2018 Young Innovators Team Award Frequently Asked Questions

Award

Which proposals have a strong chance of getting funded?

ALCF will support good ideas that impact the lives of lung cancer patients and are proposed by a team of young innovators collaborating as a multi-disciplinary, preferably multi- institutional team. Through this funding mechanism, we want to identify out-of-the-box thinkers who will help us achieve our goal of making lung cancer a chronically managed disease by the year 2023. The idea is to encourage creative, high-risk, high-reward ideas proposed by young innovators that are typically not under the funding purview of federal funding bodies. ALCF reserves the right to award none of the submitted proposals, if submissions do not comply with our chief criteria: Out-of-the-box, Collaborative, Multi-disciplinary, Translational.

What will the $250,000 award cover?

The award monies of $250,000 will be distributed over a period of 2-3 years (depending on the research proposal and the final decision by the selection committee and the Scientific Review committee), in equal quarterly installments. However, continued support is not automatic for any ALCF award and is conditioned on meeting pre-determined milestones and deliverables, including submission of complete and accurate progress reports, and oversight of ALCF Scientific Review Committee. If progress is deemed unsatisfactory, funding will be terminated completely, or until the completion of the previous quarter’s milestones and deliverables within a stipulated timeframe.

The team will report progress to the Young Innovators Team Scientific Review Committee. What does this mean?

Through this funding mechanism, ALCF aims to encourage creative, out-of-the-box research ideas, foster collaboration among young innovators and groom them for leadership roles in the near future. ALCF has assembled a Scientific Review Committee which will guide and mentor the team of young innovators throughout their award cycle, and possibly, beyond. The members of the Scientific Review Committee may be contacted by the team for brainstorming on critical ideas, eliminating hurdles during the progress of the proposed research, networking opportunities, and overall mentorship/guidance on the conduct of multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, bench-to-bedside translational research projects. Additional members may be added to the Scientific Review committee, depending on the technical expertise required by the selected research proposals.

Will ALCF fund investigators and institutions outside the United States?

Yes. This award mechanism is global and is aimed at promoting collaboration among investigators across borders, across disciplines. Investigators must be within five years of their first faculty appointment, at the time of application submission.

Eligibility

Do I necessarily have to have an academic faculty appointment? I am a post-doctoral fellow and still have two years remaining on my fellowship grant.

Yes. A faculty appointment is an essential requirement of the award. Investigators in training positions are ineligible and will not be considered. Only independent investigators who demonstrate administrative and intellectual independence and have committed research facilities will be considered. Evidence of ‘independence’ includes, but is not limited to:

  • Degree: Ph.D., M.D., or an appropriate degree in field of specialty.
  • Title/Appointment: Assistant Professor (or higher), Research Assistant Professor, or comparable position (i.e., Assistant Member). Individuals with the rank of Instructor may apply if that rank confers primary investigator status at their institution.
  • Training Experience: In most disciplines, applicants will have completed a period of post- doctoral or other research training.
  • Space: Committed independent research facilities.
  • Publications: Corresponding or senior authorship for publications in the investigator’s main area of research interest. This is desirable but not required.

I will be past the first five years of my first faculty appointment at the time when the project starts. Am I still eligible?

Yes. As long as you are within the first five years of your first faculty appointment on May 31, 2018, you are eligible to apply.

Is tenure-track an essential requirement for eligibility?

No. Tenure-track is preferred but not required. However, evidence of independent investigator status and a research environment conducive for the proposed research is required.

I have several ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas. Can I submit more than one application?

No. Only one submission per applicant is allowed. All applicants are requested to focus on their most mature, creative, out-of-the-box, translational idea that holds potential for near-term benefit to lung cancer patients.

Funding, Budget, and Payments

What are direct and indirect costs? And will ALCF cover both in this funding mechanism?

Direct costs are expenses directly related to the conduct of the proposed research and can be directly assigned to grant activities with a high degree of accuracy.

Indirect costs are the expenses of doing business that are not readily identified with a particular grant, contract, project or activity, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization, or the performance of the organization’s activities. Up to 5% of the award is available for indirect costs (not relating to the research grant) such as: institutional overhead; purchase of literature or furniture; membership fees to professional societies; recruitment/ relocation expenses; buildings construction or maintenance; non-medical or personal services to patients; per diem charges for hospital beds. To this effect, documentation of an equal in-kind level of support from the young investigator’s institution will be requested in the form of dedicated space, equipment, institutional overhead, core institutional resources, etc. The documentation required is a letter from the Cancer Center Director or Departmental Chairperson, which confirms institutional commitment to the career development of the ALCF Young Innovator.

Is the investigators’ salary covered by the grant?

Yes, up to a maximum of 25% of the applicants’ salary, however, it is expected/assumed that the investigator’s institution will cover the investigator’s salary, at least partly. The award monies may not be used for salary or benefits of any collaborators from a government institution of for-profit industry, nor for any research expenses incurred by these individuals. Tuition and professional membership dues are not allowable expenses.

Can the award be used to support junior fellows and technicians?

Yes.

How will award payments be made?

Payments will be made quarterly to the administrative PI by check. However, continued support is not automatic for any ALCF award and is conditioned on meeting pre-determined milestones and deliverables, including submission of complete and accurate progress reports, and oversight of ALCF leadership and the Scientific Review. If progress is deemed unsatisfactory, funding will be terminated completely, or until the completion of the previous quarter’s milestones and deliverables.

Application

My application includes a phase I clinical trial, should I submit the information required for an IND approval?

Yes. If the research proposal involves a clinical trial, both IND and IRB approvals must be submitted along with the online application by July 15, 2018.

Online Application Submission

I am unable to submit my application online. What should I do?

The online application submission portal goes live on May 31, 2018. We will accept application submissions until July 15, 2018. If you are unable to submit online during this window please contact us at [email protected].

Should I submit a hard copy of my application as well?

No. Once you submit your application on the ALCF portal, you will receive an automated email message notifying you of submission of your application. Please contact ALCF at [email protected] if you do not receive this email, after submission.

I wish to change something on my submission. Can I re-submit?

No. All submissions are final and cannot be changed.

What font size should I use in the PDF?

All text on the uploaded PDF should be typed in Arial 11-point type, or Times New Roman 12-point type, with no less than 0.75-inch margins. Single-spaced text is acceptable, and space between paragraphs is recommended. Please number all pages.

I missed the online submission deadline by a day. Can I email my application?

No. In fairness to all applicants, no exceptions will be made to the online application submission deadline: 11:59 PM on July 15, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to start their application early due to the complexity of the online application process. Please note that technical assistance is only available until 5:00 PM PT on July 15, 2018.

For questions about this award, funding mechanism, eligibility, please contact Amy Moore, PhD, Director, Research and Science, Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation at [email protected].