FAPESP and John E. Fogarty International Center - Call for Proposals 2013

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY - FAPESP CALL FOR PROPOSALS

FAPESP AND JOHN E. FOGARTY INTERNATIONAL CENTER (FIC) OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH) COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

The São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP announces this Call for Research Proposals and invites researchers associated to Higher Education and Research Organizations in the State of São Paulo, Brazil to submit research proposals under the Scientific Cooperation Agreement between FAPESP and the John E. Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), United States of America (USA).

This Call for Proposals is issued in coordination with the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) from the FIC-NIH (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TW-13-001.html).

Applications must be collaborations between researchers in the USA and in the State of São Paulo, Brazil.

1. Introduction

FAPESP and FIC/NIH aim at enhancing biomedical and behavioral research and research training cooperation between researchers in Brazil and in the United States.

Both organizations recognize the importance of supporting joint research activities in the pursuit of common scientific goals related to biodiversity exploration for potential applications in health, and thus intend to strengthen cooperation, initially, through the FIC’s International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) program.

Through this call FAPESP and FIC/NIH act on their mutual interest in exploring joint efforts to foster research on collections-based exploration of bioactive small molecules, peptides, and metabolic pathways derived from diverse plants, marine organisms, and microbes to identify potential lead candidates for drug development, which may contribute to providing a scientific basis for the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.

2. Research Themes

Applicants must propose an interdisciplinary research program to explore and characterize biological diversity that integrates all of the themes described below. However, among these objectives, exploration/discovery of human health therapeutics is the leading edge of any successful ICBG and excellence in this area will be a key consideration in application review. See the FIC/NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement Section I for additional details on each of these themes.

2.1 Discover and promote development of plants, animals, and microorganisms and their molecular constituents toward human health therapeutic agents.

Therapeutic targets: Each ICBG will seek to discover potential therapeutic agents in: 1) disease areas of relevance to both U.S. and Brazilian populations, and 2) in disease areas of particular relevance to Brazil. At least three therapeutic areas (including one or more assays in each area) are required. Assays: The proposed set of bioassays and lead development strategies should include state-of-the-art molecular, genetic, phenotypic, and biochemical approaches, as well as some assays that employ technologies appropriate to each participating institution.

Collections: Collections must be restricted to the biodiversity of Brazil.

Focal organisms for exploration: Collections should emphasize microbial and marine source organisms. Microbial organisms include both marine and terrestrial microbial communities and, where appropriate, their host organisms, and might include plant endophytes, rhizosphere communities, and invertebrate symbionts among others. Other classes of organisms may be considered if they are strongly justified as offering opportunities for discovery of novel and useful bioactive molecules.

2.2 Undertake biodiversity analysis, and promote conservation and bio-resource planning and policy.

The discovery research outlined above should be integrated into a strategy that advances conservation and bioresource use planning, for example by engaging local government or non-governmental organizations in planning the creation of new protected areas or in strengthening the scientific basis for management of existing protected areas. Alternatively, as a component of a local Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) agreement, collection and research activities of the ICBG project may be used to help host communities derive income from their biological resources without damaging the resource base. Except in the context of an ABS agreement and/or as well integrated with the other activities of the ICBG, direct conservation-development projects should not be a major component of the proposed ICBG project and are best achieved by collaboration with and leveraging investments of other organizations.

2.3 Train U.S. and Brazilian research scientists and transfer research tools related to the scope of work of this Call for Proposals among collaborating research institutions in Brazil and the USA;

Research training supported through this award may take place in Brazil or in the United States and may be linked to degree-earning programs. Training may include, but is not limited to: i) practical and applied short-term courses or workshops for professionals or technicians; ii) course work, laboratory, or field training in essential research skills for technical assistants, graduate degree candidates, or professionals; and iii) fellowships for one or more years for degree candidates or post-doctoral trainees to conduct research related to the goals of the Group. Training costs and plans must be specified in the text of the application and in the application's budget request.

2.4 Establish models for ethical and practical scientific collaboration focused on non-human genetic resources.

All collaborative activities undertaken under this award should be governed by formal, mutually developed agreements (for guidance in formulating these agreements, see the NIH FOA Section VI.2: “Principles for Accessing Genetic Resources”.

2.5 Minimum Composition of an International Cooperative Biodiversity Group

i) A Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who is likely to also head an Associate Program. There should be one PI from the State of Sao Paulo and one PI from the USA. The US PI will be the “contact” PI for the the submission to NIH. The PI from the State of Sao Paulo will be the contact PI for the submission to FAPESP.

ii) Two or more Associate Programs, each headed by an Associate Program Leader, in diverse scientific disciplines. At least one of the Associate Programs must be located in the State of Sao Paulo and directed by a scientist in an institution in the State of Sao Paulo. At least one Associate Program must be located in the US and led by a scientist from a US institution.

3. Funding

3.1. The applicants shall apply for funding to their respective funding agencies. Researchers from the U.S.A. must follow the NIH guidelines and researchers from the State of São Paulo, the FAPESP guidelines outlined by this document.

3.2. For each approved research project, NIH will assume the funding of researchers from the USA and FAPESP will assume the funding of the research teams from Sao Paulo State, Brazil. This will be done in all cases according to the corresponding national rules, regulations and budget availability. The funding is up to a combined total annual budget of of US $700,000 direct costs per proposal (exclusive of institutional overhead costs negotiated by the respective agencies).

3.3. Approximately 1-2 joint NIH-FAPESP awards may be funded. The exact number of awards will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds.

3.4 NIH award Information: NIH FOA Section II.

4. Eligibility criteria

4.1 For the applicant PI in the State of São Paulo, the collaborative proposal must be submitted to FAPESP as a Thematic Projects Research Award, following all the established rules and procedures (available at www.fapesp.br/176).

4.1.1 Please note that for Thematic Project Awards there is a qualification phase (“enquadramento”) upon submission. Researchers who already are PIs in an ongoing Thematic Project must consult FAPESP before initiating the preparation of a joint proposal.

4.2 The maximum project duration is 60 months, non-extendable.

4.3 Applicants from the State of São Paulo must satisfy the eligibility criteria of FAPESP available at www.fapesp.br/176#4599 for a Thematic Projects Research Award.

4.4 Only the applicants from the State of São Paulo considered eligible by FAPESP will have their proposals analyzed for this joint funding opportunity. However, applicants that do not qualify may still participate in applications submitted to NIH by their US collaborators through the NIH FOA.

4.5 Applicants from the U.S.A. must satisfy the eligibility criteria, as described in NIH FOA Section III.

5 Review of applications

By FAPESP:

a) The process of analysis, qualification and selection of the proposals received by FAPESP will follow FAPESP procedures, using peer reviews and analysis by the FAPESP Area and Coordinating Panels. Further information on the review process is available at www.fapesp.br/en/FAPESP_peer_review_20111012.pdf.

b) The proposals will be pre-qualified and analyzed by way of a competitive process, which will evaluate the scientific merit and relevance of the project and the academic excellence of the proposing teams.

c) Proposals non-compliant with the terms of this Call will be considered “not qualified”.

By NIH: See NIH FOA Section V.

6 Submission of proposals

6.1. The application shall include a Joint Research Project written by 2 (two) applicants, one from the USA and one from the State of São Paulo. For the NIH submission, these will be designated as “Multiple Principal Investigators (MPIs)”.

6.2. The Joint Research Project shall involve a clear description of the planned research collaboration (distribution of work and methods of implementation) and the added-value to be expected from the collaboration. The Joint Research Project shall include both a joint budget and separate budgets for the partners.

6.3. The Joint Research Project composing the Proposal, described in Section 7.2.f of this Call for Proposals must be in the form described in the NIH FOA and be written jointly by the PI in State of São Paulo and the PI in the U.S.A. Page limitations will depend on the number of Associate Programs, as described in the NIH FOA (Section IV.2.).

6.4. Proposals are composed by:

a) A Joint Research Project. This document replaces the “Projeto de Pesquisa” specified in item 8.f of FAPESP’s rules for Thematic Projects Research Grant (www.fapesp.br/176#4604).

b) The forms and additional documents requested by each funding agency (FAPESP and NIH).

6.5. The joint proposal submitted to the NIH will have a different format (see 7.4, below). However, the Joint Research Project shall form the core of each proposal submission and should outline identical components and activities for the proposed ICBG. U.S. applicants must review the entire NIH Request for Applications at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TW-13-001.html.

6.6. One version of the Joint Research Project must be submitted to FAPESP by the Principal Investigator from the State of São Paulo in the format described in this Call. The joint proposal in NIH format must be submitted to the NIH by the Principal Investigator from the US. Both proposals must be submitted before the deadline specified in Section 8.

6.7 For NIH electronic submission, the primary collaborating institution(s) in the State of Sao Paulo (the institution of the Sao Paulo Principal Investigator and any institution with an Associate Program Leader) must have a DUNS number and an institutional eRA Commons registration, and the Sao Paulo PI must have an eRA commons identification number. These registrations take time and applicants are encouraged to look into these registrations as soon as possible. See NIH FOA Section III.1. “Required Registrations” or contact the US program officer, below, for more information.

6.8. Proposals not received by all parties before the deadline or not in conformity to the specifications herein will not be reviewed.

6.9. Only the proposals selected by FAPESP and NIH will be funded.

7 Submission conditions specific to FAPESP

7.1. Submission to FAPESP will follow the usual rules for the FAPESP Thematic Projects Award.

7.7.1 Researchers with ongoing Thematic Projects Awards must consult FAPESP before initiating the preparation of a joint proposal.

7.2 The proposal must be submitted in English following all the established rules and procedures available at www.fapesp.br/176.

a) A Joint Research Project (referred to in section 6) written in English with page limitations as described in the NIH FOA for the “Research Strategy/Program Plan” (see NIH FOA section IV.2.) including:

  • a clear description of the planned research collaboration (distribution of work and methods of implementation) and responsibilities of both partners;
  • a description of the added value to be expected from the collaboration;
  • a joint budget for the project and separate budgets for the partners;
  • a description of the significance of the project for researcher training and the development of the research environment.

b) If the proposal includes requests for fellowships, a work plan for each fellowship is mandatory (www.fapesp.br/2615)

7.3 All proposals must be sent by mail, to FAPESP, to the following address:

Rua Pio XI, 1500, Alto da Lapa, CEP 05468-901 – São Paulo/SP, with “Chamada FAPESP/NIH - 2013” written on the envelope.

7.4 NIH proposals must be submitted electronically. Please consult submission conditions specific to NIH, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-TW-13-001.html#_Section_IV._Application_1.

8 Timeline

EVENT

Deadlines

Call announcement

September 27, 2013

Last day of proposal submission

December 11, 2013

Announcement of the selected proposals

by July, 2014

9 Additional information