ICMR accepts proposal for fast track funding opportunities for COVID-19 translational immunology research
With an aim to fill the research thrust in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited research proposals for fast track funding for translational immunology and cellular therapeutics approach targeting COVID-19.
The ICMR will accept research entries from April 21, 2020. All applicants need to submit their respective project by May 1, 2020. It will review/ screen all the entries and will be making the announcement of promising research projects on May 10, 2020, and project(s) are expected to start by June 2020. The approved projects are entitled to be completed latest by the end of May 2022.
All scientific institutions, including universities, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) certified institutes and laboratories are eligible and applications need to comply with the ICMR’s ad-hoc project format.
The ICMR’s fast track funding for translational immunology and cellular therapeutics approach targeting COVID-19 focus research areas are:
- Cell-based approaches for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 and associated disease sequelae
- Biologics or small molecule-based modulation of the immune system for therapy or prevention
- Immunogenetics and molecular epidemiology based population studies on COVID-19
- Novel diagnostic approaches for patient stratification and risk assessment for the severity of sequelae.
During the review process, each application will be screened for technical correctness. Thereafter, each proposal will be reviewed for the feasibility of the techniques proposed scientific applicability of the approach for disease, the novelty of experimental design or delivery, clarity in experimental design, demonstration of prior experience/preliminary data, achievable milestones and timelines and potential for clinical translation.
An ICMR research scientist informed, “We are seeing that positive cases of COVID -19 are also rising in India, it is of utmost importance that we understand the dynamics of the disease process better, identify the at-risk population, and develop alternate immunomodulatory agents that could be helpful in treating severe forms and require more attention to address the needs for the increasing patient base.”
Currently, there are over 78 vaccines and over 600 therapies related trials taking place around the world. To address these gaps in treatment options for the Indian population.
The criteria of the research applications are well defined and proposals should adhere to the focus areas and disease areas described. Although the collaborations between institutes and between research and clinical teams are also encouraged. Investigators are encouraged to work with hospitals that have access to patients. The scientific team should have demonstrable expertise in the areas of disease focus and immunology. It has clearly mentioned that the proposals must be written in the English language and clearly titled in the ICMR format (ad-hoc project format). Project descriptions and style should conform to ICMR guidelines and have all requisite approvals and permissions required.
Given the urgency of the global health situation, all studies should be for a period of not more than 24 months.