SOCIETY OF INTERVENTIONAL ONCOLOGY INTERVENTIONAL / IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY RESEARCH GRANT: CALL AND GUIDELINES
The SOCIETY OF INTERVENTIONAL ONCOLOGY INTERVENTIONAL / IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY RESEARCH GRANT, generously sponsored by Biocompatibles UK Ltd., is designed to fund research evaluating immune stimulation of interventional oncologic therapies, combination approaches to improve clinical outcome, and an improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms as to how our different therapies influence both adaptive and innate immunity, as well as underlying inflammation and tumorigenesis.
Examples of the types of projects this initiative could support but is not limited to include:
- Preclinical research defining immune effects of IO therapies (i.e., cryoablation, chemoembolization, radioembolization, RF and microwave ablation, etc.)
- Clinical or preclinical comparative studies of IO technologies and various immune and other pharmacologic modulations to determine optimal methods of improving antigen presentation, enhancing immune stimulation, or reducing induced tumorigenesis
- Clinical or preclinical research testing optimal sequencing and timing of combination therapies (ex. When to give checkpoint inhibitors in relation to TACE)
- Prospective clinical research defining immune effects of IO therapies, including work that could validate or contest preclinical work
- Development of new animal models to overcome limitations of current platforms
- Prospective or retrospective analysis of tissue or blood to identify predictive bio-markers for treatment outcomes (including determination of optimal sites and times for biopsy in relation to treatments)
- Prospective clinical research testing safety/efficacy of combinations of existing IO and immuno-oncology therapies (Phase I/II)
- Establishing registries for cataloguing patients receiving combination therapy, documenting specific outcomes such as additive or synergistic effects, abscopal responses, etc.
Applicants should propose innovative research that advances the fields of interventional oncology and immuno-oncology. Submissions must, at a minimum, include both an interventional oncologist and a collaborator with expertise in immunology, immunotherapy and/or immune-oncology (such as an immunologist, biologist, or medical oncologist involved in immunology research), involve Biocompatibles UK Ltd. products either alone or with other IO products, and involve research into novel immune-oncology approaches. Preliminary data are not required, but encouraged. High quality applications that address this solicitation will be given special consideration. This is a high priority mechanism and proposals that describe short time-lines for completion of the study and dissemination of results will be preferred.
Grant funding of up to $50,000 for one year exploratory pilot projects and up to $100,000 for larger one to two year projects with preliminary data will be provided. In addition, the sponsor will provide appropriately justified Biocompatibles UK Ltd. products for pre-clinical study or for clinical studies when not considered standard of care and not reimbursable by health insurance. If this grant proposal represents supplemental funding to an existing project, clear justification for additional funding must be provided.
Grants are available to full-time interventional radiology faculty and trainees with an MD, DO, PhD, or equivalent degree. Post- doctorate candidates are invited to apply. Collaboration between an interventional oncologist and field experts having documented experience in immunotherapy and / or basic research in tumor immunology / biology is required. Likewise, full-time immuno-oncologists and basic researchers are encouraged to apply with inclusion of an interventional oncology collaborator.
It is expected that at least one of the successfully funded applicants will become a member of the Society of Interventional Oncology (SIO).
APPLICATION PROCEDURES AND FORMAT
The application must contain a detailed research plan and a one to two year budget for the planned research with all other funding sources indicated.
A letter of support from the department chair (for faculty applicants) or fellowship director (for trainee applicants) must be provided that indicates approval of application, comments on the merit of the project, and explains the extent to which the department is supporting the applicant’s research in terms of funding and/or available resources. It is important that the letter indicate commitment to provide protected research time and support the salary of the applicant during the research period.
The application must be submitted electronically through the online application found at http://www.io-central.org/page/apply-for-grant.
The deadline for submission is May 1, 2017. Applications must be submitted in PDF format. Incomplete applications and those submitted after the deadlines will not be reviewed until the next cycle (anticipated October 2017).
All the items detailed below must be included in the application before it will be considered.
I. Cover Letter: Application must include a one-page letter detailing the relevance and significance of this proposal to furthering the goals of both interventional oncology and immuno-oncology.
II. Title Page: Applicant must submit a one page lay statement of the proposed project including individual contact information, a brief abstract, and beginning (i.e. June – December 2017) and termination dates (i.e. 1 – 2 years thereafter) of the proposed research.
III. Research Strategy / Specific Aims (1-page limit)
IV. Detailed Proposal: Limited to 5 pages of text, plus one page of preliminary data in the form of, tables, charts, and figures, and one page of references. (Please further note that banking / registry studies will require a documented plan for maintenance of resource beyond the funding period.)
V. Budget Proposal: List budget items in appropriate categories and give details and justification of each item in each category, including requests for materials from Biocompatibles UK Ltd.
VI. Supporting Documents:
a. Biographical Sketch of all principal and co-investigators (NIH format)
b. Letter of Support from Department Chair
c. IACUC and/or IRB approval if already granted
Budget expenses can be used for materials and supplies, data and data analysis costs, salaries for research assistants working on the proposed project, publication costs, as well as reasonable time for the principal investigator. A portion of the budget can be allocated to salary support of the collaborators and/or consultants. Travel expenses, institutional indirect/overhead costs, construction expenses, and secretarial or office expenses will not be funded.
Applications are judged on merit and grants may be allocated until the maximum funding allocation for this announcement is reached.
Completed applications will be distributed to the members of the SIO special study-section and, and members will be assigned as primary reviewers based on their expertise in the particular area of the proposed investigation. Funding decisions will be made and approved by the SIO Immuno-oncology Task Force. Applicants will be notified of application status upon final funding decisions, anticipated by June 2th, 2017.
Funding decisions are based on the overall impact/priority score which reflect assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the fields of interventional and immuno-oncology based on the following review criteria and additional review criteria:
- Significance to Interventional Oncology techniques. Does the project use interventional oncologic techniques to address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field of Immuno-oncology? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will this research impact outcome for both interventional oncology and immuno-oncology?
- Innovation. Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
- Approach. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
- Investigator. Are the PI, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training or appropriate mentors/collaborators? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced interventional radiology?
- Environment. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?
In addition, the review committee will take the following factors into consideration as applicable to the proposed project:
Budget and Period of Support. Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.
Letters of support. Letters of support from industry and/or memorandums of understanding with collaborators will be taken into consideration.
Once grant agreements and documentation of IRB and/or IACUC approval have been submitted by successful applicants, awarded funds will be transmitted to the institution for support of the grant recipient and the project. Funds will be distributed in three installments: 50% at the start of the project, 40% upon receipt of the six- month progress report, and 10% upon receipt and approval of a cover letter and the final report in manuscript format.
This is a rapid high priority award mechanism. An interim progress report is required after the first 6 months of the project. A final report is required no later than 12 months after the award is scheduled to conclude. This report should be a one- page synopsis of the progress, unforeseen problems, and results to date. A final written report must be submitted within sixty (60) days of the project’s completion. Included with the report should be a cover letter that:
- Indicates the significance/possible impact of the results;
- States whether the results will be submitted for possible publication, and if so, to what journal;
- Indicates whether results will be used to apply for additional funding from other sources, and if so, the funding agency and date of application should be included
Presentation of research results at the WCIO Annual Scientific Meeting in a highlighted research session will be required.
All posters, oral presentations, and eventual publications must contain appropriate acknowledgement of the SIO and Biocompatibles UK Ltd. support.
COST EXTENSION POLICIES:
Appropriately justified cost extensions for both one-year pilot grants and 1–2 year larger grants will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
MODIFICATION OR TERMINATION OF SUPPORT
SIO reserves the right to modify or terminate the amount of any funds granted under the terms of the Research Grant. Generally, such action would be based on the awardee’s receipt of support from sources other than SIO Foundation which might (1) limit the ability of the recipient to successfully complete the terms of the award or (2) obviate the recipient’s need for funding from SIO.
In the event that the awardee relocates to a different institution, a request in writing to relocate the grant to the new institution may be made. The SIO will continue project funding provided the awardee is guaranteed support, protected research time, and adequate equipment/facilities from the new institution (i.e., letter from department chair) as well as IRB or IACUC approvals, if applicable. If the new institution cannot provide the necessary support or regulatory approvals for the project, the original institution may appoint a new principal investigator, with SIO’s approval, to complete the project. If the project cannot be completed at the new or the original institution, then all unexpended funds must be returned to SIO.
COMPLETED APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ONLINE (http://www.io-central.org/page/apply-for-grant).