Stem Cell Therapies

TIMELINE

ASAP

Notice of Intent (NOI) registration OPEN

10am, 19 Feb 2020 (Wednesday)

Draft Grant Proposal due to RIC for strategic review. Early submission encouraged.

10am, 26 Feb 2020 (Wednesday)

Draft application due to RIC for compliance and eligibility check (including other supporting documents, if applicable)

5pm, 26 Feb 2020 (Wednesday)

Minimum Data due on RGMS

10am, 2 Mar 2020 (Monday)

Authority to Submit due to RIC

5pm, 2 Mar 2020 (Monday)

Final application submitted to RIC

5pm, 4 Mar 2020 (Wednesday)

Final application submitted to NHMRC

Overview

The objective of this Stem Cell Therapies grant opportunity is to prime teams working on ‘proof of concept’ stem cell research targeted towards a health care outcome. Funding for such priming programs will target two priority areas aimed at driving innovation and accelerating implementation into clinical practice.


Funding will be provided to the top two ranked applications in each of the priority areas. The remaining funding will be provided in rank order to the best ranked applications from across the two priority areas.


Priority 1: Stem cell therapies
Research teams within this priority area will use stem cells and their derivatives to develop novel cellular therapies and tissue engineering approaches for the treatment of a specific disease. This might include but is not restricted to tissue repair via the modulation of endogenous stem cells, harvest and delivery of stem cells or the generation of tissue / cells from a non-patient stem cell source. Such research could also encompass the application of gene-modified stem cells.

The expected outcome of the research funded under this priority is to accelerate the development of safe, effective and affordable stem cell-based therapies.


Priority 2: New treatments using human tissues made from stem cells
Research teams within this priority area will use stem cells and their derivatives to perform human disease modelling, including as models to identify underlying disease mechanisms, screen for new treatments or enhance preclinical studies.

The expected outcome of the research funded under this priority is to generate new treatments using human tissues made from stem cells.

Through this grant opportunity, funding can be provided for research employing:

  • tissue stem cells (interpreted to include any stem/progenitor cells present in tissues of the postnatal human that play a role in tissue repair and homeostasis)
  • pluripotent stem cells (encompasses human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Applications will focus on derivatives of these stem cell types)
  • tumour stem cells (defined as those cell types within a cancer able to initiate a tumour and/or drive ongoing tumour growth or regression post treatment).


To be competitive for funding, applicants must propose to conduct research that delivers against the above objectives. For both priorities, teams should be able to articulate their final target product / therapy and have scoped a feasible path to market with the research being proposed representing a critical proof of concept to establish long term feasibility. This might include but is not restricted to critical pre-clinical data, ‘first in man’ Phase 0 /Phase 1 studies, establishment of a stem cell-based disease model / screen or validation of a target able to act on a stem cell for the purposes of therapy or disease modelling. Applicants must also articulate:

  • the therapeutic product or intervention that is the focus of the research
  • the patient groups expected to benefit from the product or intervention
  • the groups (health professionals, commercial partners etc) that will be required to implement the product or intervention in clinical practice in the long term
  • their capacity to build the team required to translate the product or intervention into clinical practice in the long term.

Funding

The Australian Government has announced a total of $150 million for the Stem Cell Therapies Mission. For this grant opportunity, up to $6 million of funding is available in 2019-20. Minimum and maximum amounts of funding that can be requested for each grant are $250,000 and $1 million total, respectively.


Funding will be provided to the top two ranked applications in each of the priority areas. The remaining funding will be provided in rank order to the best ranked applications from across the two priority areas.

The maximum grant period is two years.

2019-202020-212021-22
$6.0m NilNil

Eligibility

- A person must not be named as a Chief Investigator (CI) on more than one application submitted to this grant opportunity.

- You are not eligible if your research proposal was submitted to the MRFF International Clinical Trial Collaboration (ICTC) Program and it is currently being assessed, or is included in the ICTC Merit List. Chief Investigators on an application submitted to the ICTC Program that is currently being assessed or is included in the ICTC Merit List are eligible to submit a different research proposal to this grant opportunity.

- The proposed research should not duplicate research previously or currently being undertaken. The NHMRC may compare the research proposed in grant applications with grants previously or currently funded by the MRFF, NHMRC or other agencies (e.g. Australian Research Council) and published research (see also section 4.7 – Other ineligible expenditure)

How to apply

  1. Notice of Intent: Please register your Notice of Intent if you are considering applying for the this grant opportunity.  RIC-MRFF team will then contact each applicant with further information.
  2. Update RGMS Profile: Each CI must obtain access to RGMS and update profile information (see RGMS information)
  3. Review documentation: Review the grant guidelines and category descriptors available below and at Grant Connect.
  4. Create and Complete the application:  Log in to RGMS select "MRFF - Research Grant" from Initiatives and then select the relevant scheme from Round and complete the application.
  5. Submit “Review Ready” application to RIC: Submit application to RIC within the RIC internal submission period for review.
  6. Complete application: After taking feedback from the RIC team into consideration, complete the application in RGMS. It is suggested advice is sought from colleagues, Faculty Mentors, etc. before finalising the application.
  7. Submit the UoM Authority to Submit Form:
  8. This form must be submitted to RIC electronically by the final internal closing date. This form should include:

    • Complete the compliance and eligibility section
    • Signature of all CIs and AIs
    • Signature of Head of Department of CIA

    Electronic signatures and email consent are permitted.

    This is an NHMRC requirement and the application cannot be submitted to NHMRC until received.

  9. Final Submission:
    • On the final internal closing date, the applicant must:
    • Submit finalised application by clicking ‘Submit to RAO’ in RGMS
    • Email RIC enquiries-mrff@unimelb.edu.au as well as a scanned, signed Authority to Submit form.
    • Should you require further information please contact Alvin Wong on 83449352 or via email
  10. RIC will submit the application: Once the application has been submitted to NHMRC, you will receive an email from RIC confirming submission.

Supporting documents

NHMRC Documents

Grant Guidelines

Assessment Criteria

Rating Scale for Overall Value and Risk

Minimum Data

RIC Documents

Summary and Tips

Grant Proposal Template (Including Assessment Criteria)

Authority to Submit Form

Wording for written consent

Contacts

MRFF questions and primary email
enquiries-mrff@unimelb.edu.au

Key Contacts

Contact
Alvin Wong and Catherine Nobes
Email
enquiries-mrff@unimelb.edu.au
Phone
T: Alvin - +61 3 8344 9352; Catherine - +61 3 8344 1471