Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Seed Funding Competition

Request for Applications 2021

Application Guidelines (PDF)
Letter of Intent (LOI) Template 

Background

Thanks to a transformative gift from the Temerty family, the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine has launched a partnership with the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA) focused on understanding the links between depression and dementia.

As a part of the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA initiative, we are announcing a Seed Fund Award of $70,000 (in total) for a project that advances innovative approaches to depression and dementia research.  Investigators are invited to submit innovative proposals that explore the interactions between depression and dementia, through collaborative research that engages basic and clinical researchers.

 

Timeline for 2021 Competition

Competition announcement: June 1, 2021

Letter of interest (LOI) deadline: June 15, 2021

Invitation to submit a full application: June 30, 2021

Deadline for full application: September 30, 2021

Notification of award: November 15, 2021

Release of funds: Annually, starting January 1, 2022

Research Progress Report: Annually after receipt of funds

 

Objective and Scope

  • The Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Seed Fund will support innovative ideas focused on the interactions between depression and dementia
  • Seed Funding is to provide support for investigators during the critical period between the initiation of research and the receipt of sustained funding
  • The funding will be for collaborative projects that bring investigators across TDRA sites.
  • The more novel and innovative is the collaboration the more competitive is the application.

 

Eligibility

Proposals will be deemed eligible based on the following:

  • Principal Investigators must have a scientific appointment at the Tanz Centre or one of the TDRA sites
  • Collaborative Projects: for projects to be considered collaborative, two Principal Investigators are required either from two different TDRA sites; or pre-clinical and clinical research
  • Women and members of under-represented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply
  • The research proposals being considered must be primarily focused on the interactions between depression and dementia.  Applications that do not have this primary focus will not be considered.
  • Successful applicants must agree to:
    • Have their application shared in confidence with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the TDRA for internal documentation and auditing purposes.
    • Provide progress reports to the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and present at an annual research day
    • Make any new data collected as a part of this application available to other researchers after an agreed-upon period of time.

 

Letter of Interest

Applicants are required to provide a Letter of Interest (LOI) using the LOI Application Form that includes the following:

  • Title of research proposal
  • Amount of Funding Requested
  • Name and email address of principal applicant
  • Names of co-applicants and collaborators for the proposed research
  • Description of the proposed project in plain language (maximum 300 words)

The LOI must be in minimum 11-point font with 1-inch margins.

The LOI is meant to give the Tanz-TDRA administrative group the scope of applications. All LOIs will be invited to submit a full application after they pass an eligibility and scope review.

The LOI must be emailed to tdra@utoronto.ca by 5pm on June 15, 2021.  You will be sent an email confirmation of receipt.  If you do not receive this email within 3 business days, please follow-up with tdra@utoronto.ca.

Applicants will be notified by email as to whether or not they are invited to proceed with submission of a full application.

Guidelines for Invited Full Application Submission

  • The research proposal should be novel and previously unfunded, or form a part of or addition to a funded study that is not currently not funded.
  • The completed application must be received no later than 5pm on September 30, 2021. The magnitude of the project should match the size of the award. It is anticipated that this funding will be used to produce data to support the application of future larger grants.
  • Documentation received after the submission deadline will not be submitted for review.

The applicant is responsible for ensuring completeness of the application. Incomplete applications or applications that exceed the page limits will not be considered.

The following are necessary for preparation of the research proposal:

  1. Cover page with: title of research proposal; amount of funding requested; names, degrees, and roles of the principal applicant and co-applicants; contact information of the principal applicant
  2. Summary of the proposed research in plain language (separate page, 300 word limit)
  3. Statement of Objectives; Specific Aims and Hypotheses (separate page, one-page limit)
  4. Research Strategy (start on new page, 2-page limit). The headings suggested include: Brief review of literature and background information
    Preliminary data (if available, but not required)
    Design and Methodology
    Power Analysis and Data Analytic Plan
    Anticipated Timeline
    Innovation, Impact, Future research plans
  5. References (separate page, one-page limit)
  6. Budget with justification, for each year of funding (separate page, one-page limit)
  7. Curriculum Vitae: NIH-style biosketch for the Principal Investigators
  • The application should be prepared using 11-point or larger typeface and one-inch margins.
  • Appendices and Supplements are not allowed. Any tables, figures, and/or diagrams should be included in the 2-page Research Strategy.

Submission of the Application

The grant application and the CVs of the principal applicants should be sent together by email to tdra@utoronto.ca by 5 pm on September 30, 2021. Applications that are late, incomplete, or exceed the page limit will not be considered.  Each should be a separate .pdf document, attached to the same email. You will be sent email confirmation of receipt.

Conditions of the Fund

Research Ethics Board Approval

  • The successful applicant must provide evidence of Research Ethics Board approval along with consent forms where human subjects are involved in the study, before the funds are released.
  • The successful applicant must provide evidence of University Animal Care Committee approval where animals are involved in the study, before the funds are released.
  • It is expected that the successful applicant will obtain REB or (when applicable) ACC approval within 3 months of the date of notification of the award

Financial Considerations

  • The amount of each grant is intended to cover costs associated with the study, including equipment (e.g. study drug/device costs), research personnel salary, technical support, and other miscellaneous costs (e.g., publications, presentations, and software licensing fees). The grant is not intended to provide salary support for the investigators.  No indirect costs are provided.
  • The funds must be fully spent within 3 years of being awarded.

Research and Grant Administration

  • The grant recipients must provide annual progress reports and a final report to the University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine summarizing work completed, including any publications, as well as an accounting for funds.

Publications

  • Grant recipients are expected to present their methods and findings at the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Annual Workshop and at least one peer-reviewed scientific meeting, and to submit their work for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • All publications and presentations that result from a project supported by the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Seed Fund should carry the following acknowledgment: “This research was supported by the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Seed Fund for Research on Depression and Dementia at the University of Toronto.”

Data Sharing Agreement

  • Grant recipients must agree that any data that are collected from a project supported by the Temerty-Tanz-TDRA Seed Fund should be available to be shared via the TDRA’s open science principles

Grant Recipient Responsibilities
The following responsibilities must be assumed and carried out by the grant recipient:

  • Review and execution of University of Toronto study grant agreement and any applicable local grant agreements
  • Research Ethics Board submission and approval (if applicable)
  • Health Canada Clinical Trial Application (CTA) submission and approval (if applicable)
  • Compliance with all applicable laws, regulations or guidelines (e.g. ICH-GCP, etc.)
  • Study-related activities such as data management, statistical analysis, medical writing, monitoring, etc.
  • Registration and posting of study results on http://prsinfo.clinicaltrials.gov (if applicable)
  • Safety reporting to Health Canada, the research ethics board (as per local requirements), and if a drug/device product is involved, the Product Safety/Pharmacovigilance group for the appropriate company.
  • Communication of progress updates to the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
  • Forward copy of abstract(s)/manuscripts(s) to the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and TDRA upon submission to meetings/journal.


Review Process and Criteria

All proposals will be reviewed and assessed by November 1, 2021. Research proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Significance

  • Scientific merit (validity, integrity, originality)
  • Contribution to advancement of scientific knowledge in the area of the depression and dementia (impact)
  • Novelty of collaboration

Feasibility

  • Feasibility of study design, methodology, analysis
  • Adequate power & sample size
  • Study budget & proposed timelines
  • Relevant training and experience of principal applicant and other investigators

Notification of Decision for Innovation Fund

Grant recipients will be notified of the decision regarding funding on November 1, 2021. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will receive a notification.