WADA has delayed its call for Social Science Research Grants Programme proposals ©Getty Images

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has delayed its call for Social Science Research Grants Programme proposals.

Proposals for the 2021 programme will now be accepted in October 2020 to accommodate the academic community during the pandemic. 

Researchers are currently experiencing delays in starting their projects due to campus closures, restricted access to research subjects and, in some cases, an inability to obtain the required authorisation to finalise grant contracts.

As research-led anti-doping education remains one of WADA's strategic priorities, the delay will have no financial impact on the body's social science research budget.

WADA are set to use the delay to further develop its Social Science Research Strategy, which will be submitted to the Executive Committee meeting in November. 

"As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have an impact around the globe, WADA has taken the decision to delay its call for proposals for its 2021 Social Science Research Grant Programme to October 2020," said WADA director of education Amanda Hudson.

"We want to accommodate the challenges that researchers are confronting with the current situation, and, use this opportunity to further our Social Science Research Strategy, including by resetting our programme timelines to align with the global academic calendar, which should afford potential candidates a suitable amount of time to prepare their applications.

"In this context, WADA encourages the academic community to engage in early dialogue with their respective Anti-Doping Organisations to identify social science research needs and prepare applications that partner with the anti-doping community. 

"As the Agency continues to develop its strategy, we will be keen to support greater collaboration between practitioners and academics to improve the integration of research outcomes into practice."

The Social Science Research Grant Programme was created to ensure that preventive anti-doping education programmes were designed using an evidence-based approach.