Revised: February 9, 2021
Key Dates for 2021:
Applications to the CBC’s Accelerator Award program are invited usually once or twice a year. Please note that the online application submission closes at 5:00 PM on the day listed for each submission round.
|Application Round||LOI Submission Deadline||LOI Presentations at CBCAN||Application Submission Deadline||Funding Decisions||Anticipated Start Date|
|March 5, 2021||Part I: May 6, 2021
Part II: May 20, 2021
|June 25, 2021||August 18, 2021||October 1, 2021|
REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS:
The Accelerator Award program is a key component of the CBC’s Phase 2 strategy. Inaugurated in 2018, Accelerator Awards intend to support research leading to the development of therapeutics at the early stages of translation. The award is intended to enable the initial steps toward potential commercialization of intriguing basic research discoveries with significant translational potential. Applicants for Accelerator Awards should present a compelling hypothesis about the therapeutic potential of the system/entity to be studied, and propose a research plan that addresses one or more key components of the hypothesis and can generate robust data to advance the program.
Accelerator Awards offer up to $100,000 for one year. Quarterly progress reports will be required and funds will be distributed in tranches based on progress towards pre-specified milestones. Awardees may be invited to apply for an additional award of $150,000 for a second year if adequate progress is made towards milestones during the first year.
In addition to providing financial support, Accelerator Awards will support investigators by providing mentoring by various experts from industry and the universities. Those seeking Accelerator Awards will receive frequent feedback, beginning with the Letter of Intent submission and continuing into performance of approved projects.
Unlike other CBC awards (and NIH grants), Accelerator Awards will be made only to support early-stage translational research. The multipart application process is initiated with the submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) and will require well-thought-out and clear, detailed explanations of translational potential, and the proposed work must explicitly address questions pertaining to translation. Applicants with promising LOIs will be required to present their projects at a CBC Accelerator Network (CBCAN) meeting and address/incorporate feedback into the final proposal.
Accelerator LOIs and proposals will be evaluated by the Accelerator Review Board (ARB), composed of representatives from the Pharmaceutical industry, the Universities’ Technology Transfer Offices, and mentors identified from the CBC and its member institutions. The Board will approve projects based on significance, translational potential, marketability of the proposed product, preliminary data, and the soundness of the proposed milestones to discharge key elements of risk.
Since this is a new program, please see the Appendix for several examples of the type of projects that would be appropriate for an Accelerator Award. As the Accelerator Award is intended to stimulate new translational efforts, such funds may not be used for correlative studies associated with ongoing clinical trials.
ACCELERATOR AWARD DETAILS AND ELIGIBILITY:
- Applicants must be tenured or tenure-track faculty with research programs at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, and/or University of Illinois at Chicago. Faculty with full time appointments on the clinical track at each of the institutions are also eligible to apply. Applicants must have their own designated laboratory space. Individuals who carry faculty appointments with parenthetical rank, are not eligible for tenure, and do not have their own laboratory space are not eligible to apply.
- Although collaborative proposals are encouraged there is no specific requirement for cross-institutional collaboration.
- Applicants may have created a company to pursue translation of their innovation, but there is no expectation or requirement for so doing. The CBC encourages applications prior to or without company formation.
- Multiple applications can be submitted from each institution.
- There is no expectation that Accelerator Awards will be distributed evenly among the CBC institutions.
- Proposals should show both innovation and scientific merit.
- The project should be focused on the development of a therapeutic or associated diagnostic or biomarker, built around a compelling hypothesis and focus on gathering data that advances the hypothesis and discharges key translational risks.
- Research teams should not already be funded for the same (or closely related) specific aims and/or milestones.
- Research projects described in Accelerator applications cannot be under review at other funding institutions/agencies to support the same (or closely related) specific aims and/or milestones.
- A PI may participate in only one application per round.
- Ongoing and active participation in the CBCAN program is a requirement for Accelerator Award recipients.
- Grants can range up to $100,000 for use over 1 year. Awarded projects that have met proposed milestones during the first year may be invited to apply for $150,000 for one additional year. Please note that the three CBC institutions have waived all indirect costs.
- Accelerator Awards are one-time awards, with no expectation of continuation or renewal by the CBC.
All LOIs MUST be prepared according to the guidelines listed below. All pages and documents listed below should be assembled into a SINGLE PDF document in the order listed. Portfolios will NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Name the PDF file with “AA_LOI_” followed by the last name of the PI designated as contact person (e.g., AA_LOI_smith.pdf).
LOIs not conforming to these guidelines will NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Page 1: Title Page
- Download the LOI Title Page Form, fill out and append as page 1 of your proposal.
- Complete all checkboxes by selecting either YES or NO and provide information when needed.
Pages 2-5: The body of the LOI is limited to 4 pages; append as pages 2 – 5 of your application. Include the following sections with the indicated titles and in the indicated order. Use at least size 11 font, 0.5 inch margins and standard letter paper size (8.5” x 11”).
- One-paragraph lay-language summary of project (max. 150 words; append as page 2 of your LOI)
- A separate, one-page discussion (append as page 3 of your LOI) of the basic research findings that are the basis of the hypothesis and project, including:
- Its significance
- The compelling data that suggests clinical/translational potential
- Does this research have the potential to change or modify current paradigms?
- A separate, two-page discussion (append as pages 4 and 5 of your LOI) of the translational potential of the project, describing:
- The diagnostic, biomarker or therapeutic you have in mind and its significance
- The patient population that will benefit from your discovery
- The clinical or therapeutic need, i.e. the marketability
- How the proposed therapeutic differs from existing ones and/or benefits patients in a new way
- The experiments you intend to do and how they will address key translational risks (see Appendix for relevant examples)
- The translational goal(s) for your Accelerator project and proposed quarterly milestones (ensure that these are adequately quantitative for demonstrating progress)
- Describe interactions with your Technology Transfer Office and the status of your intellectual property for this project. Has a company been formed?
- Has this project received any funding for translational work? If yes, please elaborate and indicate the relationship of this proposal to otherwise funded work.
Page 6: Relevant Cited Scientific References (not to exceed one page; please follow the NIH format)
Completed LOIs MUST be submitted online. The Accelerator LOI submission site will close at 5:00 PM on the day indicated in the Key Dates section above. Clearly designate the contact person on the LOI. The contact person will be responsible for submitting the LOI.
Following evaluation of LOI, the review panel will invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal. Full proposal guidance will be provided at that time.
To submit your LOI click on the link below:
Updated: February 8, 2021
If you have questions, please contact:
|Nancy Tyrrell||CBC Associate Director, Translational Activitiesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Richard Morimoto||Interim CBC Executive Director and CBC Scientific Director for NUemail@example.com|
|Luisa DiPietro||CBC Scientific Director for UICfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lucy A. Godley||CBC Scientific Director for UChicagoemail@example.com|
(Questions about the application submission webform ONLY)
|CBC Program Coordinatorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
To view examples of projects that might be suitable for Accelerator funding, click on the tabs below labeled Example #1, #2 or #3. If you are printing the RFA choose the option Expand all. Please note that this is not an exhaustive or prescriptive list.
MILESTONES should contain the following components: 1) goal or objective, 2) timeline to achieve goal, 3) prospectively defined evidence that goal achieved based on quantitative criteria.