Call for ASAS Research Grant

The call for ASAS Research Grant is now open. Please apply before the 1st of July, 2024

Purpose of the ASAS Research Grant

  • To encourage young ASAS clinicians and researchers to perform clinical research on axial or peripheral spondyloarthritis.
  • This grant is directed towards clinicians/researchers at an early career stage (in training/ rheumatology fellows and junior faculty) preferably before 5 years of training completion, with an interest in SpA

Conditions and requirements

  • Early career within 5 years since training completion.
  • ASAS membership (associate or full member).
  • Applicant can work on the research project in his/her own centre or another ASAS centre (in the same country or abroad), as preferred.
  • Research project should focus on clinical research (i.e. not basic research) in SpA (including axSpA and pSpA, but not on PsA).
  • Fluent in English or in the language of the hosting country (if applicable)
  • Stipend: up to 2 grants per year, € 25.000 each, intended to support travel, accommodation and living costs only. Duration: 6-12 months.
  • Research project should start after granting the project.
  • Approved projects should be completed by the end of the award period.
  • Results of the scientific work will be presented during the annual ASAS workshop. Abstract submissions to the annual EULAR and ACR meetings and the SpA Congress in Gent are encouraged. Full publications of the projects are expected.
  • Funding of ASAS should be acknowledged in all communications.

Guidelines for the ASAS Research Grant / Internship

Application should include:

General notes

  • Application form completed by the applicant and host centre should be submitted to
  • Award selection will be performed by the Executive and Advisory Committees. Committee members supporting grant applications (or working in the same centre) will be recused from the selection process of the individual application in conflict.

Awarded ASAS Research Grants

2022 ASAS Grants

  • Sinead Maguire, Project: Pregnancy in Axial Spondyloarthropathy: Unanswered Questions & Unknown Outcomes, an Opportunity to reach Conclusions, Dublin, Ireland and Toronto, Canada

2021 ASAS Grants

  • Faten Hamitouche, Project: “Determinants of clinically important worsening in early axial spondyloarthritis”, Paris, France
  • Stan Corné Kieskamp, Project: “Determinants of clinically important worsening in early axial spondyloarthritis”, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Katharina Ziegeler, Project: “Anatomical variation of the sacroiliac joint – clinical significance in the context of sacroiliitis imaging”, Berlin, Germany
    • Ziegeler K, Ulas ST, Poddubnyy D, et al. Anatomical variation of the sacroiliac joint carries an increased risk for erosion and bone marrow oedema in axial spondyloarthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2023 Mar 1;62(3):1117-1123
    • Ulas ST, Proft F, Diekhoff T, et al. HLA-B27 status and inflammatory MRI lesions of the sacroiliac joints: a post hoc analysis in patients without axial spondyloarthritis. RMD Open. 2023 Sep;9(3):e003357
    • Ulas ST, Proft F, Diekhoff T, et al. Sex-specific diagnostic efficacy of MRI in axial spondyloarthritis: challenging the “One Size Fits All” notion. RMD Open. 2023 Oct;9(4):e003252

2020 ASAS Grants

  • Clementina López-Medina, Project: “Development of deep learning algorithm to predict positive MRI-SIJ according to the ASAS definition in patients with recent axial spondyloarthriits”, Paris, France
    • Bordner A, Aouad T, López-Medina C, et al. A deep learning model for the diagnosis of sacroiliitis according to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society classification criteria with magnetic resonance imaging. Diagn Interv Imaging. 2023 Jul-Aug;104(7-8):373-383

2019 ASAS Grants

  • Imke Redeker, Project Development and validation of a computer-based algorithm for the detection of active and chronic inflammatory changes compatible with spondyloarthritis on magnetic resonance imaging of the sacroiliac joints”, Berlin, Germany
  • Rianne van Bentum, Projects “Validation of the Ankylosing Spondylitis Performance-based Improvement (ASPI) test in Chilean SpA patients”Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • van Bentum RE, Ibañez-Vodnizza SE, Poblete De la Fuente MP, et al. The ankylosing spondylitis performance index: reliability and feasibility of an objective test for physical functioning. J Rheumatol. 2020 Oct 1;47(10):1475-1482

2018 ASAS Grants

  • Manouk de Hooge, Project: “The presence of bone marrow edema and structural lesions on magnetic resonance imaging of the spine in asymptomatic subjects of the general population”, Ghent, Belgium
    • Renson T, de Hooge M, de Craemer AS, et al. Progressive increase in sacroiliac joint and spinal lesions detected on magnetic resonance imaging in healthy individuals in relation to age. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2022 Sep;74(9):1506-1514
  • Elena Nikiphorou, Project: “Socioeconomic factors and their role in SpA outcomes”, Leiden, The Netherlands
    • Nikiphorou E, van der Heijde D, Norton S, et al. Inequity in biological DMARD prescription for spondyloarthritis across the globe: results from the ASAS-COMOSPA study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Mar;77(3):405-411
    • Nikiphorou E, Ramiro S, van der Heijde D, et al. Association of comorbidities in spondyloarthritis with poor function, work disability, and quality of life: results from the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society Comorbidities in Spondyloarthritis Study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 Aug;70(8):1257-1262
    • Nikiphorou E, Ramiro S, Sepriano A, et al. Do smoking and socioeconomic factors influence imaging outcomes in axial spondyloarthritis? Five-year data from the DESIR cohort. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Nov;72(11):1855-1862
    • Nikiphorou E, Carvalho PD, Boonen A, et al. Sick leave in early axial spondyloarthritis: the role of clinical and socioeconomic factors. Five-year data from the DESIR cohort. RMD Open. 2021;7(2):e001685
    • Nikiphorou E, Boonen A, Fautrel B, et al. How do clinical and socioeconomic factors impact on work disability in early axial spondyloarthritis? Five-year data from the DESIR cohort. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022 May 5;61(5):2034-2042
  • Marlies Carbo, Project: “Validation of the m-SQUASH”, Groningen, The Netherlands

2017 ASAS Grants

  • Marion Senlis-Pons, Project: “Long-term effectiveness of TNFi in early axial spondyloarthritis and its assocaited factors”, and “Pregnancy outcomes in early axial spondyloarthritis and the impact of TNFi in such outcomes”, Paris, France
    • Pons M, Chevret S, Briot K, et al. Evaluation of long-term TNFi effectiveness after a first switch in early axial spondyloarthritis considering time-varying prescription bias: an inverse-probability weighting analysis of the DESIR cohort. RMD Open. 2022 Jan;8(1):e001846
    • Pons M, Dougados M, Costedoat-Chalumeau N, et al. Pregnancy rates and outcomes in early axial spondyloarthritis: an ancillary analysis of the DESIR cohort. Joint Bone Spine. 2021 Mar;88(2):105075
  • Mikhail Protopopov, Project: “Rate and predictors of progression from non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis to ankylosing spondylitis after 5 years of follow-up in the ASAS Cohort”, Berlin, Germany
    • Protopopov M, Proft F, Sepriano A, et al. Radiographic sacroiliitis progression in axial spondyloarthritis: central reading of 5 year follow-up data from the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society cohort. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 May 14;60(5):2478-2480
    • Protopopov M, Proft F, Wichuk S, et al. Comparing MRI and conventional radiography for the detection of structural changes indicative of axial spondyloarthritis in the ASAS cohort. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2023 Apr 3;62(4):1631-1635
  • Gaelle Varkas, Project: “The effect of mechanical stress on MRI of the sacroiliac joints in non-SpA patients”, Ghent, Belgium
    • Varkas G, de Hooge M, Renson T, et al. Effect of mechanical stress on magnetic resonance imaging of the sacroiliac joints: assessment of military recruits by magnetic resonance imaging study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2018 Mar 1;57(3):508-513
    •  Renson T, Depicker A, De Craemer AS, et al. High prevalence of Spondyloarthritis-like MRI lesions in postpartum women: a prospective analysis in relation to maternal, child and birth characteristics. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020 Jul;79(7):929-934

2015 ASAS Grants

  • Lennart Jans, Project: “MR imaging of the paediatric sacroiliac joint”, Ghent, Belgium

2014 ASAS Grants

  • Anna Molto, Project: Performances of imaging abnormalities suggestive of spondyloarthritisParis, France
    • Molto A, Gossec L, Lefèvre-Colau MM, et al. Evaluation of the performances of ‘typical’ imaging abnormalities of axial spondyloarthritis: results of the cross-sectional ILOS-DESIR study. RMD Open. 2019 May 28;5(1):e000918.
    • Marnas G, Bernardy C, Cole A, et al. Spine abnormalities associated with bone edema on sacroiliac joints MRI in patients with non-inflammatory chronic back pain. Joint Bone Spine. 2022 Nov;89(6):105436.
  • Victoria Navarro, Project: Burden of illness of patients with early axial spondyloarthritis in the Esperanza Cohort”Madrid, Spain
    • Navarro-Compán V, de Miguel E, van der Heijde D, et al. Sponyloarthritis features forecasting the presence of HLA-B27 or sacroiliitis on magnetic resonance imaging in patients with suspected axial spondyloarthritis: results from a crosssectional study in the ESPeranza Cohort. Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 Sep 23;17:265.
  • Torsten Diekhoff, Project: “Comparison of magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and X-ray in detecting structural damage in the sacroiliac joints.
    The SIMACT (Sacroiliac joint Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography) study”Berlin, Germany
    • Diekhoff T, Hermann KG, Greese J, et al. Comparison of MRI with radiography for detecting structural lesions of the sacroiliac joint using CT as standard of reference: results from the SIMACT study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Sep;76(9):1502-1508.
    • Diekhoff T, Greese J, Sieper J, et al. Improved detection of erosions in the sacroiliac joints on MRI with volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE): results from the SIMACT study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Nov;77(11):1585-1589.