A major limiting factor in discovering new insights into the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis is the lack of a viable disease model. FSR has identified research within a Sarcoidosis Disease Model as one of the critical investments of our focus, and has designated significant funding toward this initiative. In a two-phase plan, FSR is funding early stage research in this area. The FSR Model Grant opportunity will serve to ignite additional research and will help bridge funding for much-needed larger investments into the disease model space from industry, academia, and venture philanthropy.
This initial grant’s Request For Applications (RFA) was opened in Fall 2016, and selections for funding will begin in Spring 2017. The grant amount will be awarded to one or more applicants totaling $450,000 for a two-year project. FSR will then strategizing to fund another $1.5MM -plus for a continuation phase of the above grant with the goal of the resulting research to stimulate interest from those with “deeper pockets”.
Below is the initial RFA (now closed):
Request for Applications – “Model Development for Sarcoidosis”
A major limiting factor in discovering new insights into the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis is the lack of a viable disease model. The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) presents a funding opportunity via research grant applications from institutions/organizations that propose to develop, characterize or improve models for sarcoidosis research purposes. This opportunity will consider studies using animal, cell or computer-based models. Preliminary data are helpful but grantor is willing to accept less substantiated, higher risk projects.
FSR will fund investigator-inititated proposal(s) on early research in the development of a model for sarcoidosis. This RFA exists as an open competition process. FSR will award up to three (3) two-year grant awards at up to $75,000 per year. The number of awards will depend on funding availability and scientific merit.
- The award will be available to researchers in any nation. Collaborators may be engaged, preferably including a multi-disciplinary approach (e.g., immunologists, cell biologists, microbiologists, sarcoidosis experts).
- Projects must include a clear scale up plan for continued larger research in area, including potential partnerships in research and funding for future studies.
- The funding scenarios will depend on successful applicants. Awardees will be required to produce progress reports that demonstrate appropriate activity or progress to secure the second year of funding. We expect that the results will be presented in the medical literature and at society meetings as appropriate.
- No indirect costs are included in the award.
Grantor recognizes that, while it is unlikely that any one model will achieve ALL the following criteria, successful applicants will describe how their model addresses some of them. The focus of the proposal should discuss how the proposed model fulfills the following criteria:
- Is it a cellular, animal–based or in silico sarcoidosis model?
- How is the model relevant to the clinical features of sarcoidosis?
- Is the model capable of recapitulating major pathophysiologic components of disease? Some considerations include: the known immunology of granuloma formation, maintenance, and resolution; antigen-specific immunity; multisystem involvement; potential for persistence versus spontaneous resolution; potential to develop fibrotic tissue responses.
- How can the model be manipulated to test the relevance of novel pathways for therapeutic targets?
- Can the model be used to study key hypotheses in the sarcoidosis field, such as the importance of genetic polymorphisms, innate immunity, T-cell biology, or specific etiologic triggers? Investigators may choose to focus on other scientific objectives instead, provided the rationale for their importance is described.
- What is the likelihood that the proposal will result in a strong application for downstream funding?
- What is the track record of investigator team? In the case of junior faculty, what is the plan to ensure adequate mentorship?
- Is there Inclusion of new perspectives and/or new people in the sarcoidosis research space?
- Is there institutional support for the application? (a letter from the applicant’s chair is required).
Interested parties (individuals or groups) should apply for this grant opportunity by formulating a concise proposal. The proposal should:
- Be no more than five pages in length (11 point Arial font, 1.0 inch margins); up to three relevant publications may be included as appendices.
- The proposal should include sections outlining the hypothesis/specific aims, significance/innovation, preliminary data (if applicable, but not necessary), research plan including expected results and alternate approaches, and a plan for subsequent investigations.
- Detail the investigator(s) and their applicable research experiences/qualifications;
- Describe the model;
- Outline what aspects of sarcoidosis pathobiology will be reproduced by the model and which will not;
- Describe how the system can be perturbed to elucidate mechanisms of sarcoidosis;
- Note the ability of the model to easily be adapted to exploring genes, pathways, and/or therapeutic targets;
- Include an NIH-style biosketch for all key personnel at the site (separate from the five-page narrative).
- Include a detailed two-year budget.
- A 1-2 paragraph letter of intent is due by December 15, 2016.
- Please send applications in PDF format electronically to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be received by midnight CST on March 1, 2017.
- The funding period will begin no later than June 1, 2017.