Transformational Research: Canada 2019 (Parkinson’s & Related Diseases)

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*The deadline for submitting applications to the Transformational Research: Canada 2019 (Parkinson’s & Related Diseases) program has now passed*

Neurodegenerative diseases of aging are among the least understood and most undertreated diseases today. If ignored, the social and economic costs of managing these diseases will continue to rise. Meeting these challenges requires pioneering approaches to accelerating treatments.

The Transformational Research: Canada program funds transformative, novel, high-risk, high-reward translational research projects. Projects can be from $200,000 to $1,500,000.

NEW for 2018/2019:

Accepting applications on diet, physical activity, sleep and nutritional supplements, if these applications meet our other scope criteria.

Encouraging applications that bring in expertise, technologies or approaches in the following areas to advance the development of therapeutics and tools for neurodegenerative diseases of aging: artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, data science, computer science, medicinal chemistry, biostatistics and engineering. Read the RFA here.

Encouraging applications at all funding levels from $200,000 to $1,500,000.

This option has been removed from the program details, however if this kind of funding is desired please contact the Institute: If the funded project has the potential for significant commercial success, in the grant agreement, the Institute may request, upon significant commercial success, repayment of grant funds to be used for further research funding.

Translational research using humans or human samples/data is in scope, except for clinical trials or clinical trial sub-studies which should be submitted to the Early-Phase Clinical Trials or Rapid Response programs.

The Institute has updated which tools are in scope. Please read our What We Fund webpage before applying to ensure your project is in scope.

Program Overview

Please refer to the Program Details and Request for Applications (RFA) document for more information.

Goal: To provide funding for translational research that will accelerate the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.

Funding: A maximum of $1,500,000 over up to 3 years per project.

Applicant Eligibility: Eligible Principal Applicants must be researchers working in Canada at least 30% of the time at or above the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent, and be affiliated with a Canada Revenue Agency-qualified donee institution located in Canada. Co-Applicants/Collaborators must be at the post-doctoral level or above and can be working outside Canada.

Applicants may appear in any role on any number of projects.

Project Eligibility: Projects must meet the following conditions to be eligible:

  • Be translational research (excluding clinical trials and clinical trial sub-studies) that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.
    • Clinical trials and clinical trial sub-studies should be submitted to the Early-Phase Clinical Trials or Rapid Response programs; however other translational research using humans or human samples/data is in scope.
  • Be the development of a therapeutic and/or tool and/or complementary approaches

The project structure (i.e. the frequency and detail of the go/no go milestones) and the quality of the preliminary data should commensurate with the size of budget. For example: A project requesting $1,500,000 for 3 years should have strong preliminary data and multiple go/ no go milestones, whereas a project requesting $200,000 could have minimal preliminary data and less frequent milestones.

Please refer to What We Fund for Institute definitions of neurodegenerative diseases of aging, translational research, therapeutic, and tool.

NEW for 2019: The Transformational Research program will have multiple calls per year, alternating between two different disease groups (outlined below). Applicants should apply to the group best suited to their project.

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases: Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases:
o  Parkinson’s disease o  Alzheimer’s disease
o  Dementia with Lewy bodies o  Frontotemporal dementia
o  Multiple system atrophy o  Mild cognitive impairment
o  Progressive supranuclear palsy o  Vascular contributions to the above
o  Vascular contributions to the above o  Prodromes to the above
o  Prodromes to the above

The Institute welcomes additional inquiries about this program, including whether a potential idea is in scope. For questions related to the Parkinson’s & Related Diseases program, please contact Matthew Sacheli. For questions related to the Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases program please contact Rene Prashad.

Application Process

There are two stages of the application process:

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI)
  2. Full Proposal

An application requires the submission of a Letter of Intent which will be reviewed by our scientific review committee. Applicants with high potential projects will then be invited to submit a Proposal. Instructions for submitting the Proposal will be sent to those invited.

Please note that we provide our reviewers an opportunity to ask questions or request additional information about the LOIs and Proposals before the adjudication if they feel it would be helpful.  Between August 31 and September 11 you may receive an email from the Institute listing questions asked by reviewers.  We typically ask that applicants provide a response to these questions within two business days. Note that responses to these questions are optional, however, responses may have an impact on the quality of discussion on your application.

Program Details

Request for Applications (RFA)

Letter of Intent sample

Apply Now

Important Dates

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases:
Program opens: May 4, 2018
LOI deadline: August 1, 2018 at 2:00pm EDT
Proposal deadline: November 12, 2018 at 2:00pm EST
Anticipated award notification: January 24, 2019
Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases:
Program opens: September 14, 2018
LOI deadline: December 3, 2018 at 2:00pm EST
Proposal deadline: March 28, 2019 at 2:00pm EDT
Anticipated award notification: May 22, 2019

Program Information Webinar

The Institute will hold a Program Information Webinar for each disease focus, to provide further details on the program and answer any questions. However, if you have questions specific to your project (e.g., project scope), we encourage you to contact us.

Parkinson’s & Related Diseases: June 14, 2018 at 1:00pm EDT

This webinar has passed

Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases: October 12, 2018 at 1:00pm EST

Register here

Follow-on Funding

Funding (up to $1.5m) to grantees outside the regular granting mechanism in order to avoid delays in supporting exciting, potentially high-reward work based on previous success for grants awarded by the Weston Brain Institute.

If you’re a current or past Institute grantee, and would like to apply for follow-on funding, please visit the Weston Brain Institute Follow-on Funding page for more details on how to apply.


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