More details coming soon…
Neurodegenerative diseases of aging are among the least understood and most undertreated diseases in Canadian medical research. As Canada’s population ages, neurodegenerative diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are placing a large and increasing burden on society. If ignored, the costs to manage these diseases will rise ten-fold within a generation. Meeting this challenge requires pioneering approaches to accelerating treatments.
The Weston Brain Institute (the “Institute”) was established to accelerate the development of safe and effective therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging while using a fast and innovative granting process to provide support to researchers.
To achieve this, the Institute addresses gaps and inefficiencies in research funding by supporting high-risk, high-reward projects while leveraging world-class business and scientific expertise to build a fast and flexible granting process.
Institutions and individuals affiliated with and applying through or on behalf of institutions (collectively, “Applicants”) should carefully discuss the Program announcement and the terms of this document with the appropriate office at their institution before submitting an application. The submission of a Letter of Intent (“LOI” and collectively “LOIs”) or a Proposal does not bind either the Institute or the Applicants by any commitment to provide or receive funding, respectively. Successful Applicants will be required to agree to terms substantially similar to those contained in this document and the Institute reserves the right to alter, delete or add additional terms in the grant agreement between the successful Applicants and the Institute.
The Institute reserves the right to accept or reject any or all applications at its discretion and to negotiate the terms of the specific grant agreement with Applicants.
he Institute is only able to accept Letters of Intent (“LOIs” and each an “LOI”) and Proposals (“Proposals” and each a “Proposal”) from institutions (or individuals affiliated with and applying through or on behalf of institutions) that are Canada Revenue Agency qualified donees in Canada. Funds can also be used to support the Canadian portion of collaborations with members from other geographies.
Only researchers at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent are eligible to apply as the Principal Applicant. Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above.
Applicants may appear in any role on any number of LOIs.
A LOI submitted pursuant to this Program does not need to be approved by the relevant institution on whose behalf or through which the LOI is being submitted. However, any Proposal submitted pursuant to this Program must be approved by the institution on whose behalf or through which the Proposal is being submitted.
Overall funds: The Institute is prepared to commit up to $4.5 million to fund projects selected through this Program and application process. The Institute may choose not to fund any projects or to exceed this budget.
Funds available per project:
Any grant provided by the Institute pursuant to this Program shall be directed to the institution and not to the individual affiliated with and applying through the institution. Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will rest solely with the Applicants. If the funded project has significant commercial success, the Institute may request repayment or reallocation of grant funds at the discretion of the Institute to be used for further research funding.
Multiple institutions: In the event of collaboration between multiple institutions, it is the responsibility of the Principal Applicant to distribute/manage funds appropriately.
Full or partial support of projects: The Institute can support a full project or parts of any project. If the application is for part of a larger project, the criteria for granting will be applied only to the part of the project proposed. Applicants should make clear what part of the larger project the Institute funding would support.
Conditional funding and milestones: Grants are conditional on grantees meeting pre-determined milestones and providing deliverables, including submission of progress reports and participation in Institute sponsored assessment meetings. Continued support is not automatic and is contingent upon the progress reports being favourably reviewed by the Institute.
Supplemental funding: The Institute encourages grantees to seek additional funds to further their work once the term of the initial grant has expired. The Institute has no guaranteed policy for renewal or continuation of grants. The Institute may, at its discretion, seek to further support clearly successful projects. Grantees are also eligible to apply for funding through other Institute programs.
The application process consists of two stages: Letters of Intent and Proposals. Each LOI will be peer reviewed by a scientific review committee. Applicants whose LOIs meet the review criteria and are favourably reviewed will be invited to submit a Proposal. Proposal instructions and feedback from our scientific review committee will be forwarded along with the invitation. Complete Proposals will be peer reviewed by the scientific review committee.
The LOI stage of the application process is a significant stage of evaluation. Typically, only a small proportion of applicants are invited to submit full proposals, and of those, many will be funded. This ensures LOIs are easy to submit so no good ideas are missed and that those taking the time to write full proposals have a very good chance of being funded.
Those invited to submit a proposal will have optional access to a clinical trial design expert to assist with designing the trial (e.g., sample size and statistical power calculations, protocol development, and/or data management) to maximize likelihood of success of the Applicants.
No appeal process is currently available.
Grant agreement must be completed within 6 weeks of notification of selection as a grantee. If grant agreement is not completed at this point, the Institute reserves the right to cancel the grant.
The Institute, at its sole discretion, may change the timeline of the application process.
Criteria considered when reviewing LOIs:
Additional criteria considered when reviewing Proposals:
Grantees must complete the following if a grant is awarded:
The Institute treats all LOIs, Proposals, research projects and associated research information (collectively, the “Confidential Information”) in confidence using reasonable care in protecting such Confidential Information from disclosure to third parties who do not participate in the grant review process and Institute assessments. All Confidential Information will be used by the Institute and its scientific review committee for the purposes of reviews and assessments, and will be shared only in accordance with the sharing policy as set out herein. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Confidential Information shall not include any information that:
If the Institute or any of its scientific review committee members is requested to disclose Confidential Information pursuant to a legal or governmental proceeding, the Institute shall give the Applicant or other owner(s) of such Confidential Information notice of such disclosure request as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Liability and Indemnity
Each Applicant pursuant to this Program acknowledges and agrees in responding to the Program announcement that the Applicant shall have no claim against the Institute, and its respective representatives, related companies or affiliates, should such Program response be unsuccessful for any reason. Each Applicant hereby remises and releases the Institute, its representatives and affiliates, from any cause of action, complaint, or claim in connection with the RFA process and its outcome.
The Institute’s role in grants awarded pursuant to this Program is that of a funder. The Institute is not the sponsor of funded projects. As such, the Institute will not assume any liability associated with funded projects and each Applicant who is ultimately awarded a grant pursuant to this Program releases the Institute from any and all liability with respect thereto and further indemnifies the Institute, and its respective representatives and affiliates, from any claim or loss whatsoever associated with the applicable grant.
Intellectual Property Policy and Intellectual Property Agreements among Collaborators
The Institute acknowledges that any intellectual property (“IP”) that arises from research funded through this Program, including discoveries, is not the property of the Institute.
The Institute does require that researchers and collaborators agree on any material IP issues prior to submission of a Proposal.
Publication and Sharing Policy
The Institute expects results of funded research to be published as rapidly as possible in the open access scientific literature or other forms of publication that are readily available to the research community, unless such publication will jeopardize the Applicant’s right to secure patents or copyrights necessary to protect the Applicant’s ownership. Such publication should be consistent with high standards of scientific excellence and rigor, and provide sufficient detail so the research community can benefit from the findings from or in connection with the funded project.
A lay person abstract of the research proposal must be submitted prior to funding. A lay person abstract of the research results must also be submitted no later than 2 months from the date of grant expiration. These abstracts may be made available to the public by the Institute.
Any presentation, releases, papers, interviews, publication or other forms of communication dealing with the awarded project or the results from the awarded project must acknowledge the funding provided by the Institute, in a manner proportionate to the contribution of the Institute. Any other use of the Institute’s intellectual property, including its name, logo or trademark requires prior written permission of the Institute.
All tools (i) funded by and (ii) that result from funded projects should be made readily available to the research community either freely or at reasonable prices within 3 months of study completion. If sharing of such tools will jeopardize the Applicant’s right to secure patents or copyrights necessary to protect the Applicant’s ownership, then such tools should be made available as soon these rights have been secured. The Institute may let the public know of these tools so other researchers know they are available.
The Institute requires any clinical trial awarded under any of its funding programs be registered with clinicaltrials.gov, PDTrials.org, or other appropriate public registry.