Announcement of Funding Opportunity
The National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (NSCFA) is a prominent supporter of stem cell science in Australia, well known for its annual award to promising mid-career researchers (the Metcalf Prize) and ongoing support of students and early-career researchers by providing travel grants to participate in various conferences (in particular, the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research annual meeting).
NSCFA is announcing its intention to provide up to four AUD$100,000 research grants per year over the next five years, as part of its newly developed Matched Funding Program.
Under the Program, NSCFA will match any donation it receives from an approved donor (or donors) up to a maximum of $50,000 with up to $50,000 dollars of its own funds, to potentially provide a total of $100,000 for a successful research project.
Ideally, the lead researcher (or their host institution) would find and introduce the donor to NSCFA, however if this does not occur NSCFA will use its resources to try to source an appropriate donor (through its newsletters, website and social media).
To be eligible the research project must be:
- Utilising stem cell technology
- Performed predominantly in Australia
- At the late pre-clinical trial stage in readiness for clinical trials OR ready to conduct a clinical trial.
The application will also provide details of the purpose for which the funding will be used such as equipment, PhD Student stipends, research assistants or a project manager (if working towards clinical trials).
Applications will also advise on the prospects of finding interested donors willing to provide support at this level.
Researchers interested in applying for a grant under the program should complete an Expression of Interest (see below) and forward it to NSCFA as directed.
Applications open on 1st November 2019 and close on 6th December 2019.
All EOIs will be reviewed by the NSCFA Science & Ethics Committee and independent expert reviewers who will initially establish a short list and then decide the eventual winners of the grants.
During the review process researchers under serious consideration will most probably be required to provide more detailed information on their project.
The full review process will be completed by 26th February 2020. Successful applicants will be advised directly and the full list of projects to be funded will be posted on the NSCFA website by 28th February 2020.
Successful researchers will be sent, through their host institution, a letter of intent confirming that once NSCFA has received the $50,000 donation intended to support their research, it will forward the full $100,000 in funding.
The Researcher (or Host Institution) will then have until 23rd June 2020 to find an approved donor. At that stage, if a donor has not been found, the offer to provide the funding will lapse.
When an approved donor has been found, two agreements will be executed:
- A fairly basic Research Funding Agreement between NSCFA and the Researcher’s Host Institution confirming key elements of the relationship.
- A Donor Agreement between NSCFA and the Donor, largely designed to confirm the obligations and rights of the donor.
After these are executed, the Donor can make their donation ($50,000) to NSCFA and within seven days NSCFA will pay $100,000 to the Researcher’s Host Institution.
The Researcher will then have twelve months from that payment date to fully acquit the funds and provide a final report to the NSCFA.