The human genome sequencing has represented the beginning of a new era in biomedicine that is rapidly transforming our understanding of human diseases and, consequently, our ability to prevent and treat them. The founding elements of this revolution are represented by the possibility of digitalizing the disease through omics analyses and understanding causal genetic and environmental mechanisms. The availability of tools for quantitative analysis might translate the evaluation of the risk of disease from the population dimension to the individual, and the choice of treatment from the disease to the patient (Precision Medicine). The impact of Precision Medicine is more evident in the field of oncology, as exemplified by the recent use of numerous personalized therapies in routine clinical activity. Some of these therapies have radically modified the natural history of specific tumor types.

FUV will award 162 fellowships to top-level scientists (fundamental scientists or clinical scientists) in the field of Precision Medicine.

 

For 2020, FUV offers:

(150) 12-month fellowships to promote original clinical and experimental research in leading Italian research institutions. Up to 25 grants will be reserved to medical doctors developing clinical research projects. Each fellowship provides a gross sum of € 30,000 (before tax).

- One (1) extra 12-month fellowship in Oncology will be granted in memory of Florenzo and Liliana Jaia

- One (1) extra 12-month fellowship will be granted in neuroscience (jointly with ProRett ONLUS)

Ten (10) 6-month travel grants to support Italian researchers, working in Italy at the time of application, who wish to spend 6-month period of research in a top-level laboratory or clinical department at a foreign institution. Preference will be given to projects allowing the learning of new methodologies and innovative technologies. Each fellowship provides a gross sum of €15,000 (before tax).

 

1.      RESEARCH AREAS

FUV aims at accelerating the transition toward Precision Medicine and supports the highest quality research projects (whether fundamental, translational, or clinical) designed to identify novel approaches to the PREVENTION, EARLY DETECTION and DIAGNOSIS, and TREATMENT of human diseases that favor LONG SURVIVAL in the fields of ONCOLOGY, CARDIOVASCULAR diseases, NEUROSCIENCE and LIFE STYLE for DISEASE PREVENTION.

 

ONCOLOGY

Fight against cancer is one of the major interests for FUV. The Foundation aims at sustaining cutting-edge research projects in the field of Precision Oncology. Special attention will be given to the following broad oncology research fields: i) Clinical oncology and trials; ii) Developing novel therapeutics or overcoming drug resistance; iv) Developing new disease systems based on human experimental models; v) Developing digital platforms for the analyses and interpretation of omics or sensory data.

 

Primary FUV interest is supporting research on:

 

  • Female tumors, in particular triple negative breast cancer and ovaric cancer;
  • Male tumors (prostate, testicle, bladder);
  • Paediatric and adolescents tumors;
  • Rare and orphan tumors, including pancreatic, gastric and brain tumors;
  • Metastatic diseases.

Also applications on other cancer types will be evaluated.

 

 

NEUROSCIENCE

Due to a still poor understanding of brain physiology, prevention and treatment of neurological disorders are limited and often not sufficiently effective. FUV aims at sustaining researchers devoted to study mechanisms underlying major neurological pathologies, especially neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Parkinson and Alzheimer, dementia) and neurodevelopmental disorders (such as Autism spectrum disorders).

 

One extra fellowship will be offered jointly by FUV and Pro Rett ONLUS specifically on the Rett syndrome. The applicants will be evaluated by FUV Scientific Committee according to the criteria stated at point 3.

 

CARDIOLOGY

Together with tumors, cardiovascular diseases are major killers in developed countries. FUV sustains projects focused on prevention and treatment of pathological conditions such as myocardial infarction, coronary artery diseases and pharmacological cardiotoxicity.

 

LIFE STYLE FOR DISEASE PREVENTION

FUV solicits proposals that investigate genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of lifestyles on health (such as diet and physical activity, but also the impact of pollution) and aim at designing novel approaches to disease prevention.

 

 

2.      ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

12-month fellowship

o    Experimental research. Italian and foreign researchers holding a scientific degree in Medicine, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biotechnology, Biostatistics, Computation Biology, Physics, Mathematics. Post-graduate qualification (i.e., specialization or PhD) in health-related fields is required. Selected candidates must carry out their research project in leading Italian institutions. 

o    Clinical research. Italian and foreign medical doctors. Candidates must hold a degree in Medicine and have clinical research experience and post-graduate qualification (i.e., specialization or PhD). Selected candidates must carry out their work in leading Italian Research-Hospitals and shall – based on their expertise – become members of specialized clinical teams, led by top-level referents. Please make sure that all qualifications held by foreign candidates are equivalent to their Italian counterparts, in order for them to be able to see patients in Italy. Candidates who do not fulfil the legal requirements to work as clinicians in Italy will be excluded from the evaluation procedure. Please be explicit in the Letter of Acceptance by the Hosting Institute that the candidate meets the legal criteria to work as a clinician.

The 12-month fellowships will only be awarded to researchers (Italian or foreigners) for research work at Italian institutions. There are no fellowships available for research work outside of Italy.

 

6-month fellowships (TRAVEL GRANTS).

Travel grants are limited to Italian citizens working in Italy at the time of application. Candidates should preferably hold a scientific degree such as Medicine, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biotechnology, Physics or Mathematics. Post-graduate qualification (specialization or PhD) in a health-related field is mandatory.

 

For ALL the fellowships:

- All candidates must have officially obtained a PhD or specialization degree not later than 05th September 2019 (official grant applications closing date).

- All candidates (except women with children, see below) must be under the age of 43 on 1st January 2020. If awarded, the candidate will be asked to confirm in writing that he/she meets these requirements.

- Women with children are allowed to count one extra year per child. If awarded, the candidate will be asked to provide a “family certificate”.

 

For experimental research fellowships ONLY:

Candidates must have at least one original paper as first/co-first/last/co-corresponding author and at least one other article (original or review) in peer-reviewed international journals. “In press” articles are eligible publications but a DOI number if available and a proof of manuscript acceptance is mandatory, and must be separately sent at borse@fondazioneveronesi. Submitted/under revision manuscripts, book chapters, and conference abstracts and proceedings are not considered eligible publications.

 

3.      EVALUATION PROCEDURES

All applications sent by the deadline and meeting the eligibility criteria will be evaluated by a Scientific Committee that will establish two ranking lists, one for the fundamental-research projects and one for clinical-research projects, according to the following criteria:

 

APPLICANTS IN EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH

Candidates will be awarded funding based on:

1. Quality of the applicant’s scientific CV.

Please note that academic and professional achievements, studying/working experience abroad, quality of publications (i.e., the impact factor – IF – of the journals), authorship position (first, second, last author etc.) will be part of the selection criteria.

Dissemination activities in schools and/or to civil society will be taken into account in the evaluation of the CV. Candidates are strongly invited to indicate title, place and date, sponsor of each single event. If awarded, the candidate must provide proof of his/her participation to the event.

2. Quality of the proposed research project.

Compliance with the call and field of application, feasibilityinnovation, and translational basis of the project, as well as the potential of the outlined research to make a substantial contribution to the field, will be evaluated.

3. Quality of the Hosting laboratory and Institution.

Quality of the Host Institution (in terms of laboratories, facilities, etc.) as well as the competence of the Principal Investigator (P.I. – either being the head of the hosting laboratory and/or the senior scientist supervising the overall research project including candidate proposed activities), such as expertise in the field of the project, mentoring, international standing, etc., will be evaluated.

 

APPLICANTS IN CLINICAL RESEARCH

Candidates (medical doctors, psychologists and other professional figures working in a clinical setting) will be awarded funding based on:

1. Quality of the applicant’s CV.

Please note that academic and professional achievements, studying/working experience abroad and publications in peer-reviewed journals will be a part of the selection criteria.

Dissemination activities in schools and/or to civil society will be taken into account in the evaluation of the CV. Candidates are strongly invited to indicate title, place and date, sponsor of each single event. If awarded, the candidate must provide proof of his/her participation to the event.

 

2. Quality of the proposed research project.

Compliance with the call and field of application, feasibilityinnovation, and translational basis of the project, as well as the potential of the outlined research to make a substantial contribution to the field, will be evaluated.

 

3. Quality of the Hosting Institution.

Institution/Hospital providing comprehensive care together with research activities will be highly valuated.

 

 

4.      GUIDE TO PROPOSAL APPLICATION

 To start application submission, please enter your name, surname, email address, fiscal code and your proposed type of research (experimental or clinical). You will then be directed to the correct application form.

In the submission form, you will be asked to provide, in separate files, the following documents:

i)           candidate’s CV (max 4000 characters including spaces). Candidates who have had a period of justified absence from work (i.e. maternity leave), may state it in the CV. Date of PhD/Specialization degree must be clearly indicated

ii)        list of scientific peer-reviewed publications (no character limits). It is mandatory to clearly indicate the IF of every single publication mentioned in the application. Please report the most recent IF and NOT the one of the publication year. Only original papers and reviews will be evaluated for the publication record. Paper ‘in press’ are eligible only if an Editor ‘letter of acceptance’ is provided to borse@fondazioneveronesi.it. Papers accepted for publication after the closing of the call and during the process of evaluation will NOT be taken into account. Papers published on new journals with no IF are accepted, on condition that they are published on international and peer-reviewed journals. Posters/abstracts at conferences, meeting proceedings, and book chapters will not be considered for evaluation but can be included in the CV.

iii)         a short abstract of the proposed project (max 2000 characters including spaces).

iv)         a description of the proposed research project – background, experimental plan, and description of expected results and future applications to health – (max 9000 characters including spaces).

v)         Bibliography is NOT included in the 9000 characters of the project description and must be inserted in a separate field of the form with no space limits.

vi)         PI’s CV (max 2000 characters including spaces) including the field of investigation, up to five selected publication of the last ten years, and granted founding (optional). Requested CV is from the P.I. of the laboratory where the project will be carried on (i.e. for travel grants, the CV will refer to the P.I. of the foreign lab).

vii)       Research on animals must conform to regulations protecting animals used for research purposes. Animal protocol(s) must be authorized by the Italian Ministry of Health (D.Lgs.26/2014). Ministry authorization must be valid for the period of the grant. When available a copy of the authorization should be provided during the application process. This is advantageous for the candidate because authorization presence/absence will be taken into account by the evaluating committee in terms of project feasibility.

If not included in the application, animal authorization MUST be provided upon grant acceptance (around mid-end November) or at most one month before the start of the grant. Failure to provide the requested documentations will result in fellowship loss. In case animal studies will be carried out in another lab, provide the authorization released to the collaborator together with a justification/collaboration letter. 

viii)    Research on humans If the research plan includes research in humans, the approval of the local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board (IRB) is mandatory. As above, when available a copy of the authorization should be provided during the application process. This is advantageous for the candidate because authorization presence/absence will be taken into account by the evaluating committee in terms of project feasibility. If not included in the application, it MUST be provided upon grant acceptance (around mid-end November) or at most one month before the start of the grant. Failure to provide the requested documentation will result in fellowship loss.  In the case human samples are from other laboratory provide the authorization released to the collaborator together with a justification/collaboration letter. 

  

Please note that during the application process you will be also asked to upload the following documentation:

·           Two letters of recommendation not dated before 1st January 2018 (mandatory). One letter can be written by the hosting P.I.

·         A letter of acceptance by the hosting institute, signed by the legal representative of the institute (mandatory). For travel grants, the hosting institution is the foreign laboratory the candidate is applying for. This letter must include the declaration that, if the candidate is awarded with a FUV fellowship, he/she will be able to carry out his/her research in that institution. Please also include in the acceptance letter the name of the laboratory, the name of the P.I./Professor/Group leader who will supervise the candidate, the department and the Institution where the research will take place.

·         A report on any previous projects undertaken with a grant from Fondazione Umberto Veronesi (if any) (max three pages)

·         Preliminary results of the project (if available) (max two pages).

 

OTHER INFORMATIONS

·         All application materials must be written in English.

·         All files must be in PDF or Word format.

·         Each candidate is allowed to enter only one application. Candidates who enter more than one application will be excluded from the evaluation process.

·         After sending the final submission of your application, it will NOT be possible under any circumstances to ask for amendments or corrections.

 

5.       FUNDING REGULATIONS

·         The total amount of each 12-month fellowship grant is € 30,000 (before tax) or € 15,000 euro (before tax) for 6-month travel grants. The fellowship is only meant to pay the researcher’s salary and CANNOT be used to cover other expenses (lab reagents and supplies, etc.). The fellowship will be paid directly to the awarded candidate on her/his personal bank account.

·           Part of the gross salary will be directed to tax coverage (IRPEF, Italian regional and municipal taxes).

Please note that FUV fellowships do NOT provide any payment for retirement contributions, such as INPS due to the current fiscal law.

·           Our Fellowship guarantees to each researcher an insurance covering permanent disabilities resulting from a workplace-related accident or disease, fatal accidents and a partial reimbursement of medical expenses. Please note that all expenses covered by the DGL 81/2008 (Attuazione dell’articolo 1 della legge 3 agosto 2007, n. 123, in materia di tutela della salute e della sicurezza nei luoghi di lavoroare under the responsability of the hosting institute. Please state clearly in the acceptance letter that the hosting institute agrees to this clause.

·         The fellowship can be terminated at any time by giving timely notice (at least 15 days before interruption) to FUV by email at: borse@fondazioneveronesi.it

·         The fellowship CANNOT be combined with any other form of bursary; similarly, the fellowship is not compatible with either temporary or permanent employment by any other Institution; the fellowship is compatible with forms of funding other than the above, provided that they do not exceed a total of € 10,000 (before tax) per annum.

 

6.       REPORTING

Fellows will be required to produce short reports on their research activity, describing their progress and results obtained. One mid-term report after 6 months and one final report at the end of the 12 months are required for both experimental and clinical fellowships. One final report at the end of the 6 months is required for the Travel Grants.

The mid-term report is required within the first two weeks of the seventh month of the fellowship. Please note that if FUV does not receive the mid-term report by this deadline, payment will be suspended until the report is submitted.

The final report must be submitted at least two weeks before the end of the 12th month. The last payment will not be paid until FUV has received the final report.

All reports must be uploaded online through a personalized link that will be sent by email a few weeks before the deadline. Reports sent via mail will not be accepted.

 

7.       DURATION

Grants awarded by FUV will have a duration of 12 months (for fellowships in experimental and clinical research) or 6 months (for travel grants) and will start on 1st January 2020. However, the starting date can be postponed until no later than 1st April 2020. It will not be possible, under any circumstances, to further postpone the starting date.

Candidates who have previously been granted FUV fellowships are encouraged to apply again. However, they are required to follow the standard application procedure and upload a short description of the projects already funded by FUV, indicating key findings and results.

 

8.       AWARD OBLIGATIONS

It is mandatory for all successful applicants to acknowledge FUV in any publications, including those related to the granted proposal and those generated from any other research activities carried out during the period supported by FUV. Furthermore, a pdf version of all published manuscripts acknowledging FUV must be sent at the address borse@fondazioneveronesi.it as soon as possible and no later than 2 weeks after upload on Pudmed. Please note that, every year, FUV awards three best publications from the past year with a personal donation of 5,000 to the FUV fellow that authored the work.

Once a candidate has been granted the fellowship, by accepting it, he/she agrees to cooperate with FUV in its dissemination activities and promotion of its scientific research, whenever required. The candidate must therefore be available to be interviewed for articles in printed and online journals and participate in promotional events (such as a press conference, meetings in schools, and one or two events with the general public) or other scientific dissemination activities organized by FUV.

Researchers working in Italy will be asked to organize at least one meeting in one school in their city/region during the year of the fellowship, with the goal of promoting engagement between young students and the scientific world. Foreign fellows will be asked to meet students of bilingual schools. More information will follow for the successful applicants.

 

9.       DEADLINE

All applications must be sent no later than 05th September 2019 23.59 (Central European Time, CET). After completing the online form you will receive a confirmation email at the email address supplied. The list of awarded candidates will be published on our website www.fondazioneveronesi.it on the 06th December 2019.  We strongly recommend to AVOID sending your final application last minute, because this could cause overloading of the system and some applications could be lost without being registered by the deadline. The deadline is strict and we will not, under any circumstances, accept applications sent afterwards.

For any further information, feel free to contact the Fondazione Umberto Veronesi at the following e-mail address: borse@fondazioneveronesi.it.

Please, limit telephone calls to emergency issue. With few exceptions, you will NOT find personnel endorsed to give information on applications, funding and administrative matters by phone.

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