Preparing for national, independent grants

Report
How to prepare for national,
independent grants? (CS-IRG)
AProf Allen Yeoh
Viva-Goh Foundation A/Prof in Paediatric Oncology
Chair, CS-NIG and Transitional Award
Chair, NUH Clinical Scientist Unit
To promote excellence in translational and
clinical research, nurture a vibrant research
community of clinicians and scientists in
Singapore, and enhance knowledge translation
for health and economic outcomes.
Ranga Krishnan
NMRC Chairman
• NMRC hopes to provide a conducive
environment to attract new clinician scientists
and retain existing ones to do research.
CS-IRG/NIG funding
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
IRG
NIG
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
NMRC Annual Report 2011 - 2013
Clinician Scientist-IRG success rates
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
CS-NIG (Ave 29%)
CS-IRG (Ave 22%)
NMRC Annual Report 2011 - 2013
Cooperative Basic-IRG Success rates
100%
80%
60%
CB-NIG
40%
20%
CB-IRG
0%
Jan-11
Jan-12
Jan-13
NMRC Annual Report 2011 - 2013
CS-IRG Review Process
Rejection
IRG
Submission
International
Review 3/5
Pass cut-off score
Rebuttal
3 page
LRP score
N=2
Score Range
Upper-Lower
Local Review Panel
Scores
Funding cut-off point
CS-IRG Review Process
Rejection
IRG
Submission
International
Review 3/5
Pass cut-off score
Rebuttal
3 page
LRP score
N=2
Score Range
Upper-Lower
Local Review Panel
Scores
Funding cut-off point
Reviewers
International Reviewer
• Expert in the field
• Token of payment for review
• Quality of review
Local Review Panel
• Expert, established researchers
• Doing NMRC a favour to review
• Little interest in your grant – impt to interest them
• Summarise and Present International Review, Rebuttal and
their reviews
Idea: What is the problem?
• Define the problem or need to study
• Important clinical problem that you, your
peers and experts in your field face as doctors
• Start > 6 months ahead; 3 afternoon/week
• Attend top conferences in your field
• read articles from top journals in field and
general – NEJM, Cell/Nature/Science
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
Pablo Picasso
Read the grant application carefully
• Download current CS-IRG form from NMRC
• Highlight all questions you must answer and
materials you have to include. Underline key
words or phrases you might want to use.
– Before you start writing—brainstorm with team,
collaborators
– Why should NMRC fund you?
BIG is beautiful – so collaborate!
Abstract : Most important
•
•
•
•
Executive summary what you want to do.
Reviewers read this first to understand scope
Spend most time to craft this abstract
Avoid errors or inconsistencies especially in
numbers
• Summarise every thing that is important and most
exciting for research proposal
• Think critically how different parts link up together
• Flow and information self-contained
• Eliminate not important information – no reference
• Readable – avoid many short forms or special words
• 300 words is sufficient
First Paragraph: Grab attention
• Summarise problem and gap in knowledge
• Why NMRC should fund the study to solve the
problem?
Second paragraph – specific aims, hypothesis
etc.
Conclusion – how the study will address the gap.
Use the NMRC form to create outline
The outline should follow, painstakingly, the
sequence and terms prescribed by NMRC.
In no more than 12 pages (page limit excludes the reference section), include the
following sections in the research proposal. Please use Arial font size 10 for all text.
Specific Aims & Hypothesis
Background & Clinical Significance
Preliminary Studies/Progress report
Methods/Approach
How the research furthers the vision/mission of NMRC
Roles of Team Members
References
Aims and Background
• Specific Aims & Hypothesis
State concisely and realistically what the study intends to
accomplish and what hypothesis is to be tested.
• Background & Clinical Significance
Briefly sketch the background of the research proposed, critically
evaluate existing knowledge and specifically identify the gaps
which the project intends to fill. State concisely the importance
of the research described by relating the specific aims to both
short term (3-5 years) and possible long term clinical
implications.
Preliminary data
NMRC aims
Describe how your research will contribute to:
• solving the health problem;
• develop new knowledge relevant to improving
health;
• develop scientific and clinical applications; and
• developing knowledge in biomedical sciences
and providing tangible improvements in
healthcare
Methods/Approach (most important)
Describe the following in detail (refer to statistical
checklist found in Appendix 2 of the Guide for IRG
Application for study design):
Don’t just paste in your protocol
• experimental design and the procedure,
• the potential difficulties and limitations of the
proposed procedures and alternative approaches to
achieve the aims,
• Statistical justification and the means by which data
will be analyzed and interpreted.
• Engage Biostatisticians early – NUS Biostats Unit, Duke
CQM
Area
Participants
Interventions
Objectives
hypotheses
Outcomes
Sample size
Randomization Sequence
generation
Randomization Implementation
Blinding
Descriptor
Eligibility criteria.
Detail the interventions intended for each group and how,
when and by whom they are to be administered.
Provide specific objectives or aims and related specific
hypotheses.
Clearly define primary and secondary outcome measures, AND
when applicable, methods to enhance measurements quality
How was sample size determined ?
Method used to generate the random allocation sequence,
and any restrictions (e.g., blocking, stratification)
Who will generate the allocation sequence, who will enroll
participants, and who will assign participants to their groups
How was blinding of the assigned treatment achieved for (i)
subjects (ii) care-givers (iii) outcome assessors?
Statistical
What specific statistical analysis is planned for each primary
analyses for each and planned secondary hypothesis?
hypothesis
Statistical
Who provides design and statistical collaboration
Collaboration
Write the first draft
• It doesn't have to look good, just get your
ideas down on paper. Scribble/type
• Clearly lay out specific goals.
- Instead of trying to cure leukaemia, focus on
specific tangible improvements
- Reduce toxicity by reducing anthracyclines
Make it shine.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Go through it carefully and polish it up.
Clear ideas; concise delivery.
Read it out loud to see how it flows. (Dario)
Rewrite – I do it about 20 times! Label your files
Highlight key words and phrases by date, editor
rules and procedures
Don’t pack more than 12 pages – reviewer
fatigue
Succinct, remember Reviewer is not
Interested in your work
Proofread carefully.
• Show the funding committee that you take the
proposal seriously by carefully proofing your
proposal for spelling, typing, and grammatical
errors.
– At least 2 people to read and critique it
– Departments which provide internal reviewers
scores well!
Define the project's budget.
• Don't guess about the numbers.
• take the time to research and evaluate the actual
expenses you've got to manage. Don't estimate.
• Use real numbers, not amounts that end in
000.00.
• Make sure things add up
• Equipment, labor, and anything else you are
going to need, and exactly what the cost will be,
then spell it out in the proposal.
• Justify your budget – manpower, equipments
CS-IRG - PI
• Clinically qualified (i.e. with MD/MBBS/BDS)
• Primary appointment in a local public hospital/public
health institutions/national specialty centre/public
universities/Academic Medical Centres and salaried by the
institution.
• > 9 months employment with a local Singapore institution.
> 6 months of residency in Singapore for each calendar year
over the duration of the grant award.
(No need to by Singaporean or Permanent resident)
• No outstanding reports from previous BMRC, NMRC grants
and other national grants.
CS-IRG
• Funding up to S$1.5M per project for 3 years
• It is mandatory for all applications to be
submitted online via nGager by 2 June 2014,
5pm.
• all on-line submissions are endorsed by the
corresponding host institution's Research
Director by the closing date.
• NUHS Research Office usually has 1 week
earlier closing date
https://ngager.moh.gov.sg/ngager2/

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