The “Mechanisms of Cellular Death in Neurodegeneration” (MCDN) funding program’s overall goal is to discover and understand the mechanisms and pathophysiological processes by which brain cell loss is mediated in disease and thereby seek insights and potential targets for therapeutic interventions that would sustain healthy brain function.
The hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases is the death of brain cells. Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementias and Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia. The loss of brain cells during disease progression, in many cases, leads to cognitive impairment and ultimately loss of function and death. Despite the critical importance of brain cell death in neurodegeneration, very little is understood about the processes and mechanisms of brain cell death.
The Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Weston Brain Institute (Funding Partners) are jointly launching the MCDN funding Initiative to target projects that address fundamental, unanswered questions such as:
The MCDN initiative invites research proposals that will explore brain cell death mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases. We seek proposals that have some, or preferably all of the following characteristics:
This MCDN does not seek proposals that:
All proposals must clearly and explicitly describe whether specific hypotheses are to be investigated, the program of work, the methods for study, sample, outcomes, etc. The ultimate goal is to increase the understanding and knowledge of mechanisms of brain cell death in neurodegenerative diseases and develop novel model systems for further investigations.
Given the magnitude and complexity of the scientific challenge, the MCDN Initiative strongly encourages submissions from global collaborative research teams that exemplify interdisciplinary expertise. In addition, while novel and creative ideas are sought, proposals also need to demonstrate feasibility. The funding organizations recognize the need to increase the range and diversity of scientific disciplines that might offer innovative techniques or solutions, and researchers that may not have a history of research in neurodegenerative diseases are encouraged to apply, especially as members of consortia that have disease expertise.
The total sum available for this award program will be up to USD$1.25 million available over three years. MCDN is looking to fund either a consortium of investigative teams or individual team-based projects ranging between USD$100,000-$1,250,000. The project budget should be in line with the proposed project goals with clear justification of the required resources to achieve those goals.
The funding partners seek proposals up to this amount with scientific quality, innovation, a resolute focus on goals of the MCDN Initiative, and value for money being key parameters for success. Indirect costs are capped at 10 percent (rent for laboratory/office space is expected to be covered by indirect costs paid to the institution). Funding will be linked to milestones, as set forth in the application.
Applications are encouraged from academic research laboratories or consortia of academic laboratories around the world. In addition, small biotech/small-medium enterprise organizations are eligible provided they are in collaboration with academic laboratories with the academic laboratory as the lead applicant.
Researchers with full-time staff or faculty appointments are encouraged to apply; post-doctoral fellows are eligible as co-applicants with an investigator who has a full-time faculty appointment (i.e. Assistant Professor or above; if your institution does not have Assistant Professor track, then you may be asked to supply appropriate documentation to confirm your employment status) as the lead applicant.
The application submission process will follow a two stage procedure. First, applicants will submit a pre-proposal or letter of intent (LOI). Submitted LOIs will be reviewed by the sponsor organizations and a select number of the LOIs fitting the funding priorities will be invited to submit full applications.
Full applications will be evaluated by a two-stage peer review process that engages an expert panel to review and evaluate each application. Final funding decisions will be made jointly among the funding organizations.
Both LOI and the full submissions will be reviewed based on:
Letters of Intent (LOI) must be submitted through the proposalCENTRAL on-line application system at http://proposalcentral.altum.com. The site will open Friday, February 13, 2015.
Letters of intent must be received by 5 p.m. EST, May 8, 2015. No exceptions will be made.
For those invited to submit a full application, applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST, June 30, 2015.
Scientific and technical review will be conducted from July – September 2015. Funding decisions will be shared with applicants by September 30, 2015.
The mechanism of the award is the individual research grant. The maximum allowable duration is three years. Annual progress and financial reports are required. Continuation of the grant over the awarded duration is contingent upon the timely receipt of scientific and financial reports, and will be linked to specific project milestones (as mutually agreed upon at the time of award).
A budget summary for the proposed research project is required and must be submitted with the application and within the allowable page limits. However, if the application is to be awarded, a more detailed budget will be required and must be approved before the disbursement of funds.
Your budget must not exceed the maximum amount of the award (USD$1.25 million) although projects requiring significantly smaller amounts will be considered according to the above criteria. Applicants are required to contact email@example.com prior to LOI submission to discuss an increased budget exception.
It is required that funds awarded under this Initiative be used for direct research support, with a maximum 10% of total award to be directed toward.
Funds awarded may be used for:
Funds awarded cannot be used for:
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding this program.