NERCE expects to issue a Request for Applications for Development Grants in Fall 2010
The New England Regional Center of Excellence will use the Developmental Projects program to promote innovative, cutting-edge research in areas that may yield discoveries that would translate into the creation of new vaccines, therapeutics and/or diagnostics to combat NIAID Priority Pathogens and agents of emerging infectious disease. The Developmental Projects resources will be invested in research projects with the greatest potential to grow to full NERCE research programs or to projects that would be competitive for traditional NIH funding.
Given the relatively short duration of support (1-2 years) and the relatively small investment, the Developmental Projects will be riskier and require less preliminary data than conventional “RO1”-like grants. Developmental Project funds will also be used to help established New England investigators develop projects to the stage where they can take advantage of the NERCE core facilities. The fund will be used to attract investigators who are not working on Priority Pathogens to begin research programs in this area and to attract investigators from institutions and companies that are not participating in NERCE. Finally, the Developmental Projects program will be used to encourage collaborations among investigators, particularly between basic and clinical research laboratories and between traditional microbiology laboratories and investigators in other basic science disciplines (e.g., immunologists, cell biologists, chemical biologists, and bioinformaticists).
To create the most fertile environment for discovery, the Developmental Grants will preferentially make strategic investments in projects with high risk but potentially high return, compared to more conventional projects that are more likely to attract traditional NIH funding.