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Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST)
Postdoctoral Fellowship program

PURPOSE

FAST's grants and fellowships program strives to encourage research aimed at finding a specific treatment for Angelman Syndrome. FAST is committed to assisting individuals living with Angelman Syndrome to realize their full potential. Our goal is to bring practical treatment into current medical practice as quickly as possible; therefore, preference will be given to research projects that have a clear practical application and the results of which will be shared in a timely fashion. We also hope that grants we fund will lead to additional research support from government agencies and other funding sources.

FAST invites applications from postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in Angelman Syndrome research. Fellowships provide the necessary resources to support and encourage the development of young scientists who benefit from the mentorship of prominent researchers. We believe the investment in Angelman Syndrome research training will grow exponentially as our fellows later assume professorial roles in departments around the country and the world, many of which currently have no representation in Angelman Syndrome research.

KEY DATES:

Release Date: December 10, 2010
Application Receipt Date: March 15, 2011, 11:59 p.m. (EST)
Letters of Recommendation Receipt Date: March 15, 2011 by 11:59 pm (EST)
Scientific Review Date: April, 2011
Notification: May, 2011
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: June 1, 2011

ELIGIBILITY

Institutions receiving grants must be recognized as nonprofit. In the US, this means institutions that do not operate to make a profit. Preference will be given to individuals nominated by institutions within the United States. Foreign individuals must identify a Co-Mentor with an appointment within a US Institution. Individuals nominated by applicant institutions for the Fellowship award should have training and experience at least equal to the Ph.D. or M.D. level. Fellowship awardees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Research clinicians must devote full-time to their proposed research training and must restrict clinical duties within their full-time research training experience to activities that are directly related to the research training experience.

DURATION OF SUPPORT and ALLOWABLE COSTS

Fellowships are awarded for the period of one year and may be renewed for a second year, based on satisfactory progress. A financial report and progress report are required at the end of each award year.

The Fellowship award provides the following provisions for its recipients:
Stipend - $46,000 per year for 2 years
Travel funds - up to $1,000 per year to attend a conference most helpful to the fellow's Angelman Syndrome-related research.
Research expenses - $3,000 per year to be utilized for expenses related to completion of the research project.
FAST is unable to pay for indirect costs under any circumstances.

APPLICATION and SUBMISSION INFORMATION

1. Write the Research Plan.
Applicants should download the grant application form and prepare a Research Plan that emphasizes methods and utilizes the following outline format:
A. Specific Aims - include research questions and/or hypotheses.

B. Background and Significance - provide rationale for the research.

C. Preliminary Studies - describe any preliminary data you have gathered which bears on the specific research question(s).
(Sections A through C may not exceed 2 pages)

D. Research Design and Methods (3-page maximum):
1. Study design
2. Analysis Plan
3. Expected Results
4. Limitations and Alternative Approaches
E. Provide a Lay Summary paragraph of your research objectives and the potential your work has to help those with Angelman Syndrome. (1 page maximum)

As we are committed to educating the public about the importance of research, the lay summary is an important part of the application and will be considered when deciding on funding decisions. The lay summary will be posted on our website if your proposal is funded.

F. Attach your Biosketch. Please use the current NIH Biosketch Format.
Additional Formatting Requirements:
- proposal body in Arial or Times New Roman size 11 point font
- margins no less than 0.5 inches
- include a header on each page indicating fellow name (last name, first initial), mentor (last name, first initial) name and page number. For example: Smith, J; Smythe K, pg.1
- Figure and figure legends must be included within the 5 page limit for items A-D.
- Figure legends can be in 10 point Arial or Times New Roman font.
- Only PDF files will be accepted and reviewed.
2. Secure a letter of recommendation from your Mentor.
The applicant's Mentor Letter(s) must describe in detail:
- their commitments to and proposed roles in guiding the individual applicant during the research training experience
- their assessment of the applicant's ability to conduct the proposed research
- the facilities and major equipment available the applicant that is relevant to the proposed research.

3. Secure Letters of Recommendation.
Applicants are required to request two letters of recommendation in addition to the required Mentor Letter to be submitted on their behalf. Generally speaking successful recommendations should provide testimony to the Fellow's aptitude and ability to execute the proposed research. In the event the Fellow is/will be employed by a foreign institution, the US Co-Mentor Letter may replace one of the additional two letters of recommendation.

4. Submit Application Materials.
Applications must be submitted electronically to grants@cureangelman.org and must be received no later than March 15, 2011 11:59 p.m. EST. Only PDF files will be accepted and reviewed. Letters of Recommendation must also be submitted as PDF files to grants@cureangelman.org and must be received no later than March 15, 11:59 p.m. EST. Recommendation letters will only be accepted from the recommender's email address.

Any questions about the application process should be directed to science@cureangelman.org

HUMAN and ANIMAL SUBJECTS

Human subjects studied in the course of research conducted under a research award are under no circumstances a responsibility of FAST. Human subjects in a program supported by FAST shall be volunteers in any survey, study or procedure. FAST requires recipients to demonstrate Institutional Review Board approval of the research project prior to dispersal of award funds. If IRB approval cannot be obtained within six months of the fellowship award, the award may be rescinded by the board of directors.

If animals are used in the proposed study, written certification must be provided to FAST indicating that proper treatment, care, and humane conditions will be provided. FAST requires recipients to demonstrate Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval of the research project prior to dispersal of award funds.

FAST GRANT REVIEW PROCESS

The first stage of providing fair and expert review for research funding applications submitted to FAST consists of scientific peer review by a group of highly esteemed basic and clinical scientists that form our Scientific Advisory Board. The panel uses standard guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for scoring applications with an emphasis on innovation, scientific rigor, and relevance to the mission of FAST. All reviewer conflicts of interest must be revealed prior to the panel review meeting. Conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, employment at the same sponsoring institution and collaboration on recent or current research projects. All discussions of scientific merit are conducted in the absence of any reviewers who have declared conflicts of interest.

The Scientific Advisory Board recommendations are then reviewed and compiled by the Scientific Director's Panel. This panel is a group of three scientific and medical experts that includes the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, the Chief Science Officer and the Science Officer. All recommendations for funding are made by the panel to the FAST Board of Directors. Panel funding recommendations are based on scientific merit (as evaluated by the Scientific Advisory Board), budgetary considerations and discussions of relevancy and priority to the mission of FAST. Final approval is required by the FAST Board of Directors before funding may occur.

PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION

No person shall be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any program or activity receiving financial assistance from FAST because of race, ethnic origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

AMENDMENT OF POLICIES

FAST reserves the right to modify its policies governing research awards at any time. The recipient agrees to abide by any changes or to terminate the grant at the time when such changes become effective. Failure to abide by the policies governing awards shall be considered sufficient grounds for cancellation of an award or refusal to consider any pending application by the grantee.


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