METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is a charitable organization whose mission includes funding basic, translational, and clinical research with the goal of eradicating death due to metastatic breast cancer by relegating it to a chronic manageable disease. METAvivor’s research program was established in 2009 to specifically fund research focused on treating established breast cancer metastases to improve outcomes for stage IV metastatic breast cancer patients. This does not currently include Quality of Life studies, although we acknowledge these studies are important. METAvivor is led by volunteers, many of whom are living with metastatic breast cancer, and patient review is a critical part of our research program.
METAvivor is offering the Research Award for established investigators in the field of metastatic breast cancer research:
Award type: Research Award
Duration: Up to 2 years
Deadline to submit required LOI: March 18, 2020
Budget and justification: Detailed
Applicants to the award must hold a clinical doctoral degree or doctoral degree from an accredited institution and must hold an independent position beyond the level of a trainee (i.e. postdoctoral fellow, student, clinical fellow, resident, etc.) in the United States.
The Research Award include direct costs (including up to $1500 for travel), and indirect costs of up to 5% of the total award. We anticipate that approximately 20% of Research Award applicants that submit the required Letter of Intent (LOI) will be invited to submit a full application following the LOI review process. Only invited applications will be considered for funding.
Application Portal Opens: February 18, 2020 at https://metavivor.infoready4.com/
Required Letter of Intent Due: by 11:59 PM ET on March 18, 2020
Invitations to Submit Full Application Sent: on or by May 26, 2020
Invited Applications Due: by 11:59 PM ET on August 24, 2020
Announcement of Awardees: on or by December 4, 2020
The goal of METAvivor’s Research Award is to provide a supporting foundation for basic, translational, and clinical research designed to address critical problems or barriers to progress in the field of metastatic breast cancer. These awards can be also be discovery based as well for advanced research projects with more well-established/validated models, molecules, pathways, biomarkers, treatments, etc.
METAvivor ONLY funds research that has clear potential to benefit those who are living with metastatic breast cancer (i.e. the already-metastasized or stage IV patient). Preference for funding will be given to research with potential to lead directly to improved clinical outcomes, or that is meant to provide a clear conceptual foundation for improving the treatment of metastatic breast cancer in the future, as in the case of mechanistic or pre-clinical animal studies for example. Applications focused on the prevention of or diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer or improving Quality of Life will be administratively withdrawn. Strong applications must have a clear focus on and rationale for studying established breast cancer metastases.
The applicant’s expertise may represent diverse fields such as genetics, chemistry, or oncology. It is important for applicants to identify their clear qualification to perform the proposed aims in their biosketches in conjunction with support from possible collaborators. Please note that METAvivor also strongly encourages the incorporation of experienced patient advocates in the application and review process for all grants. The application packet should provide details of advocate involvement in the preparation of the application and plans for involvement during the funding period.
Examples of research areas that could be supported by this RFP include, but are not limited to:
Some aspects of the proposed research may reduce over-treatment of patients; reduction of toxic side effects; or mechanistic studies to explain (lack of) efficacy against metastatic disease. Collaborative, multi-investigator and multi-disciplinary projects are encouraged but not required.
METAvivor does not currently differentiate resubmitted applications in our review process and we do not provide a space to address previous reviewer concerns. Each application is treated as an initial submission and is not likely to be reviewed by the same previous reviewers. If an application scored strongly in a previous year, but was not funded, the applicant may choose to note this in the Letter of Intent.
**Failure to adhere to RFP instructions (for both the Letter of Intent and invited application) will result in administrative withdrawal**
Interested applicants who meet award eligibility requirements above must submit a letter of intent (LOI) to apply for the Research Award before 11:59 PM ET on March 18, 2020. The LOI with a cover page must be uploaded as one PDF file named applicantlastname_firstinitial_LOI_2020, and submitted via the grant portal (https://metavivor.infoready4.com/). Applicants of the most competitive LOIs (approximately 20%) will be invited to submit a full proposal following a scientific and patient review process described under ‘Review Process.’
(format: size 11 Arial, Times New Roman or Helvetica font with .5” margins)
Only applicants invited to submit a proposal following the LOI review process on/by June 26, 2020 will be considered for funding. Invited applicants must submit their full application using the METAvivor Grant Portal (https://metavivor.infoready4.com/) by 11:59 PM ET on August 24, 2020. Invited applications accepted for review will be reviewed by one patient advocate and two independent peers as described under ‘Review Process.’
Contact information in the online grant portal should be that of the submitting primary investigator. Please format all documents to size 11 Arial, font with .5” page margins and include page numbers.
Using language readily understood by lay persons, please clearly address the rationale and goal of the research proposal. Explain anticipated clinical applications or benefits for stage IV metastatic breast cancer patients that could result from the proposed work. If the research is basic, explain the interim outcomes and how the research is significant to persons with established breast cancer metastasis. The public abstract will be published on the METAvivor website if the grant is awarded. Please upload this file as a PDF named applicantlastname_firstinitial_PublicAbstract_2020.
The proposed research plan must be submitted as a single PDF document named
applicantlastname_firstinitial_ResearchPlan_2020 and must contain the following components in order:
The METAvivor Research Award is for up to $250,000 over two years ($125,000 per year maximum). This amount includes direct costs (salary, materials and supplies, and travel up to $1500/yr), and indirect costs of up to 5% of each award total. METAvivor funds cannot be used for the purchase of equipment or tuition remission (without prior approval). A detailed explanation justifying the budget for these categories is required. Please use the budget with justification format template that is available for download in the portal for each award and upload this completed template as a PDF file labeled as applicantlastname_BudgetandJustification_2020.pdf.
The applicant (and all co-applicants if applicable) are required to submit one PDF file named applicantlastname_firstinitial_OtherSupport_2020 that lists all current and pending support and a brief summary of overlap with the proposed project for each individual. Support includes all financial resources, whether Federal, non-Federal, commercial or institutional, that directly supports the applicant’s research. Examples include, but are not limited to research grants, contracts, and/or institutional awards. Applicants are welcome to upload an NIH Other Support page for this if they have a current one (available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/othersupport.htm). If awarded a METAvivor research grant, you will be required to disclose other funding for the same research project and submit a new budget if awarded after METAvivor announces awards.
All applicants (and co-applicants) are required to upload their biosketch(es) as a PDF file named as applicantlastname_firstinitial_ApplicantsBio_2020. You may also upload biographical sketches of important project supporters including collaborators. Please combine supporting biosketches into one PDF file named applicantlastname_firstinitial_SupportingBios_2020.pdf.
Institutional support: All applicants are required to upload a Letter of Support from the sponsoring institution or Department Chair (or equivalent) of the primary investigator (i.e. applicant). This letter should clearly indicate that the sponsoring institution is able to provide the necessary facilities and infrastructure for the proposed research. Please upload this letter as a PDF named applicantlastname_firstinitial_institutionLOS_2020.
Collaborator and/or co-applicant support: Letters of support from co-applicants are required. Applicants citing support from additional collaborators and/or investigators providing key reagents/equipment access are also required to upload letters of support from them. Please combine letters of support from scientific collaborators/co-applicants into one PDF file named applicantlastname_firstinitial_LOS_2020.
Advocate support: Letters of support from patient advocates are strongly encouraged, but not required. These should be uploaded as a separate PDF file named applicantlastname_firstinitiation_advocateLOS_2020. If the supporting advocate also has a biosketch to share, this can be combined with the letter of support and uploaded as one file.
The following additional documents may be required prior to funding approval:
Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk
All research involving human subjects, human anatomical substances and/or human data must follow the rules and recommendations of the local Institutional Review Board (IRB). Documents attesting to approval of the clinical protocol by the local IRB will be requested by METAvivor at the time of funding. It is therefore advisable to submit the protocol for IRB review prior to funding approval.
Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research
A document detailing use of vertebrate animals in the research proposal along with approval of the protocol by the institutional Animal Welfare board will be required prior to funding approval. The document should 1) justify use of animals as described in the research proposal, including strain, number and sex of the animals; and 2) provide detailed information on the veterinary care of the animals used, including procedures used to minimize discomfort and pain, and methods of euthanasia in accordance to the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia.
Investigational New Drugs (IND)
Applications involving an IND must receive approval from their Institutional Review Board. Documentation of IND approval must be provided to METAvivor prior to distribution of the Award and for each year of funding.
Any LOI or invited full application that does not meet the requirements of this RFP will be administratively withdrawn and will not enter the review process. Applicants will be notified as to whether their LOI and/or invited full application has been accepted or rejected for review.
LOIs accepted for review will be peer reviewed for overall impact, taking into account the proposed project’s significance, anticipated impact, rationale, and approach. Patients will review LOIs for significance only. A limited number of applicants that submit LOIs to the Research Award or Founder’s Award will be invited to submit a full application based upon results of the review process. Applicants will not receive review comments back on their LOIs, and the LOI will not enter into the review of a subsequent grant application.
Invited applications that have been accepted for the review process will be reviewed by one patient advocate and two qualified peers based on the criteria below. Applicants will be notified of whether or not they have been accepted for award in December of 2020 following discussions amongst METAvivor’s board and scientific advisors.
Patient advocates will evaluate invited applications based upon impact. Specifically, they will assess the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, or to be a foundation for future treatments in the already-metastasized metastatic breast cancer patient.
Written support from a patient advocate for an invited application is not required, but patient support that underscores the potential impact of the proposed project is strongly encouraged in the form of a Letter of Support. These letters, if submitted, will be provided to patient advocate reviewers.
Two independent qualified peers will evaluate applications based upon 1) Overall Impact, 2) Significance, 3) Investigator(s), 4) Innovation, 5) Approach, and 6) the Development Plan. Reviewers will also assess the appropriate use of vertebrate animals and/or human subjects when applicable and carefully review the budget and budget justification. Potential overlap with other funded awards not be allowed, and will be carefully assessed based on the ‘Other Support’ document.
Anonymous scores and comments from patient and peer reviewers will be provided back to invited applicants whose full proposals entered the review process.
Awarded applicants must submit a progress report at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after funding begins. Reporting requirements will be specified in the award contract. Continuation of support for the proposed research plan will depend upon satisfactory review of the 1-year progress report by the Scientific Review Officer and METAvivor leadership. Awarded grants can follow an applicant if they move to a new institution within the US, but this requires approval from METAvivor on a case-by-case basis.
For more information, please contact us at [email protected]