The Merkin Institute for Translational Research (MITR) is pleased to announce support for up to six Merkin Innovation Seed Grants of $100,000 each in 2021. The purpose is to provide early support for translational projects, emphasizing partnerships between Caltech labs and clinicians and their laboratories, which will typically be from outside Caltech. Projects developed from the MITR-sponsored Innovation Symposia are encouraged, but projects and clinical partnerships developed in other ways are also welcome.
If awarded, grant funding will go directly to the labs of the Caltech PIs to perform feasibility studies that validate the potential healthcare innovation and position the project, if successful, for additional internal or external grant funding or commercialization. Application instructions are outlined below.
- The program is open to all Caltech Professors and Research Professors.
- Multiple-faculty projects are welcome, but you must identify a lead-PI for grant purposes.
- Research requiring IRB, IACUC, IBC approvals or MTAs can commence only after the approvals (or exemptions, as applicable) are obtained.
Grant Submission Deadline: For the first cycle, applications are due by end of Thursday (PDT), September 30, 2021.
Grant application format:
- Clinical problem and projected impact. Define the clinical problem your project addresses and discuss its importance, including the severity of clinical need and number of people potentially affected. Describe the impact of your solution relative to current standard of care and/or to any known competing approach now under development. If applicable, outline its potential for generalizing to other diseases, clinical settings, etc.
- Approach. Give specific aims, pertinent preliminary data and outline how you plan to use the award to establish proof of concept. Include milestones linked to a projected timeline.
- Team. Describe the team, clearly identifying the research/engineering and clinical components and how they will interact. Give any plan for matching funds from the clinical partner or other source, if they are needed.
- Beyond the seed grant. Briefly outline the plan to move the project forward after the seed award.
Parts 1-4 combined (up to three pages)
Criteria for selection include:
- Overall scientific strength of the project.
- Anticipated translational impact.
- The team and the nature of the link with clinicians and clinical science partners.
- Adequacy of additional funds – if needed – including from the partner institution or other sources.
- The current path and vision to achieve translation into the clinic or other appropriate venue.
The Caltech PI should submit a proposal by attaching the proposal (in pdf format) to an email to this Box address: MIS_Sep.firstname.lastname@example.org. This will automatically deposit only the attached proposal in a folder. You should receive an automated confirmation of receipt.**
Name your attached proposal file as follows: MIS_SubN_ Last Name_First Name. For example, the second (corrected or updated) proposal submitted from Groucho Marx would be named "MIS_Sub2_Marx_Groucho" His first submission would have been "MIS_Sub1_Marx_Groucho"
The submission deadline is the end of day (PDT) Thursday September 30, 2021.
**This method of submission is new at MITR. In the event that you do not receive the expected automated confirmation, report that failure in an email George Tolomiczenko (email@example.com), attaching your application pdf to the message.