Targeted Research to Advance a Cure

PURPOSE

FAST’s grants and fellowships program strives to encourage research aimed at finding a specific treatment for Angelman Syndrome. FAST is committed to assisting individuals living with Angelman Syndrome to realize their full potential. Our goal is to bring practical treatment into current medical practice as quickly as possible; therefore, preference will be given to research projects that have a clear practical application and the results of which will be shared in a timely fashion. We also hope that grants we fund will lead to additional research support from government agencies and other funding sources.

The FAST-Trac program will provide targeted funding to enable research projects on Angelman Syndrome to proceed at a rapid pace. These awards seek to stimulate the development of potential pharmacological therapeutics for the treatment of Angelman Syndrome.  Particular areas of interest are drug discovery, gene therapies, and identification of Angelman-specific biomarkers.  Applications that receive the strongest consideration are those that have the potential for rapid impact on and translation to the AS community.

KEY DATES:

Release Date:  August 1, 2010
Application Receipt Date:  Rolling application deadline.

ELIGIBILITY

Institutions receiving grants must be recognized as nonprofit. In the US, this means institutions that do not operate to make a profit. Individuals should have training and experience at least equal to the Ph.D. or M.D. level. Awardees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Research clinicians must devote full-time to their proposed research training and must restrict clinical duties within their full-time research training experience to activities that are directly related to the research training experience.

DURATION OF SUPPORT and ALLOWABLE COSTS

FAST-Trac Grants are either one or two year grants, made in one-year allocations, with a maximum funding of $150,000 per year. Second year funding is non-competitive but is based on review of the first year’s progress report.  For one-year grants, a financial report and progress report are required within one year of the award activation date.  Grant renewal applications must be submitted at least 8 weeks before the second year of funding is needed.  Renewal applications must include a detailed progress and financial report.  For more information on renewal guidelines, click here.

Applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to FAST at science@CureAngelman.org to determine the feasibility of a potential request prior to applying. LOI’s must be submitted as one PDF file containing the following information:

  1. A brief description of the project including objectives and rationale
  2. An estimate of proposed budget
  3. Preliminary data
  4. CV/Biosketch of PI.

Potential allowable costs include:

Reagents and Services – These may include but are not limited to: gene chips, chemical libraries, acquisition of cell lines, acquisition of mouse lines.

Services – These may include, but are not limited to: deep sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics, mass spectrometry, and antibody production.

Equipment – FAST will consider the purchase of specialized pieces of equipment or software purchases for specific projects. 

Personnel – Including salary and fringe benefits.

Indirect Costs – Up to 10% to be included in total cost of project.  FAST will not pay any indirects on tuition.

Travel Costs – For travel costs directly related to achieving the objectives of the grant and to present at the FAST Annual Summit held in Chicago in December.

APPLICATION and SUBMISSION INFORMATION

  1. Write the Research Plan.
    Applicants should download the grant application form and prepare a Research Plan that emphasizes methods and utilizes the following outline format:

    1. Specific Aims – include research questions and/or hypotheses.
    2. Background and Significance – provide rationale for the research with emphasis on what is needed and why this project would benefit Angelman Syndrome research.
    3. Preliminary Studies – describe any preliminary data you have gathered which bears on the specific research question(s).
      (Sections A through C may not exceed 2 pages)
    4. Research Design and Methods (3-page maximum):
      1. Study design
      2. Analysis Plan
      3. Expected Results
      4. Limitations and Alternative Approaches
    5. Provide a Lay Summary paragraph of your research objectives and the potential your work has to help those with Angelman Syndrome. (1 page maximum)As we are committed to educating the public about the importance of research, the lay summary is an important part of the application and will be considered when determining funding decisions. The lay summary will be posted on our website if your proposal is funded.
    6. Attach your Biosketch and the Biosketch of any collaborative personnel for the project.
      Please use the current NIH Biosketch Format.
      Additional Formatting Requirements:
      – proposal body in Arial or Times New Roman size 11 point font
      – margins no less than 0.5 inches
      – include a header on each page indicating fellow name (last name, first initial), mentor (last name, first initial) name and page number. For example: Smith, J; Smythe, K, pg.1
      – Figure and figure legends must be included within the 5 page limit for items A-D.
      – Figure legends can be in 10 point Arial or Times New Roman font.
      – Only PDF files will be accepted and reviewed.
  2. Prepare the budget and justification:
    A one-page budget with justification is required.
  3. Submit Application Materials.
    Applications must be submitted electronically to grants@cureangelman.org. Only PDF files will be accepted and reviewed.Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.Any questions about the application process should be directed to science@cureangelman.org.

HUMAN and ANIMAL SUBJECTS

Human subjects studied in the course of research conducted under a research award are under no circumstances a responsibility of FAST. Human subjects in a program supported by FAST shall be volunteers in any survey, study or procedure. FAST requires recipients to demonstrate Institutional Review Board approval of the research project prior to dispersal of award funds. If IRB approval cannot be obtained within six months of the award, the award may be rescinded by the Board of Directors.

If animals are used in the proposed study, written certification must be provided to FAST indicating that proper treatment, care, and humane conditions will be provided. FAST requires recipients to demonstrate Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval of the research project prior to dispersal of award funds.

FAST GRANT REVIEW PROCESS

The first stage of providing fair and expert review for research funding applications submitted to FAST consists of scientific peer review by a group of highly esteemed basic and clinical scientists that form our Scientific Advisory Board. The panel uses standard guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for scoring applications with an emphasis on innovation, scientific rigor, and relevance to the mission of FAST. All reviewer conflicts of interest must be revealed prior to the panel review meeting. Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, employment at the same sponsoring institution and collaboration on recent or current research projects. All discussions of scientific merit are conducted in the absence of any reviewers who have declared conflicts of interest.

The Scientific Advisory Board recommendations are then reviewed and compiled by the Scientific Director’s Panel. This panel is a group of three scientific and medical experts that includes the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, the Chief Science Officer, and the Science Officer. All recommendations for funding are made by the panel to the FAST Board of Directors. Panel funding recommendations are based on scientific merit (as evaluated by the Scientific Advisory Board), budgetary considerations and discussions of relevancy and priority to the mission of FAST. Final approval is required by the FAST Board of Directors before funding may occur.

For Grants-In-Aid, we anticipate the time between submission and decisions regarding funding to be made within three months of receipt.

PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION

No person shall be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any program or activity receiving financial assistance from FAST because of race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

AMENDMENT OF POLICIES

FAST reserves the right to modify its policies governing research awards at any time. The recipient agrees to abide by any changes or to terminate the grant at the time when such changes become effective. Failure to abide by the policies governing awards shall be considered sufficient grounds for cancellation of an award or refusal to consider any pending application by the grantee.

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