World Rugby uses research to ensure that any Law changes are evidence-based and thoroughly trialled prior to implementation
The following general principles should be taken into account when considering applying to World Rugby for research funding in the areas of player welfare and safety:
- Result either directly or indirectly in a benefit to Rugby;
- Be applicable to the international Rugby community and not normally focused on local issues;
- Not be a repeat of previous research but must be either novel or add to previous research; and
- Be innovative.
- Funding may be for multiple years but generally will be restricted to a maximum of two.
- Performance indicators will be determined and funding will be linked to the achievement of these indicators.
- Funding does not cover the cost of office space or secretarial support. Administrative charges by institutions are normally not funded.
- Graduate student, technician and research assistant salaries need to be justified.
- Funding will not provide salary support for principal investigators.
World Rugby continues to be at the leading edge of research in the development of artificial turf through the One Turf programme
- Ethics review by an appropriate ethics board is required, as are consent forms of participation for individuals within a study. Funding applications do not require pre-existing ethic approval however formalizing contracts will require ethics approval. In instances where ethics approval is not deemed necessary a full justification of why must be provided.
- Applications must be made in English (the international scientific language) and budget items quoted in pounds sterling.
The following projects will not be considered for funding unless initiated by the World Rugby:
- Basic, laboratory research with no direct implication to Rugby
- Equipment development
The following topics have been identified as priorities for research by the World Rugby Medical Science and Research Group:
- Education of different stakeholders
- Long term neurodegenerative and mental complications
- Identifying the best diagnostic tool
- Evaluation of the head impact forces during match play and training for all
- Prevention strategies
- Long term consequences
- Acute – contact and non-contact
- Community game
- Professional game
- Player loads and impacts on welfare and safety
- Game numbers and characterisation of game demands
World Rugby priorities for each year will be published on the Player Welfare website within a month of the annual World Rugby Medical Commission Conference.