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    Your support of DEBRA International or a national EB group enables us to provide the best quality of life for families and individuals affected by EB.

Donation Account: IBAN AT65 6000 0005 1004 5254, BIC BAWAATWW, DEBRA International, Am Heumarkt 27/1, 1030 Vienna

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Innovative Research Call

What we are looking for              Key facts                Eligibility criteria   

Application process                     Submission             Review process


The Innovative Research Grant funding scheme is a new opportunity for researchers within and outside the EB field to explore innovative ideas in EB that could ultimately accelerate the field of EB research. The call is for:

  • Concepts or technology that are novel, or new to EB, that had very limited or zero preliminary evidence for applicability to EB, but where there was a well-argued rationale for testing feasibility based on either understanding of the mechanisms or biology of EB, or parallel evidence from other conditions. The purpose of any grant made will be to gain preliminary evidence of feasibility and relevance.
  • Research projects that ultimately benefit patients with EB e.g. improving their life quality (either short-term or long-term).

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is an orphan disease with no currently approved treatments and has a significant unmet medical need. EB is an inherited disorder that causes extreme skin fragility, leading to recurrent painful blister formation with even minor trauma. Associated extra-cutaneous manifestations include anaemia, cardiomyopathy, syndactyly (fusion of the fingers and toes), renal insufficiency, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), scarring, malnourishment, aggressive skin cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, muscular dystrophy and pyloric atresia.

The scheme aims to identify experimental approaches destined for further exploitation and so major emphasis will be placed on selecting competitive proposals that may have an unusual level of scientific uncertainty but which are never the less realistically planned, feasible and with high potential impact.

Successful projects selected by the scheme may typically be designed to introduce a new paradigm or challenge existing ones, or explore opportunities to investigate existing challenges from new perspectives or develop a research approach with an exceptional prospect for demonstrating uniquely creative qualities. Multi-disciplinary approaches are highly welcomed.

What we are looking for:

Studies that develop a highly innovative concept with the potential to make a step change in our understanding of:

  • how the disease develops, or
  • the development of therapeutic or diagnostic capabilities.

Projects that:

  • bring in new approaches from other indications to tackle unmet problems in EB,
  • test new therapy concepts based on known biology,
  • investigate the biological basis for intriguing clinical observations,
  • fix technical issues that currently limit therapy efficiency, safety or feasibility.

Key facts

  • Between 6 months and 2 years duration.
  • Maximum amount 120.000 EUR per project.
  • Money can be flexibly utilised for personnel and non-personnel costs.

Eligibility criteria

  • Lead applicant must have completed a PhD or an equivalent higher degree.
  • Lead and co-applicant are expected to have personal salary support for the duration of the grant.
  • Research project needs to fall within DEBRA International's four priority research areas.
  • Commercial organisations cannot apply for the grant.

Application process

This is a one-stage process of online application.

Submission

The submission deadline for online applications is 3rd October 2017 at 17:00 GMT.

Review process

  • Research Proposals will be reviewed by external reviewers and members of DEBRA
  • International's Expert Panel on 11th December 2017. If necessary, applicants will be invited to rebut jury comments and requests by 9th January 2018.
  • Recommendations for funding made by the expert panel at a grant review meeting will then be considered by DEBRA Austria's Boards of Trustees for the final funding decision.
  • The final funding decision will be at the discretion of DEBRA International. It is anticipated that funding decisions will be made no later than in the end of January 2018.