Call For Proposals

Target ALS Issues Call For Proposals for ALS Biology-Focused Collaborative Projects.

Target ALS Foundation is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation working to accelerate ALS drug and biomarker development. Discovery of novel therapeutic targets rooted in a strong biological rationale is a key component towards achieving this goal. This call is focused on bringing investigators together to work collaboratively on ALS biology with the aim of identifying novel therapeutic and/or biomarker targets.

We are therefore inviting letters of intent for collaborative projects by 5:00 pm EST by Friday, July 15, 2022.

This call is being sent widely to the ALS community and beyond.  As with all Target ALS Foundation calls, only collaborative projects will be funded.  Collaborative projects for this call comprise groups of 3-5 laboratories working around a common research theme or target. Inclusion of investigators with less than five years’ experience running an independent laboratory or new to the field of ALS is encouraged. Investigators based in pharma/biotech are eligible to be a collaborator, but their involvement is not a requirement.
The total budget for a collaborative project cannot exceed a maximum of $500,000 per year. The maximum budget for a lab within the collaborative project cannot exceed a maximum of $130,000 per lab/year (defined as a full module). A collaborative project will be eligible for renewal of funding for a maximum of two years after year 1 (based on demonstration of adequate progress)

Confidentiality of each collaborator’s data, research and intellectual property will be strictly honored.  Target ALS Foundation does not seek ownership of any intellectual property or financial gains that results on basis of its funding.

Next Steps and Deadlines:

1) Investigators should begin now to constitute projects around potential themes or targets. Target ALS is particularly interested in receiving projects that focus on identification, validation, and development of new targets for ALS therapeutics and/or biomarkers.

2) LETTER OF INTENT: The proposed Project Leader will first submit a letter of intent (1-2 pages). The deadline for submission is Friday, July 15, 2022. The letter of intent should clearly identify the scientists involved (with a short paragraph about the expected contribution of each), a defined set of scientific objectives with explicit milestones and, even for basic science or genetics projects, a short paragraph describing the present or future relevance of the project for ALS therapeutic strategies and/or biomarkers.  The letter of intent should be submitted to the President of Target ALS (Dr. Manish Raisinghani, manish.raisinghani@targetals.org).

A given laboratory can be a member of no more than two collaborative projects, provided that each project is clearly distinct with a separate identified member of the group devoting their time to each project.

3) Target ALS reviewers will undertake an administrative review of the letters of intent and by Friday, July 22, 2022 provide feedback to project leaders concerning potential overlap with other proposals, or modifications needed to align with Target ALS objectives.

4) FULL PROPOSALS: Invitations for full project proposals will be sent out on Friday, July 22, 2022, and the deadline for full project proposal submission will be Friday, August 26, 2022. Full proposals should be as concise as possible consistent with clear exposition of the goals and main steps of the project; the total length should not exceed 2 pages per participating lab (i.e. up to a maximum of 10 pages in Arial 11 pt for a project involving 5 partners).  The project leader can choose to use the allowable space as they deem fit to best present the project plan. The total length includes the following sections: Specific Aims; Background and Rationale; Research Plan; Statement of relevance to ALS therapeutic and/or biomarker strategies; A bullet list indicating the specific involvement of each partner; A table indicating milestones for the first 2 years of the project; Literature cited.

Preliminary data will be helpful but are not required. A basic budget by cost category for each participating site must be included.

5) The Independent Review Committee will complete project proposal review by Friday, October 14, 2022.  Projects will be ranked based on the following criteria: Biological rationale, Novelty, Synergistic potential, Feasibility of proposed experiments and Relevance to ALS therapeutic and/or biomarker strategies.

Because of the restricted length of the proposals, projects will not be marked down for lack of detailed information or absence of preliminary data.  High-risk proposals are encouraged, meaning that lack of guaranteed success will not be a negative providing that the approach is seen to be exciting. However, projects that do not appear feasible on the basis of the information provided will not be highly ranked. Similarly, funding for individual PIs within a given proposal may be de-prioritized by the independent review committee.

6) PROJECT FUNDING: Project funding will commence on Monday, October 24, 2022, or as soon as possible after this date depending on the time needed to subcontract with individual institutions. Details of financial and scientific reporting will be provided at this stage.

Please send any questions or comments to Manish Raisinghani (manish.raisinghani@targetals.org).