2020 Eisai / UK DRI Research Programme on Dementia - Round 2

Request for Proposals

Eisai  Uk  Dri Colab Image

UK DRI and Eisai, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, have joined forces to launch a post-doctoral research programme on dementia. This programme will be an active collaboration between the UK DRI and Eisai, who will play an ongoing, active role in the projects and will seek to work with the PIs in adding value wherever possible. For further details see Appendix 1.

Awards of up to £221,000 (direct costs) will be provided to support a new three-year postdoctoral position, including salary, and up to £20,000 per annum for reagents or other expenses (standard UK DRI centre overheads will be added to the final award amount).

Up to three awards will be made for this cycle.

We invite novel research proposals in the field of neurodegeneration that may ultimately lead to transformative medicines for dementia patients.  

The overriding aim of the programme is to better understand the underlying biology that may lead to:

  • The identification of new molecular targets, pathways and/or mechanisms for therapeutic intervention.
  • Innovative drug methodologies to target the above (such as mechanisms for improved brain delivery, novel chemical or biological entities, cellular or genetic approaches).
  • The development of novel in vitro or in vivo model systems (including cutting edge screening platforms/technologies) translatable to human biological processes, with which to investigate modulation of the above. 
  • The development of biomarkers for patient selection/stratification or pharmacodynamic assessment of new therapeutics.

The applicant must satisfy the selection committee that they have ready access to all necessary research facilities, samples, reagents and equipment, and have all necessary regulatory approvals such that the work can start promptly.

Proposals will be assessed, and funding decisions made by a joint UK DRI and Eisai committee. Successful applicants and their supported post-doctoral researcher will be required to attend an annual one-day workshop to discuss the ongoing work.

Applications due:               Midday 29 May 2020

Recipients announced:       July 2020

Awards start:                     September 2020

1. Applicants must be UK DRI Group Leaders or Associate Members and have established their UK DRI laboratory by the award start date.

2. Applicants may include non-UK DRI investigators as co-applicants or collaborators.

3. Applications must be approved by an appropriate university finance/grants manager.

4. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all relevant clearances and/or approvals for the proposed work, such as those required for human tissue or animal research.

5. Funding is intended to provide the salary and associated employer costs for a new post-doctoral investigator. An additional £10,000 - £20,000 per annum will be provided for reagents and other customary research costs (standard UK DRI centre overheads will be added to the final award amount). The award may not be used for equipment, service contracts, laboratory or other institutionally levied fees, international travel, publications fees etc. (Expenses associated with attending the annual workshop may be applied to the award.)

6. The project and spending must be completed within 36 months.

1. Significance. Does this study address an important problem relevant to our understanding, diagnosis or treatment of dementia or neurodegenerative diseases?

2. Alignment. Successful applications will adhere to UK DRI/Eisai focus areas – which are, broadly, aberrant proteostasis (beyond beta amyloid); synaptic health and function; neuroinflammation; neuronal regeneration and repair.

3. Prospects. If the project is completed successfully, is it likely to lead to future work that will further address the programme’s stated aims?

4. Approach. Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative approaches?

5. Innovation. Are the specific aims original and innovative? Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods?

6. Investigator. Is the applicant qualified to carry out the work?

7. Environment. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are reagents, tools or other methods in place such that the project can start promptly and be completed within 36 months?

1. Completed cover page (1.0 page).

2. Research plan (maximum of 7.0 pages). All figures, tables etc must be incorporated into the text.

  • Background and Significance (~ 1.0 page)
  • Specific Aims (~ 1.0 page)
  • Preliminary Studies (~ 1.0 page)
  • Research Design and Methods (study design; data to be collected; analysis plan; proposed follow-up studies (~ 3.0 pages)
  • References (~ 1.0 page)

3. Ancillary Documents

Applications must also include the following pages:

  • Budget (direct costs only) and budget justification (maximum of 1.0 page)
  • Biographical sketch (for applicant only) including up to 5 relevant publications (2.0 pages)
  • Letter from applicant confirming that any proposed collaborators or co-applicants have agreed to take part in the project, that access to any proposed reagents or tools has been confirmed, and providing any other important statements of support. (1.0 page)

1. The deadline for the receipt of the application is midday 29 May 2020

2. The entire package (12 pages maximum; as described above; no exceptions) must be assembled into a single PDF and emailed to UK DRI enquiries (enquiries@ukdri.ac.uk).

3. Format: All text must be Arial or Calibri 11-point font. Figures, charts, tables, etc must be readily legible. Single-spacing is allowed. Margins, in all directions, must be at least 0.5 inches.

For any questions relevant to your application, please contact Aoife at a.kiely@ukdri.ucl.ac.uk

Downloadable RFP & application cover page

RFP - 2020 Eisai / UK DRI Postdoctorate Programme 2020 - Round 2

Application cover page - Eisai/UK DRI Postdoctorate Programme 2020 - cover page

1. Successful applicants will be assigned an Industrial Lead from Eisai who will liaise with you via
quarterly scientific updates.

2. If you recognise an opportunity for Eisai to collaborate (e.g. provide data, expertise, compounds,
materials) this will be discussed further and arrangements made.

3. Where Eisai becomes an active collaborator to the project, the university may be required to
disclose relevant background IP.

4. Furthermore, the university must recognise and accept that that such a collaboration may
result in jointly owned foreground IP.

5. The university must grant Eisai a royalty-free, irrevocable, non-transferable, non-exclusive
licence to use the results owned by the university for the sole purpose of internal research and

6. For any jointly owned IP/results the university will be required to grant Eisai the option to take
an exclusive licence to commercially exploit such IP/results.

7. For any IP/results owned solely by the university, the university will be required to grant Eisai
the option to take an exclusive licence to commercially exploit such IP/results. The terms of
any licence will be negotiated in good faith between Eisai, the DRI and the university.

8. All other terms and conditions of funding follow the standard terms and conditions outlined in
the UK DRI Ltd/University Institute Agreement.

Founding funders

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