Call for Applications: Developmental Research Awards

1/29/2016

Background: 
The Longer Life Foundation, a joint enterprise of the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis and Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA), has as its mission:

To study factors that assist in predicting mortality and morbidity of selected populations and to research methods to promote improvements in longevity and health by analyzing the effects of changes in medicine and advances in public health practices.

 

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Scope of Work:

The Foundation announces the 2016 Call for Applications for Washington University faculty for Pilot and Feasibility Research Projects addressing topics related to the Foundation mission, as stated above. We are looking to fund research studying determinants of long term prognosis for common ailments in the public. Preference is given to clinical research that involves new discovery, rather than implementation of existing therapeutic strategies. We also fund studies that research methods to improve disease prognosis or prevent ailments from occurring thereby improving quality and quantity of life. However, these studies should involve patients with a disease that is either known to shorten life expectancy or poses a significant risk for shortening life. We are interested in individual pilot and feasibility studies as well as pilot projects that are a component of larger or established studies, such as analyses of existing databases.

General areas of interest, with topics of special interest, include but are not limited to:

 • Prognosticators of disease progression, survival and longevity
 • 
Mechanisms or interventions that prevent disease and promote longevity
 • 
The impact of common co-morbid conditions on outcomes in diseases that shorten the lifespan
 • 
Cancer screening and tumor markers
 • 
Frailty (both physical and cognitive/mental) in older adults and its effect on disease severity and survival
 • 
Obesity and its impact on health
 • 
Assessing clinical utility of new technologies such as Smartphone apps or other ”at home testing” tools

 


Criteria for evaluation: 

Following are several criteria that are considered when reviewing Longer Life Foundation grant applications. One or more of these criteria should be included in each application. No one of them is more important than the other. Strong proposals might emphasize some more than others.

• Applicable to broad audiences or populations.
• Enhances length or quality of life.
• Practical: results can be used to prognosticate a particular disease or risk factor or improve diagnosis of disease.
• Innovative: new technology or direction, not just refinement of an existing procedure or approach.
• Preventive approach, including primary prevention of a particular disease or disability and prevention of sequelae or complications of disease.


Who is Eligible?

• Young investigators with at least two years of research experience who are interested in longevity-related research and have yet to obtain independent funding.

• Established investigators who are developing a new direction in research on determinants of health and longevity.

Investigators must have an M.D., a Ph.D. or similar degree in their field and have an affiliation with Washington University in Saint Louis. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible.


Awards: 

In 2016, four to five grants will be funded. The project period is October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017, and the amount of funding for each grant is between $20,000 and $50,000 (direct costs). Following the review of proposals for scientific merit, budgets may be negotiated with individual investigators. A second year of funding may be requested and requires submission of a competing renewal application in the 2017 grant cycle, demonstration of satisfactory progress, and justification for a second year of funding.


Terms of awards: 

All applications must have appropriate institutional regulatory approvals before funds can be released. Grantees will meet with the Chairman of LLF’s Scientific Review Committee at the beginning of the project period to discuss their study and again at six months to review their progress and future plans for the research. Grantees are required to submit a final report at the completion of their study or a progress report after a year of funding. This report will be posted on the Longer Life Foundation website. Grantees are asked to inform the Foundation when their research is published and all publications should acknowledge support from the Longer Life Foundation: A RGA/Washington University Partnership.


Dates: 

• Letters of Intent are due by February 22, 2016
• Decisions regarding approval to submit a formal application will be provided by April 25, 2016
• Applications are due by June 3, 2016
• Notification of awards will be made by September 1, 2016
• Funding begins October 1, 2016


Application Procedure:

Investigators interested in applying for funding MUST submit a Letter of Intent. Only those investigators whose letters pass that level of review will be invited to submit a full application. All Letters of Intent will be reviewed by the Scientific Review Committee and the Foundation’s Advisory Group. Decisions to invite an investigator to submit or not submit a full application are based upon the relevance of the research to the Foundation’s mission and the number of grants that can be awarded that year. All investigators are given feedback on the decision made on their Letter of Intent.
Letter of Intent: 

Letters of Intent are due by February 22, 2016 The letter should include the following:

• A one- to two-page description of the research, including project title, aims, method of approach, relevance to the mission of the Longer Life Foundation and the Scope of Work.
• NIH-format biographical sketch
The Letter of Intent and biographical sketch should be submitted as a SINGLE electronic file.

Please submit to both:
• Philip Smalley MD at: psmalley@rgare.com
• David Alpers MD at: dalpers@dom.wustl.edu with a CC: to jheins@dom.wustl.edu

Letters of Intent will be reviewed and feedback will be provided by April 25, 2016.


Applications: 

Applications are due June 3, 2016. The application should be submitted in a SINGLE electronic file and must include:

• Title
• Abstract (1 page)
• Summary and description in lay language (1 page)
• NIH Biographical sketch (brief). Please provide information on other support.
• Research plan (6 pages maximum excluding references and budget). Please include:
o Specific aims
o Scope of work and relevance of project to the mission of the Foundation
o Background and significance of the work
o Preliminary data or progress report if applying for a second year of funding
o Research design and methods
• Plans for obtaining additional extramural funding arising from the proposed studies
• References
• Budget and budget justification
Additional instructions:
• Applications should be submitted electronically in a SINGLE file.
• Format: single-spaced, 11 or 12 point font
• Header: title and investigator’s name
• Applications must be submitted before midnight Central Time June 3, 2016


Please submit to both:
• Philip Smalley MD at: psmalley@rgare.com
• David Alpers MD at: dalpers@dom.wustl.edu with a CC: to jheins@dom.wustl.edu

For a copy of the Regulations Governing Grants from the Longer Life Foundation or additional information contact Joan Heins at 314/286-1912 or jheins@dom.wustl.edu

 

 

The Longer Life Foundation, a joint enterprise of the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis and Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA), has as its mission:
 
To study factors that assist in predicting mortality and morbidity of selected populations and to research methods to promote improvements in longevity and health by analyzing the effects of changes in medicine and advances in public health practices.