applicant will receive a reminder to submit the progress report.
    • In addition to an update on the project time line, the progress report should provide a brief summary of status of the ON funded project.
    • The final report should contain a summary of the study including data, discussion and conclusions. A manuscript submitted to a peer reviewed journal qualifies as final report.


    Salaries to be used in the grant application are limited to the support of technical and research personnel. The amount of effort on the specific ON innovation grant must be clearly described as it relates to the research project.

    Institutional Overhead Costs

    The ON Foundation policy allows for an indirect cost rate up to a maximum of 20% of the total project costs. As a prerequisite for funding of any overhead costs, the investigator must submit a copy of the official overhead regulations with the application.

    Financial Transparency - other Funding Resources

    It is understood that the ON Foundation may not provide the total amount of funding required to perform the planned study.

    • Please provide details of any leveraging funds that may be included in support of the application and highlight budget impacts.
    • A grant application submitted to the ON Foundation may be submitted in parallel to another funding organization or research grant provider (e.g. company). If so the submission must be declared within the application.
    • Product-based research with a clear commercial interest will be rejected.

    Ethical Board Approval

    For all clinical studies, the ON Foundation requires full approval of the institutional review board (human subjects committee). Clinical trials need to be registered through an international clinical trials registry before the trial is started. The registry that is recommended by the ON Foundation is: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/

    The trial registry number (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier) as well as the approval of the institutional review board needs to be submitted to the ON Foundation before the start of the trial and before the granted funds can be transferred. All clinical studies submitted to the ON Foundation need to be in compliance with the current version of the Declaration of Helsinki (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/), the ICH-GCP or ISO EN 14155 (as far as applicable) as well as all national legal and regulatory requirements.

    In case of pre-clinical studies, the approval of the relevant applicable animal care committee (e.g., Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) needs to be submitted to the ON Foundation. The research project will not be able to commence and receive the granted funds until full approval is achieved that is in compliance with ARRIVE guidelines for preclinical research studies: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000412.


    Funding can only be granted if the declaration (Application document) is signed by the lead applicant.


    Financial support provided by the ON Foundation should be acknowledged in the publication(s) resulting from this support in the following way:

    “The project (ON project number) was supported by a grant from the ON Foundation, Switzerland.”

  3. 3. Application and Review Process

    The Application will be reviewed by independent experts nominated by ON.

    Based on the evaluation results, the best projects will be selected, and the applicants will be informed upon acceptance or rejection.

    The Proposals will be reviewed based on defined awarding criteria.

    • Innovation potential: Does the project test an innovative approach or address an important open question that will drive innovation for the patient?
    • Sound hypothesis: Is the project unique and the hypothesis clear?
    • Research plan: Is the research protocol suited to answer the hypothesis?
    • Facilities and qualifications: Is the research group capable of successfully completing the research project?


    The ON Foundation has developed a unique online tool, the “Research Designer” that guides the investigator step by step through the design of a research protocol. We recommend the use of the tool as it may help to improve the quality of the grant application.

  4. 4. Instructions for Completing the online proposal form

    Please fill in the online proposal form accurately and completely. Note that, to ensure a comparable format for all applications, the space for entering the project information is limited. All information must be provided in English.

    The following sections describe the information that is requested for the Proposal and how the online application tool has to be completed.


    When copying text from a MS Word document into our online application tool directly it may cause formatting errors (due to the background formatting information saved).
    We recommend to first erase the background formatting of MS Word (e.g. with an additional copying step into a text editor).
    When copying the text from the editor into the online application tool only the plain text is copied. Afterwards you can use the basic rich text formatting of the online application tool.

    1. 1. General Information

      • Study Type: Please select the type of study and indicate whether it includes animals (preclinical) or patients (clinical) or whether it consists of in-vitro experiments.
      • Title: Please limit the title of your study to fewer than 300 characters.
      • Start: Estimated start of practical work (select in the calendar)
      • Duration: Expected duration of complete project (maximum 24 months)
      • Requested Funding: Estimated total amount of funding needed to conduct the project.
    2. 2. Applicant Information

      • Lead applicant: Please indicate your name, academic degree, institutional position and full address of the institution.
      • Co-applicants: Please indicate the name, academic degree, institutional position and e-mail address (if applicable)
      • Research Institution: Please include the full address of the institution where the main work will be conducted.
    3. 3. Study Background/Introduction

      Explain why this study has to be done and what the innovation potential of the study is? What has been done in this field so far? Does this proposal address an important problem?
      (Do not exceed 1500 characters including spaces.)

    4. 4. Research Question, Hypothesis and Aims of the Project

      Formulate a hypothesis and describe the aims of the study including a description of primary and secondary outcomes.
      (Do not exceed 3000 characters including spaces.)

    5. 5.Innovation Potential and Clinical Relevance

      Explain how the study can improve clinical practice in future.
      (Do not exceed 1000 characters including spaces.)

    6. 6. Materials and methods

      Describe the study design, e.g. interventional/observational study, justification of power, inclusion/exclusion criteria, randomization, data management, etc. Explain the key materials and methods.
      Point out possible limitations of the methods and your strategy to overcome the limitations.
      (Do not exceed 1500 characters including spaces.)

    7. 7. Facilities and Expertise

      Describe the research expertise of the institution and the role of investigators participating in the project.
      Describe the relevant infrastructure of the research institution.
      (Do not exceed 1500 characters including spaces.)

    8. 8. Necessary Documents

      • Upload a recommendation letter by your mentor that assures his/her support for you and the proposed project.
      • CV (max 2 pages)
      • Ethics approval and/or animal trial approval if applicable
    9. 9. Statement

      By adding your name, you accept the ON regulations (see application guideline above) regarding the proposal evaluation and funding of ON Pilot Grants.
      Please carefully read your given information and double-check it for content, ON Foundation purposes and ethical principles.
      Please note that it is not accepted to apply in the name of a third person. By adding your name, you accept the ON regulations (see application guidelines) regarding the abstract evaluation and funding of research.