Grants for Mesothelioma Research

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) is calling for applications for its 2013 round of mesothelioma research grant funding.

The Meso Foundation (formerly known as MARF) is the non-profit dedicated to ending the suffering caused by mesothelioma. We are the international collaboration of patients and families, physicians, advocates, and researchers dedicated to eradicating the life-ending and vicious effects of mesothelioma. We believe in a cure for meso. Given the human toll of suffering the disease causes, the compassion and energy of the meso community, the moral, legal and economic aspects of asbestos, and the benefits of meso research to cancer research generally, we believe that the resources to accomplish this cure are available and must be mobilized. We seek to marshal and utilize these resources responsibly, as effectively as possible, with financial transparency and by adhering to health policy guidelines that foster ethical clinical and administrative practices, and ethical decision making to:

·        Offer hope and support to patients and families by educating them on the disease, helping them to obtain the most up-to-date information on treatment options and to connect with meso treatment specialists, and providing them assistance, emotional support and community with others;

·        Raise awareness of meso, and advocate that the public and private sectors partner in the effort to cure it by directing the resources needed to stop this global tragedy; and

·        Fund the highest quality and most promising meso research projects from around the world through rigorous peer-review. To date we have funded 86 projects, from six different countries, totaling over 8.2 million dollars.

The Meso Foundation offers research grants for two years up to $50,000 per year. Eligible projects may relate to benchwork, translational or clinical research that is not presently funded or pending review and may be conducted through any not-for-profit academic, medical or research institution. The Foundation will review and monitor the project's progress and results, requiring semi-annual disposition of funds reports, a ten month progress report, a presentation at the Foundation’s Symposium and a full progress report at the close of the project. The Foundation seeks exceptional projects for which the Foundation's funding is demonstrated to be essential and not duplicative. Please be advised that the Foundation does not pay institutional indirect costs.

Funded researchers will also be entitled to facilitated access to the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB), will receive expedited review of requests to use the NMVB, and they will have direct, no-cost access to materials in the bank, as well as enhanced collections from the main sites of materials.

Encouraged projects include, but are not limited to, investigations of:

1. Strategies for early detection of new or progressive disease;

2. Definition of targetable differences between normal and transformed mesothelium and development of novel strategies for treatment;

3. Therapeutic intervention, including but not limited to;

a.           Immune Response Targeted Therapy

b.           Novel chemotherapeutic compounds

c.            Novel radiation or surgical techniques

4. Determination of clinical/molecular determinants for prognosis

Applications will be considered for funding by the Meso Foundation’s Science Advisory Board comprised of doctors and researchers who work around the world within the mesothelioma field. These members will review and score the research proposals based on the following criteria. The applications will be ranked numerically and the highest scoring projects will be recommended to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for funding. Based on the funding available, awards will be granted. 

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Significance - Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Investigator(s)- Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Innovation - Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Approach - Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Environment - Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Applications should be submittedthrough proposalCENTRAL.You will find the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation listed with the instructions and the application required. Applications are limited to 10 pages (not including biographies) and are due no later thanAugust 2, 2013. Final award decisions will be made in December 2013 and all applicants will be notified of the outcome.