Rising Star Awards

The International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO) in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJI) is offering up to 2 major awards for research related to psychiatric illness.

The IMHRO / Johnson & Johnson Rising Star Translational Research Award: One grant will be awarded for research toward novel therapies for psychiatric illness with the objective to advance the translation of scientific knowledge of underlying disease mechanisms in bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression toward benefits to patients and the healthcare system.  Specifically, the program will support translational research on innovative targets, with the potential to advance discovery of therapeutic approaches in the near term.  The emphasis will be on the approaches that provide a viable path toward renormalizing or compensating for novel biological alterations or those that have already been discovered.  This award is not specifically focused to advance the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of psychiatric diseases.

The IMHRO / Johnson & Johnson Rising Star Research Award in Memory of George Largay: A second grant will be awarded for research focused specifically on major depression. Proposals may include translational research projects as outlined above or basic research projects focused on innovative strategies and technologies for elaborating basic mechanisms of psychiatric illness and new approaches to individualized treatment and prevention focused on major depression.

Each award will be for $83,333 in direct program costs for each of up to three consecutive years, with annual continuation subject to (1) review for progress and (2) availability of funds. If both these conditions are fulfilled annually, each award’s funding will total $250,000.

Eligibility: Candidates should be leaders of an independent research program and have a track record in a scientific field that can be applied to the study of the underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.  Candidates should be no longer than 10 years from their initial independent appointment. The proposal should not overlap with existing funding.

The IMHRO Scientific Advisory Board will review applications and select a short list of candidates who will be asked to submit a more detailed five page research proposal.    

Selection Process: All applications will be reviewed by the IMHRO Scientific Advisory Board consisting of 10 members: Huda Akil (University of Michigan), Samuel Barondes (University of California, San Francisco), Steven Hyman, (Harvard University), Shitij Kapur (King’s College, London), Pat Levitt (University of Southern California), David Lewis (University of Pittsburgh), Helen Mayberg (Emory University), Eric Nestler, Chairman (Mount Sinai School of Medicine), Trevor Robbins (Cambridge University, UK), and Robert Malenka (Stanford University).

The Application Process is now closed. Finalists have been notified.

Other Conditions: If too few suitable candidates are identified in any year award monies will be carried forward allowing for additional awards in subsequent years. Use of the award will be for research costs rather than the salary of the Awardee.  No overhead/indirect costs are included, but may be negotiated up to a maximum of 10% taken from direct costs.  Funds may be used over a period of up to three years with annual accounting of funds spent and an annual report of research results required.  

Data Replicability: In order to facilitate replicability of findings by the research community, publications should fully specify methods and grantees should ensure that all reagents, cell lines, and animal models are available, e.g., through appropriate repositories.

Good principles of research design should be employed in both animal and human studies (e.g., power calculations, appropriate statistical tests, randomization, and blinding).

Data Sharing and Publication: Applicants selected to submit a full application should include a data sharing plan with their application.  IMHRO wishes to promote rapid and open sharing of data with the research community.

Subject to compliance with local Institutional Review Board (IRB) and other local ethical policies aimed at protecting patient privacy, informed consent documents should be written to permit sharing of data for a wide range of research and sharing of biological samples obtained from human subjects.

Publication of findings that might affect patient care should not be unreasonably delayed.

For more information on the Rising Star Research Awards, please contact Brandon Staglin.

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