Genome Canada will soon be seeking proposals for large-scale applied research projects which focus on the application of genomics and related technologies (bioinformatics, epigenomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, proteomics and transcriptomics) to the area of Precision Health. The Request for Applications (RFA) is expected in January 2017, but given the scale of these projects and the amount of work needed to develop a strong, inter-disciplinary project team, Genome BC is starting to work with interested researchers now. Some general information about this upcoming competition is provided below, but some aspects of the competition have not been finalized yet.
Focus of the competition:
In the context of this competition Precision Health can be seen as a more evidence-based approach to decision making both with regards to health maintenance and disease prevention. The spectrum of activities also includes early detection, treatment of disease and disease prognosis. This approach relies upon an increasing knowledge of variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle affecting risk factors, causes, and mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Precision Health seeks to redefine our understanding of disease onset and progression, treatment response, and health outcomes through the more precise measurement of molecular, environmental, and behavioral factors that contribute to health and disease.
Applicants must demonstrate how their proposal holds a high potential for attaining concrete deliverables by the end of the funding period and therefore translate into significant social and/or economic benefits to BC and Canada in as short a time-frame as possible after the close of the project. Projects can be targeted to any part of the spectrum but must demonstrate their potential to contribute to a more evidence-based approach to health and their potential to improve healthcare and/or to enhance the cost-effectiveness of the health-care system.
At this time the total funds available from Genome Canada for this competition are undetermined, but are expected to be around $60M. Project budgets can range in size from $2M to $10M, and successful projects will be awarded funding for a term of up to four (4) years. The maximum Genome Canada contribution to each project has not been set, but will minimally be one-third (1/3) of the overall approved budget. In previous competitions Genome BC has contributed an additional 25% of the overall approved budget, and we hope to provide a similar level of support for projects in this competition, but the extent of Genome BC co-funding cannot be determined until the organization’s funding is confirmed in May 2017.
Research teams must be led by a researcher at an eligible institution, such as a Canadian post-secondary organizations (universities, colleges) or one of their affiliated institutions (including hospitals and research institutes), a Canadian non-federal government department or agency or a not-for-profit organization (including community or charitable organizations) with an explicit research or knowledge-translation mandate. Research teams may include international, private sector (for-profit organizations), or federal laboratory scientists as co-applicants.
End-users and clinicians must be clearly integrated into the project team in the form of a project team member, collaborator, and/or member of the management team. Co-funding would clearly demonstrate end-user interest in the project’s potential deliverables, although it is not a requirement for an end-user organization to contribute to the co-funding.
Social scientists and humanists can submit large-scale GE3LS (Genomics and its Ethical, Environmental, Economic, Legal and Social aspects) research proposals for funding. All applications must include an integrated GE3LS research component as part of the research proposal and team.
All BC-based research applicants who are leading a proposal and research team are required to apply for Genome Canada funding through Genome BC. BC researchers who are co-applicants on projects led by other Genome Centres in Canada are encouraged to contact Genome BC to determine whether their project is eligible for research funding for the BC portion of the project.
The application process involves registration, pre-application, full application and a face-to-face meeting with Genome Canada’s review panel. Genome Canada will launch the RFA in January 2017 and notify the successful applicants in December 2017. Genome BC works with teams every step of the way to help develop robust and competitive project proposals.
Note: A presentation by Genome will be taking place in January 2017 at SFU. Further details will be e-mailed out once the session is finalized.