Centre of Excellence for Research in Target Discovery
A GSK-FAPESP Engineering Research Centre
Call for Research Proposals 2014
One of the challenges for the advance of knowledge is the complexity of current scientific and technological problems. Tackling these problems often requires more than the 2 - 5 years support offered normally by FAPESP in its Regular Research Grants or Thematic Projects. Long time funding and, in many cases, interdisciplinary approaches permit the successful addressing of complex problems.
While dealing with these challenges requires bold approaches, many times the identification of the most rewarding problems requires the association with business or government entities that are directly connected to the market of society.
This initiative expands the aims of the FAPESP CEPID program, adding a component of research collaboration with industry since the inception of the proposals, thus bringing in the approach of FAPESP's Research Partnership for Technological Innovation (PITE) program.
The most important feature of a research project like a Research Centre as part of FAPESP’s Engineering Research Centres (ERC) Program is the multiplicity of their missions. At the base of its activities, its core mission is to establish a World-Class Research Centre throughout its existence and, in addition, develop effective means of Technology Transfer, Education and Dissemination of Knowledge.
The complexity of the execution of a research project as the ERC requires long-term funding and autonomous use of funds. It also requires a strong institutional connection to the co-funding partner and adequate means of rigorous follow-up and assessment of the Centre’s performance.
2. The Centre of Excellence for Research in Target Discovery
The Research Plan of the selected Research Centre will include internationally competitive research in the topics listed in section 3 to establish a Centre of Excellence for Research in Target Discovery, as a part of FAPESP’s Engineering Research Centres Program. The plan must explore to the maximum extent possible the synergies and complementarities among the topics listed.
In broader terms, the research centre is expected to demonstrate a substantial contribution to each of the following goals:
a) Perform world-class science and research on the cutting edge of either fundamental or applied knowledge, seeking economic and social impact through innovation.
b) Transfer of knowledge to GSK and to society, including corporate and/or non-governmental and/or public sectors. Some examples of valuable achievements towards this objective are:
b.1) Carrying out projects in partnership with governmental or non-governmental agencies that are responsible for public policies.
b.2) Start-up of small businesses that incorporate results of research developed by the Centre in their products or services. These small businesses may benefit from the Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE) at FAPESP.
c) Interacting with the educational system, especially at the primary and secondary levels, for example, through the FAPESP Public Education Research Program.
All the aforementioned activities and goals of the Research Centres stem from the performance of internationally competitive research, following the best global excellence benchmarks.
2.1 Composition of the Research Centre team
A determining factor to the success of a Centre is the existence of a team with balanced composition of co-Principal Investigators, Associate Investigators, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctorate Researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and technical support personnel, supported by top quality administrative and management services, provided by both the research project and the supporting company.
Not only should a Research Centre have world-class excellence, but it should also be justified by each of the following reasons:
a) The scale, depth and duration of the proposed research activities.
b) The need for continuous interaction between team members to achieve scientific and/or technological goals, transferring and diffusing knowledge.
The dimensions, structure, and operation of each Centre should be determined based on the activities to be carried out regarding research, dissemination and transfer of knowledge. In particular, the Centre should be hosted by one Institution in the State of São Paulo. The association with other institutions in the State of São Paulo will be considered to enhance the value of the proposal and in some cases, may be essential to make the proposal stronger.
It is expected to have at least 15 scientists from the following expertise areas: Cell Biologists, Computational Biologists-chemists, Histologists, Molecular biologists, Microbial Geneticists.
The Centre shall have one clear defined common scientific and technological focus that articulates all research activities to be developed. It must be understood that this is not an institutional support program and, therefore, research divisions, departments, units and institutions will not be supported as such. Funding of Centre activities will be long term, limited to 10 years, with regular assessments and any consequences of these assessments throughout this period. Funds allocated may be used with a degree of autonomy. However, FAPESP and GSK will maintain permanent supervision with periodic evaluations of Centre activities.
The Centre of Excellence for Research in Target Discovery shall be directed by an Executive Committee (EC) composed of a Director (Principal Investigator), a Deputy Director, a Coordinator of Education and Dissemination of Knowledge, and a Technology Transfer Coordinator. The EC shall be supported by a staff of managers, professionals to be hired by the Host Institutions who should carry out and supervise all management and administrative tasks necessary for the operation of the Centre.
2.1.1 Participation of GSK Scientists and Engineers
Participation of GSK in the activities of the Research Centre, including the appointment of GSK’s scientists or technicians to participate in the Centre’s activities, is essential and will be discussed with the Principal Investigator and the Host Institution after the review process. This GSK expert (from UK or US) will be present at the Centre and will contribute scientifically and operationally including training of members of the Centre in the drug discovery process.
The researcher indicated by GSK will have the prerogatives of a visiting researcher at the host institution, and will act as the Deputy Director of the Centre. This procedure allows for:
a) Ensuring that groups in university and research institutions in the State of São Paulo compete on an equal basis;
b) Guaranteeing a high level of interaction between the Centre and GSK.
2.2 International Advisory Board
The Research Centre will establish an International Advisory Board (IAB) made up of renowned scientists in the Centre’s field of focus. The IAB should include at least two foreign scientists who are active in the cutting edge of the knowledge in their areas. FAPESP expects the IAB to perform the main role of advising the operation of the Centre, guiding the team regarding new opportunities for research, new directions, aiming at increasing its international competitiveness. The IAB should not be considered as a substitute to the FAPESP evaluation system, which will be implemented solely by FAPESP and GSK. The IAB must be convened by the Centre Executive Board at least once a year. After every IAB meeting there will be a scheduled meeting with FAPESP and GSK representatives.
The proposals for this Call for Research Proposals must include a proposal for the academic organization and management systems of the Centre, which unequivocally demonstrates the possibility of reaching the established objectives.
2.3 Topics to be Covered in the Research Plan
The themes of interest shared by GSK and FAPESP for this Call for Research Proposals are listed below. Please see novel approaches around the themes of research below are welcome.
1. Discovery and validation of novel molecular targets for medical intervention focused in Respiratory, Metabolic, Immunology-Inflammation, Oncology and Antibacterial-Antiviral Diseases.
2. Discovery of novel targets and hypotheses based on the understanding and characterization of new molecular pathways based on the following key elements:
a. Availability and access to the collection of Brazilian natural resources.
b. Availability and/or development of appropriate cellular biological assays reflecting disease in order for natural products to be tested. (Cell Biologists).
c. Capability to perform biological assays (Cell Biologists).
d. Capability in Molecular and computational Biology technologies including DNA sequencing, gene cloning and expression, microbial genetics, histology, computational biology, computational chemistry, crystallography, proteomics, transcriptomics and other related disciplines in order to characterise new pathways and targets. (Molecular Biologists, Microbial Geneticists, Computational Biologists). Phenotypic screening based on testing natural resources and/or other novel methodologies will be key in the identification of new molecular pathways and the key target proteins associated with disease state.
Selected targets will be developed further by collaboration between GSK and the Centre.
a) Research Centre: as a part of FAPESP’s ERC Program, is a complex and long-term project regarding to develop world-class research that lead to the consolidation of a Research Centre.
b) Principal Investigator (PI): is the researcher responsible for preparing and submitting the Proposal and for the scientific and administrative coordination of the Project if approved by FAPESP and GSK. The PI should have the explicit endorsement of the Host Institutions and the other associated institutions, if this is the case. At a Research Centre as part of FAPESP’s ERC Program, the PI is the Centre Director.
c) Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): is a team researcher, proposed by the PI and approved by FAPESP and GSK. All co-PIs must have an excellent research background, their participation must be clearly specified in the Research Project, and this participation must be essential to the development of this Research Project. The Co-PIs may be entitled to using FAPESP’s Complementary Benefits.
c.1) The PI is necessarily one of the project's Co-Principal Investigators.
c.2) The centre may be more than one Co-Principal Investigator in addition to the Principal Investigator.
d) Associate Investigator (AI): team researchers, assigned by the Co-Principal Investigator and approved by FAPESP and GSK, who are responsible for contributing to well-defined parts of the Research Project.
e) Host Institution: the institution hosting the Project and to which the PI is connected. This connection is not necessarily of employment, but in any case, it is necessary that a formal connection be established in a manner considered satisfactory by FAPESP and GSK regarding the commitments of the Principal Investigator and the Host Institution to the Project. The Host Institution should provide institutional support to the storing and accessing material and equipment for the project researchers.
3.1 Requirements for the PI and the co-PI's
a) A PhD degree or equivalent qualification.
b) A formal connection with a research institution in the state of São Paulo.
b.1) When the connection is not employment-based, a copy of the document stating the formal bond between the PI and/or Co-PIs and the institution will be mandatory.
c) Have proven substantial scientific or technological production and leadership in large and bold research projects.
d) Have proven experience and competence in the area in which the Project is inserted, demonstrated by:
d.1) Quality, regularity and impact of researcher’s scientific and technological production.
d.2) Training of researchers at the graduate level.
d.3) Experience with scientific exchange and execution of research projects in collaboration with researchers from institutions in Brazil and in other countries.
d.4) Ability to form research groups with results recognized by the scientific community.
4. Necessary Conditions to Create a Centre
Minimal essential conditions to justify a Centre are:
a) Research Plan: the Proposal for a Centre should have as a core an advanced and original research plan that is highly competitive both nationally and internationally.
b) Host Institution: the institution hosting the Research Centre and to which the PI is connected. This connection may not necessarily be through employment, but it must be formal in nature and appropriate to the responsibilities and commitments of the PI and the Host Institution.
c) The formal commitment from the Host Institution(s) must include:
c.1) A detailed description of the institutional contribution as well as schedules for disbursement and/or hiring of personnel. In this official document, there should be details on contributions regarding the following:
c.1.i) Physical space and infrastructure: the physical area set aside for the Centre should not only provide for perfect functioning of activities related to research, innovation and diffusion, but also permanent interaction among its researchers. When this does not fully exist, the proposal must include a commitment to build it and timeline for its construction.
c.1.ii) Personnel assigned to the proper administration and management of the Project,
c.1.iii) Technical support staff;
c.2) The institutions involved in the Centre must prepare a single document listing all institutional commitments signed by the highest-level administration of each the Institutions.
d) Centre Director, who is also the PI, and Team: the experiences of the ERCs and similar Centres in other countries have shown that the success of implementing the Centres is highly dependent on the appropriate choice of its Director and Team of Researchers.
d.1) The Centre Director, a researcher with a solid background of internationally competitive scientific achievements in the area of the Centre, should also have proven leadership and management abilities to develop large-scale projects.
d.2) The PI and Co-PIs must stand out for their excellence. They must be researchers who have produced scientific work of international impact and have shown competence for cooperative research within the Centre's focal theme. The research team is expected to include some young researchers with proven potential for research. The composition of the team must reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the Research Project.
d.2.i) The Proposal for the Centre may be accompanied by requests for Research Grants – Young Investigator prepared according to FAPESP standards for the modality, which will be analysed along with the Proposal for the Centre.
d.3) There may be Researchers in other countries or other States of Brazil taking part in the research team provided they have proven excellence in research. In this case, the budget proposed may provide funds for transportation of these researchers to the Host Institution and for their maintenance, within the guidelines of the Visiting Research Award from FAPESP.
e) The Centre must have an Education and Knowledge Dissemination Coordinator and a Technology Transfer Coordinator.
e.1) The Education and Knowledge Dissemination Coordinator should be experienced in developing projects in this area and will be assisted by a Manager of Education and Dissemination of Knowledge, who must be hired by the Host Institution.
e.2) The Technology Transfer Coordinator should be a researcher experienced in Technology Management who will be assisted by a Technology Transfer Manager, who should be hired by the Host Institution.
f) The PI and co-PIs must demonstrate a substantial time and dedication to the Centre activities.
f.1) The PI and Co-PIs are expected to dedicate, at least, 20 hours per week to activities in the Centre.
f.2) Other team members may be less dedicated, if justifiable and compatible with their duties on the project.
g) Agreements, joint projects or collaborations established or under negotiation with internationally recognized foreign Centres, departments or research institutes with research focus on the area of the Research Centre are non-exclusive conditions that can make the proposal more competitive. When they are not included in the proposal, the selected Research Centre should establish such collaborations in the first two years of its operation.
5. Support Offered by FAPESP and GSK
a) For the Centres selected, funding will initially be awarded for a 2 years period, which may be renewed, by decision of the Joint FAPESP-GSK Steering Committee, at the end of the 2nd, 4th, and 7th years wide ranging assessments that may include visits to the Centre. Continuation of funding is dependent on these assessments. In any event, after ten years, FAPESP and GSK will not have any commitment to maintain the Centre.
b) Funding from FAPESP and GSK is not expected to be the sole and exclusive support of the Centre – within the Project there should be documentation of total necessary budgeting for the operation of the Centre and the sources, including FAPESP and GSK, which will contribute to each item.
c) A significant factor in providing value to the Proposal during the selection process is the existence of funding from sources beyond FAPESP, GSK and the Host Institution, provided they are aimed at objectives that are in line with the mission of the Centre, as defined in the Project submitted to FAPESP and GSK.
d) Funding from FAPESP and GSK may be complemented by other sources if the FAPESP-GSK Joint Steering Committee approves the contributions in advance.
e) The total economic and financial support from FAPESP and GSK to the Centre will not be larger than US$ 1.500.000,00 annually for any year, considering both Parties contribution; included in this total are the values ascribed to the Overhead for Direct Infrastructure Costs for the Project (see section 2.2 of Annex I) and the overheads for any awarded fellowships.
5.1 Items that may be funded by FAPESP
FAPESP is forbidden by law to support administrative activities. For this reason, support for all administrative activities as an institutional contribution will be essential to making the creation of a Centre feasible.
Items that may be funded by FAPESP are: fellowships (at scientific initiation, technical training, master, doctorate, post-doctorate levels), visiting researcher grants, organization of work meetings, research equipment, consumables, third-party services, per diem allowances for travel, transportation, living expense aids to visiting researchers. Funding may cover civil construction of research infrastructure to remodel or adapt already existing structures (considering no increase in built area), which are essential to the appropriate execution of the Research Project. Further information on Fundable Items is available at Annex I.
5.2 Items that may be funded by GSK
Items that may be funded with funds requested to GSK are:
a) Capital goods or equipment, necessary to the Research Project, provided they stay under the ownership of Institutions of the public or private Higher Education and Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo, after the completion of the project;
b) Fellowship for under graduate, Masters, Doctorate students and Post-Doctorate researchers, with values at least equal to the fellowships FAPESP provides for these arrangements, including contingency funds;
c) Acquisition of consumables, travel expenses and services where directly necessary to the Research Project;
d) Expenditures directed to the infrastructure necessary to the Research Project;
e) Funds to supplement wages of faculty or researchers employed by institutions of Higher Education and Research that host the project;
f) Funds for hiring, for the period of the project, researchers and technical support needed for research work associated with the project;
g) Other items as specifically approved by FAPESP.
a) There may be no additional salary payments of any nature using FAPESP funds.
b) The law also prohibits FAPESP from supporting administrative activities of any kind. These activities, necessary for the success of the Centre, should be fully guaranteed by the Host Institutions, with complementary funds coming from any other sources being well documented.
c) FAPESP funds may not be used to finance neither construction of new buildings nor of annexes to already existing buildings.
5.4 Required Institutional Support
As already mentioned, FAPESP is forbidden by law to support administrative activities and paying salaries. For this reason, support for all administrative activities (procurement, management, secretary services, and others) and payment of research support personnel as an institutional contribution will be essential to the feasibility of creating a Centre. Thus, guaranteeing administrative infrastructure is an essential part of the institutional contribution.
Moreover, the Host Institution must ensure:
a) Personnel and services for administration and management, including at least:
a.1) One Executive Manager of the Centre.
a.2) One Technology Transfer Manager.
a.3) One Education and Knowledge Dissemination Manager.
a.4) All technical personnel needed for perfect support of research and other activities.
a.5) Plan for admitting new researchers/professors: item not required, but adds significant value to the proposal.
b) Total technical support and facilities for the Centre.
c) Administrative support for procurement, scheduling, accounting, and all other administrative tasks needed for successful functioning of a Centre of the intended size.
All institutional contributions must be described and quantified in physical data and financial and economic numbers: earmarking, salaries for researchers and support personnel, facilities (layout of the area to be occupied by the Centre), equipment and infrastructure to which the Centre will have access (e.g. communication, computer network, support workshops, administrative resources). The intensity of the institutional support considered necessary and approved by FAPESP will be an important item in FAPESP assessment of the proposals.
5.5 Supervision of the Centre
The activities at each Centre will be assessed annually via the Progress Reports. At the end of the second, fourth, and seventh years, wide-ranging assessments that may include visits will be carried out. The results of these assessments will be decisive to continued support from GSK and FAPESP.
a) If the Centre is not approved in the 2nd year assessment, it will have 6 more months of reduced support in order to deactivate.
b) If the Centre is approved in the 2nd year, it will have its support renewed for 2 more years.
c) If the Centre is not approved in the 4th year assessment or in any of the subsequent assessments the Centre will have one additional year of reduced support to deactivate or find new sources of funding.
d) The maximum support time for the Centre is 10 years.
5.6 Program Funding
FAPESP and GSK will, each one, reserve up to US$ 750,000.00 annually to implement the program, with up to 1 proposal expected to be selected.
6. Presentation of Proposals
All proposals will be internationally peer reviewed; hence, they must be presented in ENGLISH.
IMPORTANT: all appropriate forms to the submission of the proposal can be found at www.fapesp.br/gsk/forms.
During the review process, the reviewer may consult the Lattes CVs of the PI, Co-PIs and other members of the scientific team; therefore, the Lattes CVs must be updated.
The proposal must be submitted by the PI (Centre Director if the proposal is approved), with the endorsement of the appropriate institutional directors (for example, at a State University there should be an endorsement from the Unit Director, the Dean of Research, and the University President), and of the Co-PIs. The proposals must contain:
Identification on Cover Sheet
PI, name of the Centre, name of Host Institution and associated institutions, names and connections of Coordinators proposed for Education and Dissemination of Knowledge and Technology Transfer.
Abstract (30 lines)
The research proposa's abstract.
Summary (up to two pages)
a) Description of the Centre and its specific features;
b) Focus of research activities and, if applicable, their multidisciplinary articulation;
c) Expected Technology Transfer and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge activities;
d) Justification for creation of the Centre;
e) Brief description of the institutional contribution.
1) Justification for the Centre (up to three pages)
The existence of the Centre must be justified based on the nature, importance, and feasibility of the activities to be developed. It should be based on each of these reasons:
a) Complexity of the problems to be researched;
b) Scale and duration of the research activities to be carried out;
c) Multidisciplinary character of the research planned;
d) Need for continual interaction between Team members.
2) Research Plan and description of its scientific relevance (up to 20 pages, including bibliographic references)
The Research Plan is the core of the Centre Proposal. It should describe the scientific and technological challenges to be faced, the state of the art in the area, as well as the means, methods, and materials necessary to face them. It should list activities proposed with the state of the art in the area. A bold and original Research Plan that is highly competitive nationally and internationally is expected. How the chosen strategy will influence the area of research in a significant manner should be shown. The Research Plan should articulate the vision for the Centre, outlining the scientific macro-challenges that will be faced and/or the sought after scientific discoveries. The plan needs to specifically justify, in terms of complexity of problems and/or scale and potential of scientific relevance, the special support that is offered and the potential time span of 10 years. The scientific objectives of the Centre and the research activities should be described in a sufficiently detailed manner to allow for scientific assessment of their merit as well as of the need for a Centre to carry them out. The Research Plan should also show how the integration between Education and Dissemination of Knowledge and Technology Transfer must contribute to advancing research.
3) Action Plan for Education and Knowledge Dissemination (EDC) (up to five pages, including bibliographical references)
The activities of the Centre must include training of human resources at every level, and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge. In addition to developing the usual undergraduate and graduate level science research programs, the Centres are also responsible for holding basic education extension activities, such as secondary education student and teacher activities, teacher training, and science diffusion courses, and continuing education programs. Prior experience of participants with this type of activity should be briefly described, emphasizing documented results. The Proposals are expected to contribute to Education and Dissemination of Knowledge and to improving the teaching of sciences at every level, such as research programs for faculty and students, projects in partnership with schools, Education and Dissemination of scientific and technological Knowledge activities, creation of techniques and vehicles that provide this diffusion e.g.. The project team must include a Coordinator responsible for these activities and a Manager hired by the Host Institution.
4) Action Plan for Technology Transfer (TT) (up to five pages including bibliographic references)
Research activities at the Centre should have great potential for exchange with other research and knowledge transfer institutions to the productive and government sectors. The Technology Transfer proposal should describe how the Centre will develop and implement these activities. Prior experience of participants with this type of activity should be briefly described, emphasizing documented results (projects, co-authored publications, licensed or co-licensed patents, absorption of graduate students by collaborator companies’ e.g.). The plan must be described and the viability of technology transfer activities must be shown via projects done in partnership, incubation of companies, continuing education programs, and other activities. The project team must include a Coordinator responsible for these activities and a Manager hired by the Host Institution.
Management Plan and Organizational Structure for Centre operations, including:
5.a) Management Plan and Structure (up to three pages)
The Centre must have an organizational structure and management plan that are adequate to the complexity and diversity of its goals. The organizational chart must include Coordinators responsible for the education and diffusion of knowledge activities and the Coordinator of the technology transfer activities, in addition to other coordinators that the proposers consider necessary. The Management Plan should also show how the Centre will be located within the institutional structure. The Management Plan should detail the management model for activities and mechanisms of collaboration. In terms of team meetings, at least one Annual Meeting should be included, in which the results and/or projects and/or plans for the coming period will be presented and discussed, held in addition to regular team meetings. At the Annual Meeting, the attendance of the Advisory Board Members and all of the Centre’s Researchers and Students is required. A FAPESP observer must be invited via notice given within a reasonable amount of time.
5.b) Executive Committee (CE) (one page)
This should be made up of at least the Principal Investigator responsible for the proposal (Centre Director), the Vice Director, and the Technology Transfer and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Coordinators. There may be other members if it is found to be necessary by the proposers. The CE should supervise all day-to-day operations at the Centre and should be assisted by an appropriate support team connected to the Host Institution.
5.c) Proposal for composition of the International Advisory Board (IAB) (up to two pages)
Suggested names, their justification, and modus operandi of the IAB. FAPESP expects the IAB to perform the main role of supervising the functioning of the Centre and guiding the team regarding opportunities and research, new directions to take, and increased international competitiveness of the science created by the Centre. Members should be both researchers who are very highly regarded for their international excellence and people to whom the Centre Director and Coordinators have easy access.
6) Team (up to five pages)
List of Team Members, including researchers (including post-doctorate fellows), technicians, administrative support personnel, and students. A description of the responsibilities of each of the co-Principal Investigators should be included in the Research Plan. The Centre is expected to have a Team with a balanced distribution between co-Principal Investigators, Associate Investigators, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctorate Researchers, and students and the corresponding technical and administrative support. In addition to the Centre’s Director and Vice Director, the Proposal must include:
a) The Coordinator responsible for Education and Dissemination of Knowledge activities;
b) The Coordinator responsible for Technology Transfer activities;
c) The team of researchers responsible for executing research projects to be developed;
d) For each member of the scientific team (Principal Investigator - Director, Vice Director, TT and EDC Coordinators, and Principal Investigators) the proposal must include the Résumé (form available at www.fapesp.br/gsk/forms);
e) The Director, Vice Director of the Centre, TT and EDC Coordinators, and the co-Principal Investigators should furthermore fill out the Researcher Registration, also available at www.fapesp.br/chamadas/registrationform.doc;
f) The description of the most important achievements already made as a result of collaboration between the PIs (one page maximum).
7) Estimate of Total Annual Budget for the Centre (appropriate form)
This should include all sources of funds the Centre will have access to, listing Uses (Sources and Uses spreadsheet) of funds in terms of general items (Scientific Personnel, Technical Personnel, Administrative Personnel, Students, Permanent Equipment and Material, Consumables, Third-Party Services).
8) Budget Request for FAPESP and GSK (appropriate form plus justification sheets)
Detailed budget on FAPESP forms for this purpose. This should include justification (based on terms of objectives for the Research Plan or the Technology Transfer and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Plans) for all of the items valued at more than R$ 25 thousand (national or imported), detailing the relationship of the need with the Proposal item. This budget request for FAPESP should be prepared for the first three years of the Centre’s operation in a detailed manner and in the other years, with justifiable estimates. The budget should include the support requested from FAPESP for Research, Technology Transfer and Education and Knowledge Dissemination, detailing the function to be met for each item (Research, Technology Transfer and Education and Knowledge Dissemination).
9) Details of institutional support and its costs (up to five pages)
Description of the institutional support offered by the Head Institution, including detailed information on the costs of each item of support.
10) Details on other current and expected support (up to two pages)
List of other support a) Other current support already contracted; b) Other expected support.
7. Proposal Review
Proposals will undergo a competitive review process, considering the degree to which the proposal complies with each one of the conditions listed in sections 2 and 4 of this Call for Research Proposals.
The review process may, at the discretion of the FAPESP-GSK Joint Steering Committee, include interviews with the Principal Investigator and Directors of the Host Institution, as well as visits to the Host Institutions.
At the end of the review, FAPESP and GSK may recommend the merging of proposals.
1) SCIENTIFIC MERIT. Boldness of the Proposal benchmarked by analysis of the international state of the art for the area. The Project should be strategic and present reachable and measurable objectives to be met during the duration of the Program. It is essential that realistic and detailed timelines be made for the first two years of the Project. The research plan should allow for evaluation of the potential for creating a Centre that may become a world-class reference in the area in which it works. One of the important elements of the plan should be the strategy for effective international cooperation.
2) FOCUS. One common scientific/technological focus that articulates research activities to be developed is mandatory.
3) JUSTIFICATION FOR CREATION OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR RESEARCH IN TARGET DISCOVERY. The Proposal must explain the need to create the Research Centre. This Program is not simply a mechanism for funding, but rather intends to contribute to building a world class Centre capable of creating cutting edge science and transferring and diffusing knowledge.
4) DIRECTOR QUALIFICATIONS. The Centre Director must be a researcher with a solid background of internationally competitive scientific achievements in the area in which the Centre works, who should also have the ability to lead and to manage in order to develop large-scale projects.
5) QUALIFICATION OF THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS. It is essential that the Director have an academic profile that is compatible with the proposals of the Plan and that the Principal Investigators have the potential to occupy the Director position.
6) QUALIFICATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER COORDINATOR. Experience in research and in Management and Transfer of Technology.
7) QUALIFICATIONS OF THE COORDINATOR OF EDUCATION AND DISSEMINATION OF KNOWLEDGE. Experience in research and development of projects in the area of Education and Dissemination of Knowledge.
8) ADEQUACY OF THE SCIENTIFIC TEAM. Qualification, size, recent academic background, balance between senior and junior team members, participation of emerging leaders, involvement of post-doctoral researchers with grants on recent research done by Principal Investigators. The team is expected to have a balanced composition of Principal Investigators, Associate Investigators, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctoral Researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and technical support personnel, supported by top quality administrative and management services.
9) INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENTS TO THE CREATION OF THE RESEARCH CENTRE. The quality and quantity of the institutional contribution, including physical space to be used by the Centre and administrative and management support, need to be compatible with the boldness of the proposal objectives.
10) TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROPOSAL. The intensity of transfer of knowledge to the industry, public or third sectors, may vary in intensity based on the Project focus, and should lead to a stronger bond between research institutions and the outside environment and contribute to bringing new challenges in research to institutions, guaranteeing that social benefits created by the research done are maximized.
11) EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION PROPOSAL. Mechanisms for diffusion and education that consolidate existing processes or propose radical innovations with the potential for improving teaching and the perception of science by society.
12) BUDGET ADEQUACY. Sources and uses; balance between costs and personnel and cost of equipment; adequacy to objectives; effective and appropriate use of existing multi-user infrastructure; access to other confirmed or prospective sources; institutional support.
13) MANAGEMENT PLAN
14) COMPOSITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY Committee
Deadline for submission of proposals
February 27th, 2015
Announcement of Proposals Selected
From June 19th, 2015
9. For Further Information
10. Implementation of the Approved Proposal
The cooperation between FAPESP, GSK, and the Host Institutions will be regulated by a separate agreement, which will define:
a) The schedule of disbursements and financial reports;
b) The definition and timing of expected results at each stage of the project;
c) Clauses on Intellectual Property, commercial exploitation and confidentiality;
e) Legal venue.
Annex 1: Items that may be Funded by FAPESP under the ERC Program
The research project budget presented to FAPESP must be detailed and each item must be specifically justified in terms of objectives of the proposed plans. Please read the Accountability Manual: www.fapesp.br/5835.
Items that may not be funded are: salaries of any nature, third-party services of a non-technical and sporadic nature, civil construction, acquisition of publications, travel (except for field research and to present work at scientific conferences), administrative services and materials.
Items allowable for funding include the following.
1. Research project costs
a) Permanent material acquired in Brazil or imported;
b) Consumables acquired in Brazil or imported;
c) Third-Party Services hired in Brazil or abroad;
d) Transportation and Per Diem Expenses for activities connected directly with carrying out the proposed research, including for visits from Visiting Researchers;
e) Fellowships: Fellowships requested as a Budget item (BCO) under the following modalities and pursuant to FAPESP standards may be requested: Post-Doctorate (PD), Doctorate (DR), Honors Doctorate (DD), Masters (MS), Scientific Initiation (IC), and Technical Training (TT);
e.1) The advisor/supervisor of each fellowship candidate must be the Principal Investigators or one of the co-Principal Investigators.
e.2) For each requested fellowship, a Plan of Activities must be presented with the initial proposal containing up to two pages, including the Fellowship Project Title, Summary, and Plan Description.
e.3) The plan for each fellowship needs to be consistent with the research proposal and should be referenced within the research proposal in a manner that makes it possible to see the connection with and the importance to the project proposed.
e.4) The name of the fellowship candidate should not be indicated on the proposal. If the fellowship is approved, the researcher responsible for the grant must hold a selective and publicly announced process to select fellowship candidates based on academic merit.
e.5) Rules for awarding fellowships as a budget item (BCO) are available at www.fapesp.br/materia/2615/linha-regular/bolsas-concedidas-como-itens-orcamentarios-em-auxilios.htm.
e.5.i) Scientific Initiation Research Fellowship candidates should have already concluded a sufficient number of relevant classes in order to carry out the research project and obtain maximum academic benefit.
e.5.ii) Candidates for Doctorate, Direct Doctorate, and Masters level fellowships should have been accepted into the project Host Institution’s graduate program or Co-PIs Institution.
e.5.iii) In the case of Post-Doctorate Fellowship given as a budget item of the project, the selective process must necessarily be international and must be documented and approved by FAPESP at the time that each Fellowship is awarded.
e.5.iv) If documents proving a public and international selective process are not presented the fellowship will not be granted by FAPESP.
e.6) Scientific Initiation, Master, Doctorate and Post-Doctorate fellowship may also be requested separately, as Complementary Requests, in accordance with what is set forth in item 4 below, connected to ERC Projects in specific proposals, according to the traditional procedures for the FAPESP Fellowship Programs.
2. Overhead (Technical Reserve)
a) For the ERC Program, the rules for the Technical Reserve in Thematic Projects apply, with certain modifications with respect to the schedule.
b) The Technical Reserve is composed of three parts:
b.1) Additional Benefits;
b.2) Overhead for Direct Expenses with Research Infrastructure;
b.3) Overhead for Institutional Expenses with Research Infrastructure.
c) The detailed rules for use of the Technical Reserve are available at www.fapesp.br/rt.
3. Research Infrastructure Grant
a) In the initial request or at the time when reports are presented, the Principal Investigator may request funds for small remodelling projects, aimed at guaranteeing the infrastructure needed to develop the project. New construction is prohibited. This request should be justified in detail and be associated with relevant funding contributed by the Host Institution.
4. Complementary requests
The items needed to develop the project are expected to be accounted for in the proposal; however, exceptionally, FAPESP may receive additional requests associated with the proposal.
Complementary Requests are those requests associated with current ERC Project objectives whose consideration or treatment has undergone some modification as a result of this condition. Processes that are under consideration as complementary requests to the Research Centre Project are called “Connected Processes.” The concept applies to requests for Research Assistance – Visiting Researcher, Research Assistance – Publication, and requests for Grants within Brazil – Regular and Foreign Research Grant – Regular.
a) Complementary Requests should be effective for a time compatible with that of the Research Centre Project to which they are connected and may not, under any circumstances, exceed the effective time of the Research Centre Project.
a.1) For Research Award from a Visiting Researcher, the duration of the stay should be contained in the duration of the Research Centre Assistance to which it is connected.
a.2) For Fellowships, the start date should be such that there is an appropriate overlap between the effectiveness of the initial awarding of the fellowship and the remaining effectiveness to the Award to which it is connected. Adaptation of the connection will be analysed by the Scientific Directorate considering items such as the nature of the work plan and the effective dates for the Award in relation to the effective dates for the fellowship.
a.2.i) If the overlap is not found to be appropriate, the Fellowship request will be analysed, but it will not qualify as a Complementary Request.
b) Complementary Requests must necessarily be endorsed by the Principal Investigator for the ERC Project to which they are connected.
c) Requests submitted to FAPESP as “Complementary Requests" and which are not classifiable in the definition above will be received, but will be considered as independent and non-connected requests.
d) Complementary Requests in the modalities of Visiting Researcher and Publication Assistance associated with the Project may be waived from being sent for external analysis and be analysed by the Area or Supervising Area.
e) Complementary Requests for Master, Doctorate, Direct Doctor, and Post-Doctorate Fellowships connected to the Projects will be given priority in the respective sessions of comparative analysis, if they are equal in conditions and in academic items to the other proposals under analysis.
f) For Complementary requests for Post-Doctorate Fellowships, there is differential treatment regarding the duration of the fellowship (see rules at www.fapesp.br/270).
g) Complementary Requests must be made individually using the appropriate forms and accompanied with relevant documentation, as described in the respective manual. Furthermore, they must be accompanied by the Project summary, which is an indispensable item for analysing the activity proposed within the project’s context, highlighting the fact that this is a complementary request to a Research Centre Project and citing the process number.
g.1) These requests will be new processes at FAPESP, with their own reports and accountability. The funds awarded will not be subtracted from the Project budget.
5. Use of GSK funding
In addition to items listed in sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Annex I, the company's funds can be used to pay the hiring, for the period of the project, of researchers and technical support needed for research work associated with the project; and to supplement wages of faculty or researchers employed by the Research Institutions involved in the Project. The funds contributed by the GSK will be disbursed to the Host Institution.