NEPTUNE

Information for Professionals

Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network

Career Development Fellowship

Objectives: The NEPTUNE Career Development program is designed to support advanced post-doctoral and junior faculty trainees, or established investigators interested in redirecting their investigative focus, who are preparing to become independent investigators in clinical and translational research in human glomerular disease. Successful applicants will design and carry out an individually tailored program that combines a clearly defined training component with a mentored research experience that employs the resources of NEPTUNE or that addresses a question relevant to glomerular disease.

Eligibility:

  • Clinical fellows (MD, MD/PhD, or equivalent degrees) who have completed their clinical training in nephrology or pathology or a subspecialty relevant to the study of glomerular disease in humans

  • Advanced PhD post-doctoral fellows with training in biostatistics or translational research who seek advanced training in clinical research in human glomerular disease

  • Junior faculty with training similar to that noted above who are interested in establishing a career investigating glomerular disease in humans

  • Established investigators interested in refocusing their investigative path to include studies of glomerular disease in humans

  • Individuals must be specifically interested in training to do translational or clinical research. Translational research can be broadly interpreted to include laboratory or in silico investigations that can be directly applied to studying human glomerular disease. Examples of these types of investigations include but are not limited to identification of molecular biomarkers, studies involving techniques of human genetics, or studies involving generation or application of the tools of biostatistical modeling and epidemiological studies.

  • Applicants can come from Consortium participant institutions or elsewhere as long as the trainee is supervised in a direct and meaningful fashion by a NEPTUNE-affiliated mentor.

This training program is NOT intended for pre-doctoral candidates or junior level post-doctoral fellows.

Training Program should have two components:

  • Mentored research project with an established investigator conducting clinical or translational research in the area of or related to human glomerular disease.  Ideally, the trainee’s project should employ the unique infrastructure, clinical data, or specimens assembled by NEPTUNE but this is not a strict requirement of this RFA;

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to create an individualized training program that would enhance their formal skills in clinical research design, statistics, etc. relevant to their intended investigative path. If appropriate, this might include formal class work, participation in ongoing seminar series, or other appropriate training. Overall, the goal of this program is to promote an individual to an independent career in glomerular disease related research and not merely to complete a well-circumscribed project. Consideration should be given to employing local resources to help defray the costs of this training.

Requirements

  • Applicants must devote a minimum of 50% effort to their training

  • Applicant institutions must provide written commitment to protecting trainee’s time and providing financial support of the applicant

Funding

  • A maximum of $60,000 per year to support salary and fringe benefits only

  • Duration of grant support will be a minimum of 1 and maximum of 2 years

  • In necessary, applicant institutions are encouraged to contribute to financial and other resources necessary for the success of the proposed training program. The use of CTSA funding and other institutional resources should be considered.

  • Indirect Costs: no institutional overhead will be funded since this fellowship will be funded by NephCure

  • Applications that are not approved may be resubmitted after revision during the next application cycle. Revised applications should specifically address reviewer concerns and should include an additional letter that responds to reviewer concerns (2 page maximum).

Application format

  • Application Format: NIH format: Except where noted, applicants should use the NIH Form 398 application form and complete all items on indicated forms following 398 form instructions. (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html)

    Please use the following checklist:

      • Cover sheet
      • Abstract (398 Form Page 2)
      • Budget (398 Form Page 4 and 5—a modular budget should not be used)
      • Biographical sketch (398 Format)
      • Resources (398 Format)
      • Research plan--The following format should be employed:
        • Specific Aims
        • Background and Significance
        • Preliminary Data if any
        • Research Design
        • Literature Cited

    (Page limit: 5 pages. This page limit includes figures and tables. Literature Cited is not included in these limits.)

    • Describe applicant’s career plans (0.5 page)
    • Describe applicant’s planned training program (1 page)
      • Will the applicant participate in formal class work or other programs that will supplement their training experience?
      • As associated career development activities, trainees are required to participate in NEPTUNE Steering Committee meetings, to present their research at scientific meetings, and to publish their work at the earliest opportunity. They are expected to present their work at a Neptune Investigators Meeting at the end of each grant year. In addition, trainees are expected to create a mentoring committee of 3 investigators in addition to their primary mentor; this committee will meet twice yearly to supervise the fellow’s project and to provide career counseling. Trainees should participate in seminar programs at their home institutions relevant to their area of interest. Details of these elements should be included in the submitted training program plan.

    • Human studies (provide evidence of local IRB approval; may be provided just prior to issuance of notice of award)
    • Sharing plan: Please provide a statement that you will impose no restrictions in sharing data or reagents generated by this project in accordance with the NEPTUNE Ancillary Studies Policy and the NEPTUNE Publications and Presentations Policy.
    • Letters of support:
      • From mentor detailing commitment, providing evidence of mentor’s training experience, and describing training plan; include description of mentor’s research program (0.5 pages) and include mentor’s biosketch
      • Letter of reference (1)
    • No appendix of any type permitted
  • Formatting requirements: Please Note: Applicants must use an 11 pt Arial font and 1 inch margins and must adhere to page limitations; this will be strictly enforced; must be written in English language. Applications that fail to comply with this format will be returned to the applicant without review.

  • Grant submission: All applications should be compiled into a single pdf format document that can be read using the Adobe Reader or Acrobat application. Applications should be E-mailed to Dr. Lawrence Holzman c/o Eileen McCann (mcei@upenn.edu). Please place “NEPTUNE Fellow Applic/Your last name” in the subject line. A receipt will be provided on the following day.

DEADLINE for receipt: July 15, 2011, 8 PM Eastern Time (no exceptions) for grants commencing on January 1, 2012. Applications will also be accepted on January 15, 2012, for grants commencing July 1, 2012.

  • Terms of Support

    • Funds are provided to investigator’s institution for use by the applicant; it is the applicant institution’s obligation to ensure proper use of funds and timely submission of progress reports.

    • Disbursal of grant funds will be made in quarter-annual payments at the end of each fiscal quarter. Final quarter payments will be made only after receipt of an annual progress report which is due on the last day of each fiscal year of the project.

    • No indirect cost support will be provided to participating institutions. This is not an NIH sponsored grant, but rather a grant supported by NephCure, which by policy, does not support indirect costs.

    • Principal investigators must comply with human institutional review board requirements and demonstrate current approval of these committees

    • Reporting requirements: Principal investigators must provide an annual report by the last day of each one year funding cycle describing briefly progress made during the previous year.
    • It is expected that results obtained will be shared with the consortium in a manner consistent with the ancillary studies policy of NEPTUNE.

    • It is required that the management of data and publications will be conducted in accordance with the NEPTUNE Ancillary Studies Policy and the NEPTUNE Publications and Presentations Policy

    • NEPTUNE and its associated investigators do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religious, or ethnic group.

Questions? Please address to Larry Holzman (lholzman@upenn.edu)