Canadian Cardiovascular Society

CCS-Pfizer ATTR-CM Research Fellowship Award – Handbook


The CCS Research Fellowships and Awards program was established to foster growth of peer-reviewed Canadian cardiovascular research and researchers. With support from like-minded organizations committed to empowering clinician scientists nationally, the CCS Research Fellowships and Awards program supports topics of research that span the various areas of cardiovascular medicine. The CCS, and all program partners, encourage all eligible CCS members to apply including underrepresented groups women and gender minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized individuals, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Please refer to Appendix A for CCS Terms and Conditions for all CCS Research and Fellowship Awards

CONTACT

For information regarding research programs, governing policies, and application submissions, please contact: Research and Fellowship Awards Email: researchawards@ccs.ca

DEADLINE

Application submissions must be made online through the CCS On-line submission platform. CCS offers a secure internet portal which allows the applicant to electronically submit grant applications. All application submissions are due online on Cadmium May 7, 2024. Additional time allowances will not usually be granted for any reason.
Notices of Decision will be shared in mid-July 2024. Funding is projected to be disbursed starting in fall 2024.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society and Pfizer Canada are proud to support CCS-Pfizer ATTR-CM Research Fellowship Award. The purpose of this award is to foster growth of peer-reviewed Canadian research in the therapeutic area.

ELIGIBILITY

The principal investigator must be research fellow defined by CCS as an individual who is enhancing their research skills through actual involvement in research and who works under the formal supervision of an independent researcher. The supervisor must be identified and provide written support for the research.

For CCS awards a research fellow may be;

  1. a postdoctoral fellow (post-PhD) at an academic or research institution;
  2. a post-health professional degree fellow (e.g., medicine, nursing, pharmacy) at an academic or research institution. This includes specialists with certification in cardiovascular health or specialists who do not have a specialty qualification in a cardiovascular discipline but have a major interest and time commitment to cardiovascular disease.

The principal applicant directs the intellectual and scientific design of the research project and takes financial and project management responsibility for ensuring completion of the project within budget projections. Co-Applicants make significant contributions to the intellectual and scientific direction of the research, project management.

  • Collaborators must sign a letter of agreement briefly outlining the nature of the collaboration.
  • Applicants must be or become members of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society before accepting the award. For more information about CCS Membership, visit the CCS website: http://www.ccs.ca/en/membership
  • Applicants must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada.
  • Applicants can be principal investigators on only one application per cycle.
  • Award funds are solely intended for research performed in Canada.
  • The award and funds are intended for original research that is either clinical or translational with expected impact on patient care. The proposal should not request supplemental funding for projects that already have extramural funding.
    • If the submission refers to a multicenter clinical trial, the applicant must specify their specific role in the research study.
    • If the application is for a sub-study of an ongoing project or trial, the applicant must specify their role and explain how the sub-study is distinct from the main study.
  • If funded, proposed research must be completed within 48 months from the start of funding.

ANNUAL/FINAL REPORTS

Reports must be submitted by October of the subsequent year. If required an additional final report must be submitted within 6 months of the end date of the research, and a retrospective report is required 5 years after funding is completed.

ELIGIBLE/INELIGIBLE AREAS OF RESEARCH

  • Eligible areas of study may include:
  • Early identification, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment;
  • Natural history
  • Epidemiology
    • Prevalence of TTR amyloidosis among at-risk populations (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, aortic stenosis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, lumbar spinal stenosis, hip & knee arthroplasty, atrial fibrillation)
    • Changing epidemiology of cardiac amyloid subtypes (hereditary vs. wild- type)
  • Scintigraphy
    • Use of scintigraphy in diagnosis of early disease and/or monitoring disease progression
    • Phenotype and management of patients with Perugini Grade 1 uptake
  • Post organ transplant
  • Use of tafamidis
  • Natural course of disease
  • Mixed phenotypic manifestations (e.g. polyneuropathy and cardiomyopathy)
  • Development of new quality of life measures or patient report outcomes measures in ATTR amyloidosis
  • New methodology to accelerate appropriate ATTR-CM patient identification
  • Including machine learning / artificial intelligence and new biomarkers

INELIGIBLE AREAS OF RESEARCH:

  • head-to-head studies
  • any indications outside of TTR amyloidosis
  • pediatric investigations
  • end stage disease
  • dose response studies
  • tafamidis animal studies

THE AWARD

One award of up to $60, 000 will be awarded based on an independent peer review process.
Award funds will be administered by the Institution of the awardee’s affiliated university or equivalent.

TERM

Funding is provided for one (1) year. Depending on the circumstances, a no-cost extension could be available with an additional interim progress report and an explanation for the need for the extension.

SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION

All applications must be submitted electronically using the CCS online submission system.

Submissions will be accepted until May 7, 2024

You will receive email confirmation of your submission within 24 hours.

All applications will be pre-screened for eligibility. Applications that are late, incomplete and/or do not meet the basic eligibility criteria will not be considered for review. Peer review of all eligible applications will be conducted by a scientific review committee comprised mainly of CCS members. All eligible proposals will be reviewed by at least two members of the peer review committee.

Evaluation of applications will be based on three (3) criteria:

  1. Academic and research background of the applicant
  2. Quality of the research program
  3. Research environment and mentor.

The applicant will log into the submission site, to complete the assigned tasks.

TASKS

  1. Applicant Information & Headshot
  2. Institution Statement
    1. Applications for this award must be supported by the university or institution at which the applicant will conduct the proposed research program. Provide a statement completed by the Dean and Department Head (or institutional equivalents) demonstrating commitment of the university or institution to provide the applicant appropriate academic rank, time allocated to the proposed research program, and to provide adequate space and facilities for the investigator’s research, as well as a commitment to developing the applicant’s research, technical and professional skills and networks over the training period by providing career planning, skills development and networking opportunities to prepare the trainee for an impactful career.
  3. Statement of Eligibility
  4. Mentor / Supervisor and Institution Information
  5. Project Title, Lay Summary
    1. Lay Summary: Provide a lay summary in 280 characters or less, clearly explain the proposed research program to a general audience (at a reading level no greater than grade 8).
  6. Research Program Outline and Operating Grants :
    1. Research Program Outline: Provide an outline of the proposed research program (max  1500 words), including an executive summary of the proposed program of research. Ensure the outline describes the contribution this program of research has the potential to contribute to the field. The applicant should clearly demonstrate the potential to become an independent investigator.
    2. Operating Grants:  List any operating grant(s) that have been secured to support the proposed research program
  7. Upload Appendices (optional)
  8. CV of the Principal Investigator, co-investigator (if applicable) and at least one (1) Primary Supervisor. CVs must be no longer than two (2) pages each and should include only peer-reviewed publications and abstracts from the last five (5) years. Do not include presentations, conferences, lectures or non-peer-reviewed publications. CVs should be uploaded in one PDF file.
  9. Budget – Complete the budget template.
  10. Budget Justification – eexplanation should not exceed 1500 words.

Financial Information: Award funds will be administered by the Research Center or Cardiology Division of the awardee’s affiliated university or equivalent.  Contact information is required.

All submissions will be kept confidential according to the requirements of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Document Act (PIPEDA) (CCS privacy policy is at www.ccs.ca.)

If you have questions about submission process or require assistance with the submission system, contact researchawards@ccs.ca.

CCS PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality
All reviewers will be required to agree to CCS’s Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality policies before beginning their reviews. CCS considers that a conflict of interest exists when the reviewers personal, professional or financial interests affect, or may be perceived to affect, their objectivity. Potential reviewers will recuse themselves from the review where a COI exists or may appear to exist. These policies have been developed by CCS to ensure the effective management of real or perceived conflicts of interest in the review process to ultimately encourage a culture of trust and transparency in the research funding process.

Review of Applications
Scientific Review Committee
The Award review committees are volunteer committees. Each peer-review committee member has demonstrated scientific expertise in cardiovascular disease. Appointment of committee members takes into consideration required expertise, regional distribution, gender, and language skills to ensure a fair and balanced review process. Members are appointed for a three-year term. All recipients of CCS Awards are committed to serving at least a one-year term as a peer reviewer.

Any reviewer who is a Co-Applicant or Collaborator on an CCS Award application may not be present when their application is being assessed and must recuse themselves from the discussion. Applications are reviewed by two committee members and, whenever deemed appropriate by the Co-Chairs, and an additional reader, when expertise is required. Each reviewer conducts a written review and rates the application based on the Peer-Review Criteria in Eligibility and Assessment Criteria. Scientific reviewers are assigned to applications based on their area of expertise, and with consideration of any real or perceived conflicts of interest. Prior to the committee meeting, reviewers will submit their scores to CCS via the on-line platform. After a panel discussion, a consensus rating will be negotiated, around which each member scores. The average of all scores allows for a ranking of applicants and the top scoring applications are funded.

RATING

Reviewers will provide a rating of the application. This is a combined rating for all three adjudication criteria. Please ensure that you consider your assessment of all criteria in your rating.

CriterionRating (1 to 49)
Significance and Impact of the Research (need for research, potential impact of the findings) 
Approaches and Methods (proposes a clear question with appropriately designed methods and analysis, with few limitations identified); originality, feasibility) 
Expertise, Experience and Resources (quality of applicant, research environment, research team) 

Rank and Rating Scale Descriptor Range
Outstanding 45.0-49.9
Excellent 40.0-44.9
Very good 35.0-39.9
Good 30.0-34.9
Needs revision 25.0-29.9
Needs major revision 20.0-24.9
Seriously flawed 10.0-19.9
Unacceptable/ Rejected 00.0-9.9

Written Review
Provide a critical assessment of the application by stating the strengths and weaknesses of the project, as well as constructive feedback based on the evaluation criteria described in the peer review manual.

Integration of Budget Assessment
Reviewers are asked to determine if the budget is appropriate as described in the application and if it is realistic and well-justified.

CCS Award Assessment Criteria

Assessment Criteria: All applications are reviewed by two peer-review committee members from the CCS research community and, whenever deemed appropriate by the Chair where additional expertise is required, a third reviewer. Scientific reviewers score the application based on the following criteria:

1. Significance and Impact of the Research: Is the study well justified? Are the preliminary data compelling? Is there a need for research? Is the potential impact of the findings important)

2. Approaches and Methods: applicant proposes a clear question with appropriately designed methods and analysis, with few limitations identified; Is the study well outlined and reasonable for the timeline?; what is the originality? what is the feasibility?

3. Expertise, Experience and Resources: What is the quality of applicant? appropriate team members included? Is suitable expertise available, particularly to support an early career researcher or a researcher branching to a new topic? Is the research environment supportive?

Scientific reviewers will also evaluate the proposed budget for appropriateness and feasibility. The expectation of the proposed budget is that it is fully justified and takes into consideration the needs of the research project and any anticipated changes in requirements over the term of the grant.

Prior to the review committee meeting, reviewers will submit their scores to CCS via the on-line platform. Only applications competitive for funding will be discussed at the review committee meeting. After a detailed discussion, a consensus rating will be negotiated, around which each member scores. The average of all scores allows for a ranking of applicants, and the top scoring applications are funded.

Knowledge Translation: CCS expects awardees to disseminate knowledge created from CCS funding to various users (e.g., the public, health-care practitioners, the media, scientists, and policy makers) and facilitate their translation into improved knowledge to support health, more effective products or services, and/or a strengthened healthcare system. In all knowledge translation activities, awardees must prominently acknowledge the support provided by CCS and refer to themselves as recipients of the 2024 CCS-PFIZER ATTR-CM RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP AWARD.

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