Deadline: 22 April 2020
The National Council for Scientific Research launches an urgent declaration, FLASH CALL, to provide financial support for effective medical and technical projects and initiatives, that will give practical results to address the challenges Current recovery, and enabling the health sector in Lebanon to directly benefit from its products.
The “urgent announcement” includes mechanisms to be followed in order to obtain support, and the scientific and technical axes that the Council considers a priority in selecting projects and technical initiatives, which have been identified based on suggestions made by a large group of workers in the health sector in order to confront the epidemic and meet the urgent needs and bridge the shortfall in Many medical and therapeutic aspects related to the spread of the epidemic in Lebanon, and planning for the challenges it poses today and in the near future.
Examples of proposed scientific and technical projects (including but not limited to)
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- Optimizing local production of diagnostic tools for COVID-19 to determine and properly manage the burden of disease;
- Development and validation of fast multiplex diagnostic PCR for COVID-19. Correlating COVID-19 viral load with severity of infection;
- Resuscitation and Intensive Care;
- Simple effective respirators for use in highly controlled / less controlled medical settings (prototype design according to international standards);
- Development of locally available and scientifically reliable personal protection equipment (masks, shields, clothing and gloves) for health care providers;
- Recycle and reuse of waste contaminated with COVID-19;
- Use of drones and robotic devices to enhance COVID-19 risk communication in various settings (rural / urban / refugee camps);
- Big data analysis for COVID-19 spatiotemporal distribution to pinpoint potential areas of infection and minimize its spread;
- Development of digital Apps, databases and other interactive tools to tract the pandemic and the effective management of patients (throughout recovery);
- COVID-19 physical and mental burden on health care workers and caregivers to identify immediate and long-term needs to improve response capacity;
- COVID-19 burden of anxiety, fear and stigma due to misinformation and infodemics through social media platforms;
- Environmental and air sampling in rooms of COVID-19 infected patients to determine exposure risk;
- New solutions and automation of tasks for decontamination of all surfaces and spaces;
- Characterization of the clinical and virological properties of COVID-19, including genetic characterization;
- Duration and patterns of viral shedding in infected COVID-19 patients. A prospective collection of respiratory, blood and stool specimens;
- Microbial confections in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection and effect on outcome use of antibodies from convalescent sera in the treatment of COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe disease;
- Host response: antibodies, cytokine profile at different time points comparing severe, moderate, and mild infected patients;
- Optimum specimens’ types and timing for peak viral levels (to be determined). Collection of multiples specimens (types and time points) from the same patient to detect viruses or levels of viral RNA readily detected;
- Any other projects in COVID-19 pandemic management.
The project should include a comprehensive explanation about the following points:
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- The project should focus on providing practical initiatives and innovative technological and therapeutic solutions, which can be adopted directly during the current epidemic period, with the aim of protecting citizens, improving the level of patient care and monitoring the development of the epidemic at the individual and collective level;
- The primary person in charge of the project may be a professor in one of the Universities in Lebanon, a researcher, a doctor or an engineer who have the necessary expertise to implement innovative and meaningful projects;
- The projects must be applicable and applicable during the current epidemic period, within a maximum period of 6 months from the date of acceptance of the project and signing of the contract with the principal responsible for Implementation;
- The Council adopts specific criteria for evaluating projects and providing support, including: the availability of scientific standards and adherence to medical ethical principles, the quality of the project construction and clarity of the work program, scientific and technical expertise enjoyed by the work team and its ability to implement the project, the positive return of the project to patients and health sector workers , the positive impact expected on society and environments foster the epidemic, and the added value posed by the current circumstances;
- In order to submit the completed projects, the council undertakes their evaluation with the assistance of its specialized committees, experts and researchers from all Lebanese institutions, according to the specialty;
- The Council’s financial support for acceptable projects is limited to financing the project implementation stages, small installations, spare parts, and medical materials that it needs, in addition to the cost of the workforce that must be used, within the maximum declared in the contract and in the project budget terms, and to meet legal supporting documents. For every expense, whatever its value.
- The principal investigator can seek financial support from other sources to provide additional financial resources needed to achieve the project objectives, provided that they are reported and reported in value and a copy of the documents related to them, when the project is presented or even if it is available during the implementation stages;
- The Council encourages cooperation Between researchers, specialized medical, industrial and pharmaceutical institutions, provided that this is explicitly mentioned in the project document;
- The Council applies, in everything that is not mentioned in this urgent announcement, the systems adopted by it, especially with regard to scientific follow-up and verification of project results and results, adherence to ethical principles and sound medical practices, financial audit of expenditures and reimbursement in accordance with the principles, and provide a scientific report on the achievements and applications reached;
- Allocated the Council for this declaration amount alone maximum 300 million Lebanese pounds, to support between 8 and 15 projects, to be paid support in two phases: 50% upon signing the contract and 50% upon acceptance of the scientific report and the financial report of expenditures that do not exceed Project budget. The Council also reserves the right to cancel the contract in case the principal investigator does not adhere to his scientific, technical and temporal grades.
For more information, visit http://www.cnrs.edu.lb/english/call-of-interest/calls-for-proposals-by-cnrs/covid-19-management-lebanon