Under Grand Challenges India (GCI) announces a request for proposals on ‘Fundamental and innovative research in Cachexia Tuberculosis to address the needs and gaps in India’ a program directed to encourage basic research studies aiming to improve knowledge in the field and addressing knowledge gaps in this important but neglected debilitating condition in tuberculosis pathophysiology and care.
As India strive towards the elimination of tuberculosis from country as set-forth by Government of India in ‘National Strategic plan for Tuberculosis: 2017-25 Elimination by 2025, an accelerated involvement of all responsible stakeholders is required to implement commensurate actions to achieve this ambitious goal. Recognising this challenge, Grand Challenges India (GCI) under the ambit of DBT- Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are launching a program on ‘Cachexia Tuberculosis (TB)’. The program intends to promote and support consortia-based proposals to address the neglected, yet critical unresolved research questions in cachexia TB.
This Request for Proposals (RFP) is specific to Indian researchers and collaborations are encouraged across the country where opportunity exists within the scope of study to build on established collaborations.
The objective of the program is to support consortia- based proposals consisting of motivated individuals or partners with strong scientific and technical background who will be able to utilise multidisciplinary approach to undertake quality research and innovative solutions in cachexia TB.
- Grand Challenges India is soliciting research proposals in TB cachexia on following areas:
- Address the basic gaps in knowledge:
- Proposals providing novel information and evidence on cachexia in people with tuberculosis, its susceptibility, probable mediators, factors and pathways responsible for initiating the cachexia in TB patients. Studies investigating the underlying metabolomic and genomic mechanisms, genetic, environmental and other risk factors enabling cachexia and its susceptibility, role of metabolome, anabolic hormones and nutritional enhancement and other exploratory mechanisms.
- Studies assessing the available data from various ongoing nutritional supplementation programs for TB patients to evaluate links, if any, in cachexia susceptibility and its progression in affected populations. Investigations on the role of antibiotic treatments are encouraged.
- Animal models to identify molecular mechanisms, role of microbiome and inter-organ cross-talk, cross-talk between host factors, infection and disease pathogenesis, clinical studies, possible role of metal ions homeostasis and diabetes (comorbidity) in TB.
- Studies answering key research gaps on deregulation of host immune responses, that occur in cachexia TB and how does deregulation impact TB progression in patients and what could be the role of deregulation pathways in preventing or reversing cachexia.
- Identifying the innovative solutions: Studies aiming to identify novel and specific biomarkers, early predictors, new or improved diagnostic tools and cachexia specific diagnostic panels will be supported under the call.
- Assessing the burden: Proposals are sought on assessing the burden of cachexia in TB in the Indian population to generate evidence that can contribute to better strategies for treatment and patient care. Proposals evaluating the impact of addressing cachexia on disease progressions and treatment outcomes are encouraged.
- Address the basic gaps in knowledge:
- This program aims to support consortia-based two projects and the funding level will be a grant of up to INR 4 crores (USD 500,000) per project that will be provided to the organization(s).
- The projects will be supported for upto a period of three years (starting from signing of Agreement).
- Grand Challenges initiatives follow these core principles:
- Strategic and well-articulated grand challenges serve both to focus research efforts and capture the imagination and engage the world’s best researchers.
- Projects are selected based on national and societal need and transparent calls for proposals seeking the best ideas.
- Funders, investigators and other stakeholders actively collaborate to accelerate progress and integrate advances to ensure these advanced technologies reach to developing countries masses
- Projects are selected not only for scientific excellence, but also to achieve the desired impact, and these are milestone-driven and actively managed to that end.
- Projects and investigators will have to follow global access commitments to ensure the fruits of their research are available to those most in need.
- This RFA is India-led and consortia-based proposals are solicited from Indian nationals having good scientific record and working within the country in established academics, research institutions, medical research institutions, Indian companies, not-for-profit organizations, trusts, foundations. If selected for financial support, duration of the study will be 36 months subject to expert evaluation and milestone achievements.
- The proposal should have a clearly defined plan with details of proposed activities, specific milestones and timelines, a robust collaboration of partners and plan detailing the role and responsibilities of each partner, and the budget estimates.
- Research proposal must be budgeted clearly indicating the budget components to carry out each proposed activity on a milestone basis. Funding will be awarded for 3 years, subject to the applicant complying with agreed milestones. Funds will be released on achievement of each milestone.
- Research proposals will be supported financially at recognised academic institutions, universities, national laboratories, organisations and other recognized R&D institutions or organisation having all the necessary facilities to carry out the proposed research.
- Any existing IP needs to be mentioned with details in proposal.
- If selected, Investigators shall enter an agreement with BIRAC.
- Any change of Co-PI/partner or institution will have to be approved by GCIBIRAC/DBT.
- The funding support shall be duly acknowledged when publishing/showcasing/ presenting project particulars or outcomes in the manner as prescribed by BIRAC.
- Note: Please read the following carefully to understand the category you will be applying under and the documentation that may be requested should your proposal be selected for further financial due diligence. This call is open to:
- In case of the applicant being an Indian academic scientist, researchers and Ph.D students (citizen of India) who must be willing to incubate at a recognized incubator submit a letter of intent for same.
- Indian institution/universities/public research organization: Academic institutions established in India and having NAAC/ UGC/ AICTE or any equivalent recognition certificate or any other Public/Government supported organization; Non-profit organizations/Government entities/Institutes/ R&D Organizations will include Academic Research Institutes, Universities, Research Foundation, Medical Colleges and Institutes – both public and private who are valid legal entities such as Trust, Society or established under central or state statute.
- An Indian Company is defined as one which is registered under the Indian Companies Act, 2013 and minimum 51% of the shares of the Company should be held by Indian Citizens holding Indian passport [Indian Citizens do not include Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders].
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 having a minimum half of the persons who subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens [Indian Citizens do not include Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders].
- Society/Trust/NGO/Foundation/Association established in India under the relevant Indian Law having at least half of the stakeholders (partners/trustees/ members/associates etc.) as Indians.
For more information, visit Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).