Fresco Clinical Research Grants Program
The Fresco Clinical Research Grants Program is specifically focused on advancing our understanding of the clinical outcomes of innovative and best care practices for Parkinson’s disease at Italian movement disorder centers that have been designated Fresco Network Centers. The Fresco Network is supported by the U.S.–Italy Bridge Program with a vision to deliver improved patient outcomes by bringing together Italian and American best practices in the science of medicine. In our efforts to realize this goal, this grant program is administered by the Fresco Institute but funds research conducted in Italy exclusively. Each Fresco Clinical Research Grant provides support for up to three years of funding for a center director or another researcher under the supervision of the center director.
We encourage multisite applications reflecting research collaboration across the Fresco Network or between a center and a non–Fresco Network institution to follow the spirit of the Fresco Network.
Focus Areas for Applicants
Applications may request research support for any of the following focus areas.
Substudy Under the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project
For any center participating in the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project (POP), an application may propose to add an interventional or observational study of subjects in that cohort. Note that the proposed study should not result in a modification of the POP protocol but only add additional study-related activities and that the application budget should cover all costs not currently covered by POP.
Impact of Art or Music Therapy, or a Combination of the Two, in Parkinson’s Disease Care
The application can propose study clinical or physiological changes and therapy may be considered alone or adjunctive to other interventions.
Impact of Exercise, Rehabilitation Modalities, Virtual Reality Therapy, or a Combination of the Three in Parkinson’s Disease Care
Applications can propose the study of clinical or physiological impact, or a combination of the two. Applications should address impact on balance, proprioception, vestibular system changes, and functional changes, and should describe how these will be measured—or if not addressed, why.
This program is open to Fresco Network Center investigators only. Either the center director or a researcher under the supervision of the center director is eligible to apply. Investigators from the center’s parent institution or affiliated institutions are eligible; however, the center director will be responsible for the conduct of the research and use of funds. If the project will be a multicenter project, a principal investigator from a Fresco Network Center should be designated.
The Fresco Institute awards up to two Fresco Clinical Research grants. In addition to meeting eligibility criteria, applicants must do the following:
- apply to conduct research in one of the specified focus areas
- dedicate 15 percent or more of his or her full-time effort to the research
Applicants must demonstrate the following criteria in their application:
- academic and scientific excellence of the proposed research
- alignment of the proposed research to the identified focus area
- track record of the research team in completing high-quality, high-impact research, and authorship of well-regarded scientific papers
- an achievable, rigorous research plan for three years or less that, if successful, will impact clinical care for Parkinson’s disease and will lead to new avenues of clinical and preclinical investigation
- an institutional environment conducive to the proposed research program
Grants are made as supplemental awards to the center’s Fresco Network award, with funds disbursed according to the approved budget. Each grant is $200,000, and funds are dispersed on an annual basis to each center subject to continued satisfactory performance as assessed from annual progress reports submitted by the awardee to the Fresco Institute. The funds can be used to provide salary support as well as support for the awardee’s research supplies, equipment, or other research needs. No indirect costs or overhead are paid from the grant. The first payment is sent upon return of the executed grant award agreement. If the proposed work can no longer be carried out by the awardee, such as the departure of a named investigator, the Fresco Institute reserves the right to require the return of any unpaid grant funds, to be detailed in the grant award agreement. All the funds need to be utilized in Italy exclusively.
Awardees are required to submit annual progress reports and an institutional financial statement to the Fresco Institute. The annual report must be sufficiently detailed for the Fresco Institute to assess the progress against milestones, research findings, and use of funds.
|What to include:
Applicant and research team
Brief descriptions of the Applicant and members of the research team.
Institutional Support Letter
The institution must provide a statement that includes:
Applicant’s CV, including education, research positions, publications, and other relevant professional history.
Letters of support
Include any letters of support necessary to strengthen the application. If necessary, such letters should allay reviewer concerns about feasibility, such as regarding access to facilities or ability to meet recruitment goals.
1 per letter
The deadline to apply to the Fresco Clinical Research Grants Program is September 30, 2019. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date. Applications should be submitted in English. Applicants are responsible for reviewing their application for accuracy and completeness before submission.
All applications undergo an administrative and scientific review by a committee appointed by Fresco Institute leadership, which also considers overall funder priorities. The evaluation is based on the criteria noted above.
We anticipate announcing awards six weeks after the application deadline.