Request for Proposals
Innovations Research Fund (IRF) Basic Research Grants
I - Background and Purpose
An important part of Dana-Farber’s mission is to exploit basic research discoveries for the benefit of cancer patients. One way to achieve this goal is to license Intellectual Property arising from these discoveries to commercial entities which then make products for treating and managing cancer. In the life cycle of this commercialization process, substantial amounts of money are raised for the last stage in the process – funding a new company based on DFCI intellectual property. However, much less money is available to support the beginning of this pipeline – basic discovery research that generates the intellectual property.
In order to enhance our ability to fund early stage research, Dana-Farber created a venture philanthropy project known as the Innovations Fund. The Innovations Funds are comprised of two separate funds, the Innovations Investment Fund (INV) and the Innovations Research Fund (IRF). The INV is a conventional venture capital fund whose portfolio focuses on start-ups that license DFCI discoveries. The INV’s General Partner is MPM Capital which manages the fund completely independently of DFCI. To participate in the INV, investors must make a philanthropic donation to the IRF. The IRF is managed by DFCI completely independently of MPM Capital
To fulfill the goals of the Innovations Funds, the resources in the IRF will be used to support basic discovery research. This support will take a few different forms including recruitment of junior faculty in the basic sciences and purchases of shared capital equipment. However, the majority of the resources will be used to support basic research projects proposed by DFCI faculty. These are expected to be high risk/high reward projects in the basic sciences for which little preliminary data may exist. The amount of support may vary depending on the project but we anticipate providing three years of support at approximately $330,000 per year (total costs). Sufficient funds are available to support two projects for each RFP; RFPs will be issued at least once yearly for the next 4 years.
The IRF is managed by DFCI’s Chief Scientific Officer Emeritus and application reviews and funding decisions will be made by an Executive Board comprised of six senior DFCI scientists.
II - Eligibility
III - Funding Levels
Total funding is expected to be approximately $1,000,000 per grant which can be expensed over a period of time not to exceed three years.
IV - Budget and Resources
V - Proposal Format
Proposals must be prepared in the following format with strict adherence to page limits. Proposals must be written in 12-point Arial font with one-inch margins.
Section 1 – Project Summary (1 page)
Section 2 – Project Description (no more than 5 pages including figures)
Section 3 – Budget (no page limit)
Section 4 – Key Personnel and Collaborators (no page limit)
VI - Reporting Requirements
Every funded project will be reviewed annually by the Executive Board. The PI will submit a Progress Report to the Executive Committee 14 days prior to the anniversary of grant funding. The Executive Committee may make recommendations to the PI for activities to be pursued during the next 12-month period. If a grantee is not meeting the project’s goals, the Executive Board will require the grantee to present a project update and plans for the coming year. The Executive Board may also recommend that the project be terminated in which case the balance of the unspent and unencumbered funds will revert to the IRF.
A final report will be due within 30 days of the end of the granting period and should specifically address research results relevant to each research objective.
VII - Submission and Timeline
All applications must be submitted to Brenda Gambale (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 5:00 pm on November 1, 2021. Funding of successful applications will begin on December 1, 2021.