Snyder Institute Clinical Problems in Chronic & Infectious Diseases Incubator Grants

Goal

The Clinical Problems Incubator Grant is designed to move a novel or poorly understood clinical observation(s) into hypothesis driven experimental research leading to a better understanding of disease and identify potential therapeutic intervention strategies. The incubator grant is intended to support well-defined, early stage, research-related activities with the potential to lead to external research grant and funding opportunities. The Research Aims should be targeted for a specific external funding source (researchers identify an external funding opportunity for which Incubator Grant funding will position them for success), and emphasize a practical plan to leverage existing resources and contributions (financial or in-kind).

Incubator Grants cannot be used to support ongoing research projects, rather the target will be the exploration of a new clinical observation-based research question(s) and collaboration. Within one-year of the conclusion of the grant (i.e. within 2 years of the award inception date) awardees are expected to have applied for at least one source of external funding.

Eligibility

  • The application must include one clinician as PI and one basic scientist as co-PI affiliated with the Snyder Institute, one of which must be a full member of the Snyder Institute.
  • Applicants must hold continuing academic or clinical appointments (tenured and tenure-track) with evidence that they are currently able to carry out the proposed research (lab space, staffing, rapid availability of reagents, patient access if required, etc.).
  • While not a requirement, inclusion of an Early Career Researcher in the team is encouraged.

General Information

  • The grant is targeted at moving observations in clinical practice into hypothesis driven experimental research.
  • Funding is to be spent on data generation (reagents, assays, etc.) and cannot be used for salary support (see use of funds below).
  • A plan for external funding applications (should an application receive funding) is a requirement of the application.
  • The scheme will launch in September 2021 with two award deadlines/year.
  • Awards will be adjudicated by an Ad Hoc working group of the Snyder Operations Committee.
  • The value of the grant is $≤30,000. (Total available per year $100,000).
  • Duration of the award is twelve (12) months. Any unspent funds remaining after twelve (12) months return automatically to the Snyder Institute. If delays are experienced, extension requests will be granted with formal documentation of an interruption to research duties up to an additional six (6) months. Requests must be submitted no later than three months before the award end date.
  • An individual may not submit, as principal applicant, more than one application per intake. Grant recipients may only hold one (1) Incubator Grant at a time as the principal applicant. Individuals can serve as co-applicant on any number of applications or active grants under this program.
  • Before requesting a new Incubator Grant, prior recipients must show that a funding request has been formally submitted to at least one (1) external funding source and provide confirmation to the Snyder Operations Committee (evidence of submission only; funder decisions are not required).

Deadlines

Annual Deadlines Start Dates
November 5 January 1
July 1 September 1

 

Conditions

At the conclusion of the funding period (and to be considered for subsequent Incubator Grant applications), applicants must have completed their most recent active Incubator Grant and have submitted an Outcomes Report to the Snyder Operations Committee that includes the following information:

  • Expenditures incurred.
  • Current Status of the Project including details regarding external funding applications submitted, their status, any funding received, and next steps in the program of work.
  • Any additional information on outputs and impacts associated with the funding, including publications, presentations, funding applications, honours/recognition, trainees involved, partnerships established or strengthened, etc. -- recognizing that institutional expectation for such downstream outcomes is realistically modest given the early stage work being supported by the Incubator Grant.

Applicants who have not submitted an Annual Outcomes Report will not be considered for further Incubator Grant funding.

Use of Funds

Expense eligibility is generally governed by institutional policy and procedure (i.e. the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Handbook) and program aims.

Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Collection of pilot data
  • Materials and supplies
  • Fees paid and gifts for the purpose of participant recruitment
  • Fees paid and gifts to research participants
  • Travel expenses related to research or fieldwork

Examples of ineligible costs include:

  • Principal investigator fees or remuneration
  • Research personnel including research assistants, undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, project managers, lab managers, technicians, etc.
  • Grant writing support
  • Third Party consulting fees
  • Travel for dissemination or conference activities
  • Entertainment
  • Hospitality expenses, including alcohol
  • Subcontract costs
  • Network meeting expenses including travel, meals and accommodation.
  • Research equipment, including computers

Evaluation

Applications will be reviewed and adjudicated by an internal review committee established by the Snyder Operations Committee. This committee will then report their decisions to the Snyder Operations and Snyder Executive Committees, followed by formal notification of Awardees.

Review Criteria

The review committee will consider:

  1. The extent to which the proposal will move a novel or poorly understood clinical observation(s) into hypothesis driven experimental research leading to a better understanding of disease and identify potential therapeutic intervention strategies.
  2. The extent to which the proposed area of work is compelling, and how impactful a downstream funding application(s) will be.
  3. The extent to which a concrete body of work is being proposed for, as a logical progression to a compelling external funding application.
  4. The extent to which the proposed work is a fit for the investigators, and the other work that they do.
  5. The extent to which the investigators are presenting a winning research context (i.e. presence of mentorship, strong collaborators, knowledge translation partnerships that will help advance the program).

The evaluation process will be undertaken in a formative manner. In cases where applications are not selected for funding, the internal review committee will provide clear direction as to how resubmissions may be improved upon and research team(s) restructured such that their chances of success are greater in future competitions.

Other Considerations

The following additional aspects (in order of importance) will be considered in the review process:

  • Whether applications demonstrate a need for funding. Depending on the program’s budget envelope, smaller requests may be easier to fund than larger requests;
  • Whether applications include matching funds and/or are leveraged with other contributions including in-kind contributions;
  • Whether applications lead to external grant submissions to the tri-agencies.

While all eligible faculty members are encouraged to apply, applications from early career researchers may be ranked higher in relation to mid-career and senior scholars. New applicants to the Program may also be ranked higher than those applicants who have received funding in the past.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Applicants must clearly state their commitment to EDI in their existing research teams, including among students, postdoctoral fellows, co-PIs, co-applicants and/or collaborators, as applicable. They must explain what actions they have taken, the outcomes expected, and the assessment planned for each of the following three key areas:

  • team composition and recruitment processes;
  • training and development opportunities; and
  • inclusion.

Actions taken are expected to remove barriers and provide opportunities for the meaningful integration of individuals from all equity-seeking groups including, but not limited to, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and persons from LGBTQ2+ communities.

Applicants are strongly advised to consult resources and strategic guidance available through the Offices of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Indigenous Engagement and through their faculties and departments.

Application items

  1. Project description (not to exceed 3 pages) including a clearly defined clinical observation and need for funding. (The project description should emphasize the over-riding strategy of the grant proposal and downstream funding applications rather than the methodological approach).
  2. A description (one page maximum) of how the Grant activities will enhance the chances for success of the external funding request.
  3. Budget and budget justification including leveraged contributions (one page maximum).
  4. EDI statement (1/2 page maximum).
  5. Curriculum Vitae of the applicants (any format) and, if applicable, a team biosketch up to one page total length describing the profile and project role of each team member (i.e. Research support staff, PDFs, Graduate Students). Do NOT include team member CVs.

Please assemble your application items in the order as listed here. Application items must be typed single spaced, Times New Roman font size 11 or equivalent. Curriculum vitae may be any format and there is no restriction on career period. A single, digitally generated and text-searchable PDF attachment with all items included in order is required.

Submission Process

Applications will be submitted in PDF format as a single document by 11:59PM on the application deadline date to the snyderadmin@ucalgary.ca e-mail account.