Research

Since 2001, WADA has dedicated US$86.5 million to research. WADA is committed to increasing the volume of research dedicated to developing new and improved detection  methods for prohibited substances and methods. WADA is also responsible for studying emerging doping threats, such as gene doping.

To this end, WADA issues a call for research proposals each year. Scientists from around the world submit proposals addressing the research topics prioritized by WADA's Health, Medical and Research Committee.

In addition to the regular Research Grant Program, urgent doping research topics identified by WADA (e.g. detection of emerging doping substances) or research projects of high interest in protecting clean sport presented outside the regular program application process, may receive funding as part of the Target Research or Reactive Research Programs, respectively.

Applications for 2022 Scientific Research Grants

WADA issued its Call for Proposals for 2022 Scientific Research Grants on 17 December 2021.

Scientists interested in submitting their research projects are invited to consult the 2022 Scientific Research Topics as well as the application procedure that can be found on the WADAGrants online platform.

The application deadline for the 2022 Scientific Research Grants is 1 March 2022 at 23:55 GMT.

For further information, please contact WADA’s Science & Medicine Department.

Special Requests for Applications

In 2020, in addition to the annual call for proposals for scientific research grants, WADA, along with several stakeholders announced two special Requests for Applications (RFA) for research projects.

On 17 June 2020, WADA and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) issued a call for proposals for research projects that aim to develop biomarkers of doping.

On 30 June 2020, WADA – along with several stakeholders including the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Testing Agency (ITA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) – announced an RFA on the development of dried blood spot (DBS) testing.

Funded Research Projects

Since 2001, WADA has funded projects in the following areas:

  • Compounds/Methods Enhancing Growth
  • Compounds/Methods Enhancing Oxygen Delivery
  • Exogenous and Endogenous Anabolic Steroids
  • Detection of Prohibited Substances/Methods: Classic methodologies e.g. chromatographic, immunological and biochemical
  • Gene and Cellular Technologies Applied to Sports
  • Identification and Detection of Substances with Doping Potential
  • Pharmacology of Prohibited Substances

View the complete list of funded research projects since 2001.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by a panel of three to four independent external experts who submit their evaluations and recommendations to WADA's Health, Medical and Research Committee.

In September, the Health, Medical and Research Committee reviews the grant applications and experts' evaluations and selects the projects to be funded based on scientific quality and relevance to WADA's goals. The selected projects are presented to WADA’s Executive Committee for approval.

Before final approval, grant applications undergo an independent ethical review.