World Class Research Project Grants - Now Open

Applications opened on: Jul 8, 2020 9:00am AEST

Ends on: Aug 21, 2020 5:00pm AEST

Announcement Info: December 2019. Funding commences April 2021 or by arrangement

Late application not accepted.

The information in this booklet is designed to help those intending to apply for funding through the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration (DCRC). Applicants should read this document thoroughly to understand the grant conditions and application procedure. In most cases the answers to ‘frequently asked questions’ are covered in this document. Any unanswered questions can be put in writing to dcrcgrants@unsw.edu.au or foundation@dementia.org.au.

Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration

Funded by the Australian Government, the DCRC operates within the broad remit of the NHMRC to advance the Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation. The DCRC’s primary research foci within the broader topic of dementia research are prevention, assessment and diagnosis, intervention and treatment, care and living with dementia. The DCRC’s primary goals are to increase knowledge and implementation of research findings in these areas and to address the NHMRC priority research areas as shown in the Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation, available here.

The DCRC is funded to support World Class Research by way of pilot grants, project grants, and production of guidelines, scholarships and capacity building. The Large Project Grants advertised here make part of this program.

To find out more about our 2019 recipients, click on the links below:

 

Download the Information for Applicants

This document contains important information for applicants regarding the process of applying for, and the eligibility conditions of, the 2019 Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration World Class Research Project Grants. From here on these will be referred to as Large Project Grants.  

Applicants should read all the information included in this document and liaise with their host institution’s research office before contacting the Foundation with any queries regarding the application process or eligibility conditions.

The DCRC is pleased to announce a grant round to fund World Class Research Projects including trials and studies to evaluate efficacy or methods, interventions, practice change or policy.

From a total funding pool of $1.8 million, up to 3 large project grants will be funded for new, well evidenced interventions from the following areas to:

 

  1. Reduce or delay risk of cognitive decline or dementia, Examples include detailed examinations of intervention type or detailed examinations of populations, trials that produce evidence for recommendations for physical activity, interventions on diet, or vascular risk reduction and management, multidomain approaches to risk reduction, comparison of interventions, or intervnetions to reduce barriers to dementia risk reduction.
  2. Develop evidence and uptake measures that will help people live better with dementia including but not limited to practice change initiatives, addressing stigma, promotion of autonomy and reablement.
  3. Improve quality of care and quality of life for people living with dementia and carers in community, residential care or acute care. Examples of possible foci include: functional status, fundamental care needs, nutrition, behavioural & psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), pain management, engagement in satisfying relationships and activities, carer education and support, technology use, care team communications, novel approaches to the transitions between home and various level of care.

 

The Dementia Australia Research Foundation (DARF) Scientific Panel will be reviewing all applications for DCRC Large Project Grant funding, acting as third-party adjudicators, allowing for transparency and reducing the likelihood of any conflict of interest.

  1. At the time of acceptance and for the duration of a grant, the Applicant (Chief Investigator (CI)) must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, a permanent resident of Australia, or have an appropriate work visa in place for the duration of the project. All applicants must provide evidence to their host institution to support this criterion. Host institutions are responsible for certifying and ensuring that these requirements are met. DCRC may request further information in relation to these requirements, including evidence of residency and/or citizenship.
  2. The CI must hold a PhD or equivalent (DPhil or M.D. by research), or have submitted a PhD thesis for examination prior to the proposed commencement date of the project.
  3. The research team must include at least one Early Career Researcher (ECR) holding an academic position at or below Level C seniority (below the level of Associate Professor). Please make a note of this investigator/s on the endorsement form (Appendix A).
  4. The research must be conducted in Australia and address the topic and scope of the funding round.
  5. The research must be approved by an authorised ethics committee, if applicable. It should be noted that grant payments may be withheld until ethics approval has been obtained.
  6. Grant payments will only be made to an accredited academic or research institution.

 

Further, the CI must demonstrate that:

 

  1. People with dementia, their carers and families and the wider public (if appropriate) have been or are involved throughout the project (beyond a role as participants). This may be achieved in many ways. Greater involvement will be regarded favourably. Examples follow:
    1. Consultation about the research proposal – to ensure that it addresses an identified area of priority for them.
    2. Inclusion as joint grant holders or co-applicants on your research proposal.
    3. Membership of a Steering Committee or Advisory Group or as a ‘research buddy’ for the researcher.
    4. Providing comment on and/or developing patient information leaflets or other research materials.
    5. Involvement in the dissemination of research outcomes and the development of plain language project summaries.

 

Further information on involving members of the public in research is available here.

 

  1. Appropriate language and terminology is used throughout the application. For example, many people with dementia prefer not to be referred to directly or indirectly as a ‘dementia sufferer’. A guide to dementia-friendly language is available here.

 

Eligibility for multiple awards

 

Applicants are welcome to submit more than one Large Project Grant application, however successful applicants can only be awarded one grant.

 

Notification of additional funding

 

Applicants must notify the DCRC if they receive funding from another source for a project that is the subject of a grant for which Large Project funding was awarded. Any duplication of funding will risk termination of the grant, but justified additions to the project may be accepted.

 

Acknowledgement of support

 

Successful applicants must acknowledge the support of the DCRC in all publications, presentations, summary findings and media announcements relating to the research. Grantees must also provide annual progress reports on the research and be prepared to assist the DCRC, if required, by speaking at functions, attending specified conferences, hosting laboratory visits, or being featured in media articles/releases.

How to Apply

Please send your application to foundation@dementia.org.au with the subject heading “DCRC WCR Project Grant: [applicant surname].”

 

Late applications will not be accepted

 

To complete the application you must provide the following documentation, labelled using the following naming conventions:

 

  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae (Chief Investigator only, no more than 5 pages) (Surname_CV)
  • Details of each investigator on the research team, including their role in the project and experience. Up to 8 investigators are permitted on the application form (Surname_Investigators)
  • Name and contact details of the host institution (Surname_Institution)
  • Summary for consumers (Surname_Consumer Summary) including:
  • abstract/lay summary
  • implications/significance of the project
  • summary of knowledge translation approach
  • consumer involvement – how people living with dementia, their carer, families and/or the wider public will be involved in the research
  • how the research findings align with the priority areas outlined in the 2019 Strategic Roadmap

This should be a standalone document and not require review of any other documentation to understand the aims and methods of the project (700 word limit)

  • Research Proposal that does not exceed 8 pages with a minimum font size of 11 and standard margin, that includes the following details (Research_Proposal_Surname)
    • Aims: List specific aims and potential significance of the project. Clearly state the research question and hypothesis to be tested, as well as the rationale and objectives of the project.
    • Background: Summarise previous work in this field that provides the basis for the proposed research project.
    • Research Methodology: Include a clear description of methods and design, including the following, if applicable: participant recruitment strategy; participant inclusion/exclusion criteria; study design; intervention or manipulation; outcome measures; statistical analysis plan and rationale; safety and risk considerations; drug regimens; and special equipment or measures.
    • Budget and timeline: Provide a high-level budget and project timeline, noting the amount of funding available from DCRC and timeframe (i.e. up to 3 years). Identify any other confirmed funding for the project. Funds can only be applied to costs that are directly related to achieving the objectives and outcomes of the project, including reimbursements to people with dementia, their carers and families and/or the wider public for reasonable costs associated with their involvement in the project (e.g. their time, travel costs, phone calls). Conference travel cannot be included. A maximum of $5000 can be claimed for open access publishing.
    • Key references: Please include a list of references cited in the proposal (no more than 2 pages).
  • Ethics Approval (if available): Evidence of approval of the proposed project by an authorised Human Research Ethics Committee, if available. If not available at time of application, funding agreements (for successful applicants) will be conditional upon ethics approval (Surname_Ethics).
  • Endorsement Form signed by the CI confirming their contribution to the project as well as each investigator named, as described in the application. Endorsement from the CI’s Head of Department/School/Institution (or nominee) in which the research will take place should also be included. An endorsement template is available in this booklet as Appendix A (Surname_Endorsement).

 

When planning research in which people with dementia will be participants, applicants should ensure that they are familiar with the principles of, and requirements for, obtaining informed consent from people who may lack cognitive and/or legal capacity to provide written informed consent themselves.

The assessment process for all grant types involves the following stages:

Eligibility check

Foundation staff will check all applications after the application closing date to ensure compliance with eligibility criteria and conditions of the award. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they meet all eligibility criteria and conditions of the award prior to submitting an application. The Dementia Australia Research Foundation reserves the right to rule out of contention without further assessment any application that does not include proof of eligibility. Please note that applicants must inform the Dementia Australia Research Foundation if their eligibility against the stated criteria changes in any way during the assessment process. Funding will not commence until all relevant requirements, including eligibility, have been met.

Initial Screening of applications

Members of the Scientific Panel will screen all eligible applications to identify those which are highly unlikely to receive an award due to weakness in one or more of the assessment criteria, or due to feasibility or other issues. Applications that are ranked in the bottom half of applications for an award by at least two members of the Scientific Panel are removed from the application process.

 

 

External review (if required)

Applications will be assessed by the Scientific Panel; expert external reviewers may be approached for selected comment and/or rating against the assessment criteria if required. The decision on external reviewers is made by the Scientific Panel.

Final review and ranking by members of the Scientific Panel

Members of the Scientific Panel, including members with dementia and carers, will consider and rank all remaining applications for an award after reviewing the feedback from external reviewers.

 

Awards are allocated to applicants in order of ranking within each category. Applicants whose projects are considered fundable but are not allocated one of the available awards are placed on a reserve list and may be offered an award in the event that an applicant with a higher-ranked project turns down the award.

 

Please be advised that all decisions are final, and there is no mechanism for appeal.

Notification of successful and unsuccessful applicants

Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email during December 2019; unsuccessful applicants may be notified earlier, depending on the stage of assessment at which the decision is made. To facilitate notification, applicants must ensure the contact details provided are correct.

Announcement of awards

An official announcement of the 2019 award winners will be made on the DCRC website and subsequently on the Dementia Australia and NNIDR websites and other avenues. This announcement will detail each successful applicant’s name, type of award, project title and institution. Award winners will be expected to assist the DCRC, if required, by being featured in media articles/releases and public announcements related to an award from the Foundation.

Feedback to unsuccessful applicants

Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with individual feedback upon request. Feedback is provided for the purpose of helping unsuccessful applicants improve the quality of subsequent applications. No correspondence regarding the accuracy or merits of feedback will be provided.

 

The following assessment criteria will be used for rating the Large Project Grant applications:

 

  1. Scientific Merit and Quality (50% weight)

 

The significance and value of the proposed research is considered, along with the clarity of the research aim/s, hypotheses or research objectives, and the suitability of the research methodology and research plan in achieving the research aim/s. The general scientific relevance should be evident in the project proposal, and the research methodology should be sound and clearly presented. Projects must also be feasible and realistic within the available timeframe and budget.

 

10% of this weighting will go to assessing the potential for Knowledge Translation (KT) of project outcomes in the future and KT must be specifically addressed in the proposal.

 

  1. Track record of the research team (25% weight)

 

This criterion considers whether the research team’s previous research experience demonstrates that they are capable of successfully undertaking the proposed research and disseminating the outcomes. Track record of the CI (research training, publications, awards and other relevant experience) will be assessed relative to opportunity.

 

  1. Innovation and Originality (25% weight)

 

This criterion considers the novelty and originality of the proposed project and the extent to which it has the capacity, if successful, to introduce innovative and new research directions in the field of dementia research, with benefit to people with dementia, their carers and families and the wider public.

Further Information:

For any enquiries please email dcrcgrants@unsw.edu.au or foundation@dementia.org.au.