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Maryland Stem Cell Commission Issues Requests for Applications
Date:10/1/2008

COLUMBIA, Md., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Per the Maryland Stem Cell Commission (Commission) meeting on Sept. 10, 2008, the Commission has issued today three official Requests for Applications (RFAs) for funding through the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund under the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act. This is the third round of funding from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, which has an operational budget of $19 million for FY 2009. However, it should be noted that the FY 2009 appropriation is subject to change pending upcoming Board of Public Works action in mid-October as a result of the State's revenue write down.

The grants to be awarded under these three RFAs will fund basic and translational research with human stem cells of all types, as defined in the Stem Cell Act. The goals of this program are to broaden and advance basic knowledge of human stem cell biology that will be relevant for eventual development of clinical applications, and to enable, support and accelerate such clinical applications for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases and conditions.

The Commission is seeking the widest range of research topics that may contribute to achievement of these goals. A one-page Letter of Intent is required and must be submitted by Nov. 14, 2008. Applications for funding under these RFAs will be due Jan. 15, 2009.

RFA-MD-09-1 is soliciting applications for Investigator-Initiated Research Grants, which are designed for investigators with preliminary data supporting the grant application. Based on previous investigator response, the Commission has changed the terms of these Investigator-Initiated Research Grants to $300,000 of direct costs per year, and extended the duration of the grants for up to five years. Maryland-based organizations of all types are eligible for Investigator-Initiated Research Grants. Such organizations include public and private, for-profit and nonprofit: universities, colleges, research institutes, companies, medical centers and others.

RFA-MD-09-2 is soliciting applications for Exploratory Research Grants, which are designed for investigators who are new to the stem cell field (young investigators and investigators from other fields), and for new hypotheses, approaches, mechanisms or models that may differ from current thinking in the stem cell field, without any preliminary data supporting the application. These Exploratory Research Grants will be for up to $100,000 of direct costs per year, for up to two years.

RFA-MD-09-3 is soliciting nationwide applications from pre-doctoral students and post-doctorial fellows who wish to conduct basic and/or transitional research on all types of human stem cells in Maryland. Each fellowship being awarded up to $55,000 per year for up to two years, which is inclusive of all direct, indirect and fringe benefits costs. Maryland-based organizations of all types are eligible as training institutes, including public and private, for-profit and nonprofit: universities, colleges, research institutes, companies, medical centers, and others.

The work funded under these RFAs must be conducted in Maryland. The scientists and clinicians conducting the work must be employed or retained by an eligible Maryland-based organization while doing so. Such employment or retainer may be permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time. Individuals from underrepresented minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

All applications must include an explanation of the translation potential and/or plan of the proposed research. Translation potential means the relevance and potential utility of the research (including basic research) for clinical applications for patients. A translation plan means the anticipated process for accomplishing such clinical applications. All Principal Investigators funded under these RFAs will be required to present their interim and final research results at an annual in-state symposium and in annual reports to the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission.

New cell lines initially developed with funding under these RFAs will be required to be shared with other qualified researchers. Applicants may require the receiving researchers to pay reasonable compensation for the new cell lines. Applicants will be free to decide, in their discretion, whether and to what extent to cover such new cell lines with intellectual property and contractual protections.

Questions by applicants about these RFAs may only be addressed by email, through the following contact: mscrfinfo@MarylandTEDCO.org.


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SOURCE Maryland Stem Cell Commission
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