Stars Career Development Award

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Stars Career Development Award

The Arthritis Society is pleased to announce the new 2018-19 Stars Career Development Award Competition. 
(This program replaces the Young Investigator Operating Grant and Young Investigator Salary Award by combining and enhancing the program.)

Online Research Grants Portal open: Apr 9, 2018
Abstract registration deadline: May 18, 2018, 5:00 PM EST
Research Grants Portal open for full application: May 18, 2018
Full Application deadline: July 3, 2018, 5:00 PM EST
Notification of presentation to review panel: Late August 2018
Presentations to review panel (by invitation only): Mid/late September 2018
Notification of decision: MidDecember 2018
Funding start date: Jan 1, 2019

Please see the eligibility and requirements section prior to creating an application.

Description

The Stars Career Development award has been created to firmly establish the career of early career investigators. This salary and research funding represents a three (3) year commitment by the Arthritis Society, together with an additional three (3) year commitment by the applicant’s Host Institution.  The program is intended to promote creativity in all domains of arthritis-related research responsive to the Arthritis Society’s strategic priorities. Applicants should review the two research themes set out in the Arthritis Society’s 2015-2020 research strategy:  (1) improving our understanding of arthritis and finding the cure, and (2) improving the care and management of arthritis.

Special Call
Applications are encouraged in the area of childhood arthritis. The Arthritis Society has committed $5M over 5 years to our Stop Childhood Arthritis initiative to fund ground-breaking research into childhood arthritis so that no child has to live with unnecessary pain.  We are very proud to partner with Genome Canada and other organizations to accelerate this important research.  We anticipate funding at least one award in this area, with a particular emphasis on:

  • disease mechanisms of childhood arthritis
  • new therapies and personalized approaches for childhood arthritis
  • innovations in transitions of care from pediatric to adult settings

The Arthritis Society strongly values the voice of consumers in research, both in their inclusion in grant applications and the peer review process.  Applicants are encouraged to consider this in their submission.

Host Institution Commitment*

In addition to the terms and obligations set out within the Host Institution agreement, the Host Institution must commit, as part of the application process, an additional three (3) years of equivalent research and salary support to the applicant (at an appropriate rank and salary) for a total commitment of six (6) years of support. The Host Institution must also commit to providing the applicant with adequate infrastructure and physical space to conduct their research program. The incremental benefit of the salary portion of the award must be clearly indicated in the application to ensure that there is a net impact for the funded investigator, rather than a budgetary offset to the Host Institution.

In addition, applicants must identify an accomplished investigator as a mentor who will assist in the development of the research program as well as the career development of the applicant. It is preferred that the mentor be located in the same institution as the applicant but if that is not possible, a clear rationale for the chosen mentor and details of the nature and frequency of the interactions must be provided.

All applicants are strongly advised to read all program documentation listed below. If you have any questions, please contact the research department at [email protected].

Eligibility

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Be an eligible Principal Investigator as defined by the Arthritis Society;
  • Be within 5 years of their first academic appointment at the time of the application deadline.  Candidates who have a firm offer of an academic appointment are also acceptable;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or resident of Canada at the time of application with a position at an eligible Canadian Host Institution;
  • Have a commitment from their Host Institution* from the Faculty Dean or Research Director that includes: Institutional support (suitable lab/research space, resources and support, etc.); a minimum of 80% protected research time for the duration of the award;  the 3 additional years of equivalent research and salary support (at an appropriate rank and salary beyond the term of this award) as well as adequate infrastructure and physical space

The roles and responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and Host Institution in the management of the Arthritis Society’s research and training funds are defined on the Arthritis Society’s website.

Award Amount and Term

Pending available funds, the Arthritis Society will fund up to three (3) awards. The maximum award per application is $125,000 annually for up to three years ($375,000 total), with an additional 3 years of support from the Host Institution of an equal value.  These awards are non-renewable.

In order to support the early career of an investigator, at least $50,000 per year must be allocated towards the candidate’s salary. Please see the requirement for the Host Institution commitment above*.

Peer Review

A multidisciplinary peer review committee will be assembled to review the applications. The peer review committee will consist of scientific experts and clinical with broad expertise, along with consumers to provide patient perspectives. 

Candidates will be notified in mid-August if they will be required to make a presentation via webinar to the panel at their meeting in mid-September.  

Abstract Registration

All submissions will be screened for completeness and eligibility. Note that incomplete applications by the deadline will be deemed ineligible and withdrawn from the competition. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that applications are complete at the time of submission.

All applicants are strongly advised to read all program documentation listed below. If you have any questions, please contact the research department at [email protected].

A maximum of one application per Principal Investigator will be permitted in each competition. 

The abstract registration will inform the panel composition.  Registration is mandatory and will require applicant and research team details (Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigators, Co-applicants, Consumers and Trainees), scientific abstract, keywords, relevance statement, and suggested reviewers.

Any significant changes to the proposed program, environment or mentors after the Abstract Registration deadline should be communicated to the Arthritis Society as soon as they are known. Substantive changes that significantly alter the overall goals and aims of the proposed program relative to the Abstract Registration are not permitted.

Full Application

Applications must be submitted through the Arthritis Society’s online research grant portal and include the following components:

  • Cover page (signed by the candidate and Institution)
  • Description and role of all team members (PI, Co-PIs, Co-applicants, Collaborators, Consumers and Trainees, as applicable)
  • Canadian Common CV - CIHR Project Biosketch of the PI and Co-PI(s)
  • Research program description (maximum 5 pages, single-spaced text) including:
  • Rationale for the research program
  • Rationale for selection of the supervisor/mentor (additional details on working relationship is required if at a different institution from the applicant)
  • A description of the research environment, including resources and facilities available to the applicant and a brief description of the specific dedicated research space.
  • A summary of the applicant’s previous training and/or relevant research experience
  • A description of the research career education and training opportunities that will be accessed during the grant award period
    • Appendices: tables/charts/graphs and associated legends, supporting publications Relevance of the proposal to the Arthritis Society’s 2015-2020 Research Strategy and one or both of the research theme(s): Improving our understanding of arthritis and finding the cure, and improving the care and management of arthritis 
    • List of references
    • Knowledge translation plan
  • Lay Summary
    • Relevance of the proposal to the Arthritis Society’s 2015-2020 Research Strategy and one or both of the research theme(s): Improving our understanding of arthritis and finding the cure, and improving the care and management of arthritis 
    • Description of teaching (and other institutional) commitments and benefits/impact of this award to the developing career of the candidate  i.e. relieving teaching and other commitments
  • Career development plan and goals
  • Letter of support from the Faculty Dean or Research Director of the Host Institution confirming:
    • Institutional support (suitable lab/research space, resources and support, etc.)
    • A minimum of 80% protected research time for the duration of the award
    • Details of the Host Institution’s offer of 3 additional years of equivalent research and salary support (at an appropriate rank and salary beyond the term of this award)
    • Letter of support from the applicant’s mentor outlining the career mentorship plan
  • If the success of the research proposed depends on a critical agent/material from a third party, a letter of collaboration must be included
  • Budget (use template provided) and budget justification

Review Criteria

The review criteria for applications will include, but not necessarily be restricted to the following:

  1. Quality of the Principal Investigator and research environment
    • Applicant’s research experience as well as academic and publication record (i.e relative to career stage)
    • Strength of the CVs and letters of support
    • Suitability of the research environment
    • Strength and appropriateness of the mentor as well as the career educational program objectives and plan
    • Evidence that the personnel, facilities and infrastructure required to conduct the research are available
    • Potential impact of the award to the candidate
  2. Quality of research program
    • Scientific merit of the arthritis research program and its potential to create new knowledge, significantly advance our understanding of arthritis, and/or improve care or support for people affected by arthritis
    • Feasibility of the proposed research program
    • Knowledge translation plan
    • Appropriateness of the term and support requested
  3. Relevance to the Arthritis Society’s 2015-2020 Research Strategy and theme(s)

Applicants must justify the relevance of the intended proposal to one or both of the Arthritis Society’s research strategies:

Strategic Theme I: Improving our understanding of arthritis and finding the cure
Research under this theme will seek to improve our understanding of the causes of arthritis in order to develop new approaches to alleviate the pain, prevent and/or slow the progression of disease (including early diagnosis), restore joint function, and eventually cure those affected by arthritis.
Strategic Theme II: Improving the care and management of arthritis
Research under this theme will seek to uncover new knowledge that will inform better ways to optimize the health of people with arthritis through improved treatment, management and self-care strategies.

Multiple applications/multiple sources of funding

Successful applicants can accept additional salary awards as long as the total does not exceed the PI’s salary as per the Host Institution scale. There should be minimal or no overlap with other funding for the research portion of the award. The onus is on the applicant to indicate the extent (or absence) of overlap. Funding overlaps with other agencies may result in a reduction in funding from the Arthritis Society.  

Grantee and Host Institution requirements

In addition to the requirements set out in the Host Institution agreement, grantees and Host Institutions who receive Arthritis Society funds are expected to act as ambassadors of our mission and may be called upon to communicate about their research with donors and other stakeholders. Funded researchers are expected to support the Arthritis Society’s efforts to engage the arthritis research community, support the development and dissemination of Arthritis Society tools and resources, and provide expertise to engage people affected by arthritis when called upon (for example, through expert community presentations). We also encourage grantees and host institutions to reach out to us to discuss opportunities for engagement.

Applicants are reminded to access the Arthritis Society website for details on the administration and reporting requirements (scientific and financial reporting, funder acknowledgement, policies, etc.)