(Updated Feb 5th, 2013)
1. Can you clarify exactly what you mean by the statement "Proposals should focus on systems and/or translational approaches"?
All proposals must have a translational research component, as defined in the RFA. A systems approach is one (of several) possible ways of developing an intervention through translational research.
2. Translational research can be defined in several ways. Can you be more precise about the types of studies that you want to support?
The definition used in the RFA (from the US National Cancer Institute) specifies that the anticipated end result of the project is an intervention or application intended to reduce the effects of neurodevelopmental disorders. A proposal with the end result of creating, for example, a transgenic animal model of a neurodevelopmental disorder, or the identification of the product of a gene associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder, would both fall short of the desired end result, even though they are important intermediate steps towards translation.
3. It says in the RFA that you want to encourage international collaboration. Are you aware of any relevant opportunities ?
Yes. The NIH has a Centers for Collaborative Research in Fragile X (U01) competition in progress, lead by NICHD (full details of the RFA at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-13-004.html), with many similarities to the Brain Canada RFA. The NIH application deadline was January 30th, but there may still be possibilities for collaborations between Canadian and USA teams. We urge those working in the Fragile X field to contact current or potential collaborators in the USA to enquire if they have applied to the NIH competition, and see if joint research activities might strengthen their LOI or eventual full application to Brain Canada. Once both competitions are concluded, it may also be possible for Canadian and USA teams working on Fragile X, funded through these parallel competitions, to attend a joint scientific meeting for planning additional collaborations."
To view additional FAQ’s about the MIRI application and review process please see (MIRI FAQ’s)