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FAST-Trac Award

FAST Targeted Research to Advance a Cure (FAST TRAC) Awards are dedicated to providing specialized funding to expedite translational research projects in AS.

These awards are designed to catalyze the creation or enhancement of potential treatments for AS with particular emphasis placed on gene modification, disease modification, and symptom-alleviating therapeutics, along with diverse platforms and tools for high-throughput drug screening. In pursuit of discovering and assessing novel therapeutics, these awards can additionally aid in the development of innovative disease models, encompassing both in vitro and in vivo approaches.

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FAST is also firmly committed to preparing any prospective therapeutic for clinical trials. This commitment involves supporting the development of biomarkers and outcome measures tailored specifically to the unique challenges presented by AS. This award provides support for the preparation of clinical sites, ensuring the collection of comprehensive natural history data and the acquisition of novel information to facilitate the advancement of potential AS treatments. 

FAST-TRAC Awards are generally either one- or two- year grants, made in one-year allocations, with a maximum recommended funding of $150,000 per year. Recipients of this funding are expected to generate data that can be utilized for future grants and publications. Furthermore, it is anticipated that Awardees will provide structured quarterly updates to the FAST Scientific Team and attend and present their findings at the annual FAST Global Science Summit.

Letter of Intent

Applicants are encouraged 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 with justification, and duration of the project;

  3. Preliminary data to support the project; and

  4. A biosketch.

The entire LOI (minus the CV) should be no more than 3 pages.

Eligibility

Institutions receiving grants are generally recognized as nonprofit organizations. In the US, this means institutions that do not operate to make a profit. In rare circumstances funding is given to contract research organizations or industry scientific teams. Individuals should have training and experience at least equal to the PhD or MD level.

Duration of Support

FAST-TRAC Awards are either one- or two-year grants, made in one-year allocations, with a maximum recommended funding of $150,000 per year. In exceptional circumstances where larger grant amounts are needed, applicants may submit an inquiry, along with a letter of intent, to science@cureangelman.org to justify higher funding requirements.

FAST Reporting Policy

Progress updates will occur on a quarterly (3-month, 6-month, 9-month, 11-month) basis from the project start date for each awarded year. For the first (3-month) and third (9-month) quarters of an awarded project, semi-formal updates may be delivered via email or video calls. These updates will include the provision of interim data and preliminary results.

Bi-yearly (6-month) progress updates will be conducted via video call with the FAST Scientific Panel and will include all updates relevant to the research project’s objectives. A template for these progress reports can be found here. The Principal Investigator (PI) will be required to submit a written report and financial report to FAST due at 6-months from the project start date. A formal, year-end progress update will be conducted in a similar fashion to the bi-yearly report and include a formal written and financial report due 11 (eleven) months from the project start date. A template for this progress report may be found here. Year-end project reports should focus on progress made toward meeting the milestones outlined in the grant and include any no-cost extension, carry forward, or grant renewal requests. Year-end reports are due 11-months from the project date to account for any no-cost extension, carry forward, grant renewal, or amendment requests that require additional processing time. 

Once a grant is completed, a final report must be submitted within 60-days following the project termination date and should include all information requested in the Final Report template here, as well as a detailed accounting of the funds awarded. Upon submission of the written and financial report, a meeting will be scheduled with the FAST Scientific Panel to review all progress made throughout the duration of the award.

Allowable Costs

Potential allowable costs include:

  • Reagents and Materials: These may include but are not limited to: gene chips, chemical libraries, acquisition of cell lines, acquisition of animal model lines.

  • Services: These may include, but are not limited to: deep sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics, mass spectrometry, antibody production, and drug/chemical manufacturing.

  • Equipment: FAST will consider the purchase of specialized pieces of equipment or software purchases for specific purchases for specific projects when necessary.

  • Personnel: Including salary and fringe benefits. Additionally, FAST will fund postdoctoral and graduate students at a salary no higher than the current NIH guidelines.

  • Indirect Costs: FAST allows up to 5% indirect cost rate to the budget’s modified total direct costs (less those costs specifically excluded) to be included in the total cost of the project. FAST will not pay any indirects on tuition, equipment, software or software licenses. Example: modified total direct costs of $100, 5% indirects would be $5; total cost of project is $105.

  • Travel Costs: Each award will include a $3,000 travel stipend to allow for the PI and one trainee, when applicable, to travel to the annual FAST scientific symposium, where they may be required to present their current research progress. If travel costs are not needed or utilized the funds will be returned to FAST.

Application and Submission Information

Write the research plan: Applicants should download the grant application form here and prepare a Research Plan utilizing the following outline format:

Abstract: A succinct description of the proposed work that includes the project’s broad, long-term objectives and specific aims, and a description of the research design and methods.

Lay Summary: This should include your research objectives and your preliminary work that can be easily interpreted by a lay person. The focus should be on the translational component of your research objectives (1-page maximum). We are committed to educating the public about the importance of this research and this will be posted on the FAST website if the project is funded.

Budget Justification: One page budget with justification is required. 

Other Support: List all active and pending support to ensure there is no scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap.

Facilities and Resources: This section should include any organizational resources available to perform the proposed studies. Identify the facilities to be used (Laboratory, Animal, Computer, Office, Clinical and Other). If appropriate, indicate their capacities, pertinent capabilities, relative proximity and extent of availability to the project. Describe only those resources that are directly applicable to the proposed work.

Budget: Applicants must use the budget sheet provided in application materials. If the proposal is multi-year, Applicants must use separate budget sheets per year, fill in the start and end date and applicable amounts for each year of support separately, summing for total amount requested. A budget template can be found here.

Hypotheses and Specific Aims: Include specific research questions, objectives and hypotheses. The focus of the application should be aligned with the FAST mission and all progress reports and study reports will be based on these specific aims being met.

Background and Significance: Provide rationale for the research with emphasis on what is needed and why this project would benefit a translational therapeutic research program for Angelman syndrome.

Preliminary Studies: Include any preliminary data you have gathered which supports the specific research question(s).

Research Design and Methods: Include study design, methods, and expected results.

Limitations and Potential Pitfalls: Discuss potential difficulties and/or limitations in achieving aims and alternative approaches to achieving aims.

Milestone Timeline: A research timeline will be provided with milestone goals to be reached during the funding period. These milestones will measure progress made throughout the award period and help determine Year 2 funding if applicable.

Biosketch: The biosketch of the PI and any collaborative personnel for the project.  Please use the current NIH Biosketch format. A current NIH biosketch template may be found here.

Formatting

Formatting guidelines for a FAST grant submission include: 

  • Proposal in Arial or Times New Roman size 11 point font, single or 1.15 spacing;

  • Margins no less than 0.5”;

  • Include a header on each page indicating name of PI (Last, First), page number;

  • Figures and figure legends included within the 5 page limit; and

  • Only PDF files accepted for review.

Submit Application Materials

Applications must be submitted electronically to science@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.

For a complete list of FAST-TRAC grant policies, download a printable copy here.

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