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The Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant Program

Objective

The objective of the Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant Program is to provide funding to researchers at eligible academic or nonprofit institutions who submit innovative research proposals in the areas of translational, clinical, or applied research. The research should advance the understanding of ATTR amyloidosis, facilitate early diagnosis of patients with ATTR amyloidosis, and/or enhance management of patients with a diagnosis of ATTR amyloidosis. Specifically, this program will support two young investigators, such as current fellows, residents, or junior faculty, annually to promote quality research related to ATTR amyloidosis and to support the development of future researchers and clinicians.

Overview

Akcea’s Young Investigator Grant Program is named in honor of Dr. Janice Wiesman (1958-2020), a world expert on the neurological impact of amyloidosis who demonstrated remarkable commitment to and advancement of the field. This award will be granted on a competitive basis for a maximum of two academic years. The first year of the award is guaranteed, while the second year is contingent upon submission and approval of a progress report demonstrating both advancement towards the proposed research objectives and ongoing research. Applications for the Young Investigator Grant Program must be submitted in writing and will be reviewed by the review committee comprised of Medical Affairs and Compliance personnel. Applications will be assessed based on the scientific merit of the proposed research and the scientific qualifications of the applicant.

Deadlines and Important Dates

  • Application Deadline – April 2, 2021
    • Late submissions or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Award Notification – April 30, 2021
    • Award recipients and their affiliated institutions receive award notification.
  • Acceptance Deadline – July 16, 2021
    • Grant agreement must be fully executed to receive grant funding.

Young Investigator Award Funds

  • The Young Investigator Grant funds will be paid directly to the investigator’s institution.
  • Grant awards will be funded in the amount of $50,000 per year and may be renewable for a second year at the same level, provided sufficient progress has been made towards the research objectives and with approval of a submission demonstrating progress and ongoing research.
  • The award may be transferred to another investigator if needed, upon renewal of the second year and after approval from Akcea. The transfer of the award to another investigator requires review and approval by the review committee to confirm the new investigator meets all the eligibility requirements and is qualified to continue the ongoing research.
  • The grant funds may only be used as described in the awarded proposal submission. The award may not be used for promotional purposes or to advance the nonscientific interests of Akcea, the investigator, or the investigator’s institution.
  • The investigator’s institution is not limited in the amount of additional support it may provide to the investigator.
  • Submissions duplicative of other research or focused on competitor products are ineligible for the Young Investigator Grant Program.

Eligibility and Qualifications 

  • Mentors may submit the application on behalf of an investigator if the investigator has not yet been identified.
  • Investigator must hold a doctorate degree during the grant period.
  • Investigator may not have more than 3 years of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Investigator must be employed on a full-time basis and must be currently in training in the areas of translational, clinical, or applied research. Investigators may be residents, fellows, or junior faculty. Investigators with existing tenure-track research positions or senior faculty appointments are ineligible.
  • Investigator must not be excluded from participation in any government healthcare program and must not be otherwise ineligible for participation in federal healthcare programs.
  • Investigator must be either a United States citizen or in possession of a valid permit or visa as follows:
    • Green Card (permanent residency visa, unlimited duration, can lead to US citizenship)
    • H1B Visa (the primary US work visa for professionals and students from all over the world or in the USA who work in specialty occupations, valid for up to 6 years, a dual intent visa; those with an H1B Visa can also apply for permanent residency)
    • E3 Visa (similar to the H1B but only available to Australian citizens)
    • TN1 Visa (similar to the H1B but available only to citizens of Canada and Mexico)

Young Investigator Program Requirements

  • Funded research must be conducted in an academic or nonprofit institution.
  • The awarded grant should broaden the postdoctoral research experience of the young investigator and not be used for further support of preexisting and extensive postdoctoral research training.
  • Funded research must be conducted under the supervision of an experienced mentor at the sponsoring institution.
  • Proposed research must have an anticipated completion timeline of 2 years or less.
  • The awarded grant cannot be transferred to an alternate investigator or institution in the event the original institution and investigator dissolve their association without approval by Akcea.
  • Akcea Medical Affairs must be immediately notified, in writing and with appropriate justification, if the sponsoring institution anticipates any delay of the term.
  • Akcea expects investigators to publish the results of all completed research, irrespective of study outcome. Akcea may request an opportunity to review any disclosure (including abstracts, posters, presentations, and manuscripts) that results from the awarded grant, for purposes of preventing inadvertent disclosure of Akcea proprietary information and addressing any factual inaccuracies. Akcea may request a short delay in publication if necessary, to protect intellectual property rights.
  • In granting a Young Investigator Grant, no preference shall be given to reward, induce, or in exchange for recommending, prescribing, dispensing, purchasing, supplying, selling, administering, referring, arranging for, or ordering Akcea products. A Young Investigator recipient is never expected or obliged to recommend, prescribe, dispense, purchase, supply, sell, administer, refer, arrange for, or order Akcea products.

Application Materials

The following must be submitted via email to YoungInvestigator@akceatx.com to apply:

1. Award Request Letter
Must be on institutional letterhead, written and signed by the Department Chair, Division Chief, or Training Program Director and must include:

  • Academic term dates for investigator’s current position if applicable (e.g., July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022)
  • Statement of:
    • Mentor’s qualifications to supervise and train the investigator
    • Scientific prowess of the institution
    • Institutional commitment to advancing the care of patients with ATTR amyloidosis

2. Current Curriculum Vitae or NIH Biosketch

  • Mentor (required)
  • Investigator (required if known)

3. Research Proposal (preferably not to exceed 5 pages)
Proposal to include:

  • Introduction, research objectives, and rationale
  • Background and significance
  • Specific area of research
  • Preliminary data (if available)
  • Design and methods (including statistical analyses)
  • Patient population
  • Investigator’s role in design and execution of research proposal
  • Detailed budget, including other funding sources (if applicable)
  • References

4. Letter of Support from Mentor

  • Detail the eligibility, scientific skills, and background of the investigator and how the award would be beneficial for the development of this young investigator.

OR, if investigator is not yet identified:

  • Describe the selection process for identifying an investigator to complete the funded research and how the award would be beneficial at his/her institution for developing a young investigator.

5. Formal Brochure/Overview of Training Program or Department

Contact Information

For general questions about Akcea’s Young Investigator Grant Program, please contact us at YoungInvestigator@akceatx.com.