Rapid Response: Ireland, Netherlands, UK 2018 (Fluid Biomarkers)

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Neurodegenerative diseases of aging are among the most undertreated diseases today and require pioneering approaches to accelerate treatments. Early diagnosis remains a large challenge in the clinic, along with detection of subtypes of disease, predicting rate of progression of the disease, and using this information to enroll patients in clinical trials. Outcome measures for clinical trials are also needed to predict response to therapy, since these are diseases with many years of progression. Biomarkers for patient diagnosis, prognosis, stratification to clinical trials, and to predict response to therapy are crucial to enable new treatments to be developed for patients.

Biomarkers measured peripherally in patient-derived fluids (e.g., blood, CSF, saliva, stool) are relatively easy to access and generally low cost to collect and measure. The Rapid Response: Ireland, Netherlands, UK 2018 (Fluid Biomarkers) program was launched to provide seed funding, without requirement for preliminary data, to support high-risk, high-reward, translational research on novel biomarkers detected in patient-derived fluids.


Program Overview

Goal: To provide seed funding, without requirement for preliminary data, to support high-risk, high-reward, translational research on novel biomarkers detected in patient-derived fluids.

Funding: Up to £180,000 over up to 18 months per project, with a total of £540,000 available for the full program.

Applicant eligibility: Principal Applicants must be at or above the level of Postdoctoral Researcher and at eligible institutions located in Ireland, the Netherlands, or the UK (as defined in the program details).

Biomarker eligibility: Only biomarkers measured in patient-derived fluids (e.g., blood, CSF, saliva, stool) are eligible. Biomarkers must be previously identified (as defined in the program details) and be for human disease diagnosis, prognosis, for patient stratification to clinical trials or to predict response to therapies. Biomarker discovery and unbiased screening approaches are not considered within the scope. Novelty of the biomarker will be a criterion for adjudicating applications. Applications focused on Abeta, tau or alpha-synuclein are discouraged unless there is an aspect of the work that is particularly novel.


Important Dates

Online System Open for Application:         Wednesday, 31 January, 2018

Program Information Webinar #1:               Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 4:00pm GMT

Program Information Webinar #2:               Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 4:00pm BST

Letter of Intent deadline:                                 Monday, 23 April, 2018, 4:00pm BST


Application process

Applications are submitted through the Institute’s online grants management system.

The application process consists of two stages: Letters of Intent (LOIs) and Proposals. To apply, applicants must submit an LOI to the Institute. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a Proposal.

Request for Applications (RFA)

Program Details

Letter of Intent (LOI) sample

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Program Information Webinar

The Institute will hold two online Program Information Webinars to provide further details on the program and application process, with an opportunity to ask questions.

Information Webinar #1           Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 4:00pm GMT                  Register to attend here.

Information Webinar #2           Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 4:00pm BST                  Register to attend here.

NB: both sessions will include the same information.


The Institute welcomes inquiries about this request for applications or any of our other funding opportunities. We would be pleased to hear from you at either neuro@weston.ca or +1 416-935-4056.