Call for Application: Clinical/Public Health Research Centres 2019

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance
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Call for Application: Clinical/Public Health Research Centres 2019

Applications open: 16 May 2019

Application Deadline: 17 June 2019

The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance invites applications to fund Clinical/Public Health Research Centres (CRCs), which are envisioned as ‘research-oriented centres’, which preferably involve multiple institutions that focus on important biomedical research problems and develop physician scientists. This scheme aims to improve clinical and public health research ecosystems in India to bridge gaps in human resource, supervision, mentorship, equipment, and administration.

The CRCs would be virtual centres that could be based on either crosscutting or vertical research themes, with the training of early career physician researchers as an essential component. Though not mandatory, this scheme encourages international collaboration.

Salient Features

  • The applying institutions should propose a clear path for promoting clinical/public health research, developing physician scientists, supporting clinicians and public health scientists to carry out patient- and population-oriented research in addition to patient care and preventive medicine. (Note: There would be no explicit advice from India Alliance beyond the stated mandate and purpose of the scheme. It would be up to applying institutions to justify how they would achieve the overall goal of developing physician scientists and enhancing the clinical and public health research ecosystem.)

All details on eligibility and provisions are available here.

  • Research proposals from existing eligible institutions should provide evidence of access to an in-house or external Clinical Study Design Unit (CSDU) and relevant training programmes.
  • The proposal should have components of human resource training and mentorship. Training of MD and PhD students should be a critical part of the proposed project. A detailed training plan and a plan to evaluate its success would be required. 
  • The CRCs may also link up with the Clinical Research Training Programme (CRTP) to develop a 3 to 4-year mentored training programme for clinical and public health researchers, and seek separate funds for that CRTP. A CRC application can also be made without linking it to CRTP, but relevant training and research components must be built into it. (Details of CRTP are available here.) 
  • An appropriate research management plan should be in place at the coordinating institution, and preferably at all participating institutions. 
  • The CRCs are envisioned to include more than one institution. Strong justification would be required for a single-institution CRC, in which case multiple departments at that institution should come together. 
  • The application should outline a resource-sharing plan and demonstrate sustainability after the funding is over. Substantial commitment from the institutions to co-support would be desirable. 
  • In a given round, only one application would be allowed from a Lead Institution.

Funds

  • A grant of up to INR 10 crores (including 10% overheads) is available for a 5-year project. 
  • Applicants can seek support for items such as hiring new clinical and public health researchers (initially as project staff but with an institutional commitment longer than the duration of the grant), purchasing equipment and research supplies, maintaining clinical and population cohorts and biobanks, and for training early career clinicians in research. 
  • Funds can also be requested for strengthening the research management structure at the institution(s) and for Clinical Study Design Unit. 
  • The budget plan should justify each line item. 

Note: Projects of duration less than 5 years or budget of over INR 10 crores will be deemed ineligible. In addition, the scheme will not provide funds to build any physical spaces.

Application

The major sections of the application are—

  • Details of the participating institutions and investigators
  • The proposed project (with built-in milestones for evaluation)
  • Details on the proposed CRTP plan
  • Budget of the proposed project (with a resource-sharing plan)
  • Official support letter from the head of the sponsoring institution(s)

Details about the application process and evaluation models are available here.

Timelines

Applications open: 16 May 2019 (Application forms will be available at the India Alliance website)

Applications close: 17 June 2019 (2:00 PM, IST)

Please visit our website for detailed information on this scheme. All queries may be addressed to info@indiaalliance.org.

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