Hope for Tomorrow Research Competition

Campus Alberta Neuroscience (CAN), in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories (AS AB/NT), is pleased to announce the launch of the Hope for Tomorrow Research Competition, focused on research that has the potential to make a significant impact on the quality of life of patients, families, and caregivers through exploration into the causes, prevention, treatment, and cure of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Overview

What is currently known about the causes, prevention, treatment, and cure for dementia is limited. Research into Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is critical to advance our understanding of any of these facets that have the potential to significantly improve the lives of the more than 52,000 Albertans living with dementia. Without the critical knowledge development that research provides, dementia will continue to disrupt the lives of many more Albertans – estimated at more than 200,000 by 2050.

Research that pushes the boundaries of what is currently understood as having a positive impact on improving and maintaining quality of life for those affected by these diseases is encouraged – researchers should think “outside of the box” and bring disciplines together in unexpected ways to form bold, innovative perspectives.

Competition Guidelines

Key Dates

Q & A Session 1 October 19, 2022
Notice of Intent submission deadline November 18, 2022 by 12:00PM MST (noon)
Q & A Session 2 December 7, 2022
Full Application submission deadline January 20, 2023 by 12:00PM MST (noon)
Application review period February – April 2023
Award notifications Spring – early Summer 2023
Submit Notice of Intent
Submit Full Application

Competition Summary

Innovative and novel Quality of Life research that has the potential to make a significant impact for patients, families, and caregivers is this year’s Area of Focus. Quality of life embodies the overall physical and mental health and wellbeing of a person in relation to the cultural, environmental, and social context in which they live. In order to maintain quality of life as we age, we must find ways to foster healthy brain aging and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Further, the maintenance and improvement of quality of life for those already diagnosed is often a key goal in the treatment process. Everyone can experience improved quality of life when Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are prevented, effectively treated, and better understood.

This research competition aims to accelerate and focus the knowledge gained from innovative scientific findings, in the short or long term, into outcomes that will result in the reduced burden or enhanced quality of life for patients, families, and caregivers in Alberta and elsewhere.

For more information and examples of research topics that fall under this Area of Focus, please see the Competition Guidelines.

Notice of Intent Deadline: November 18, 2022 by 12:00 PM MST (noon)
Full Application Deadline:  January 20, 2023 by 12:00 PM MST (noon)
Award Notifications:  Spring – Early Summer 2023

AS AB/NT, in partnership with CAN, will provide awards up to CAD $250,000 total funding for a period of up to three (3) years. Requests may not exceed CAD $250,000 and must be matched at a minimum of 1:1 ratio through funding from one or more funding partners secured by applicants. Matching funding must be cash. A signed letter guaranteeing the matched funds or other proof of secured matching funds is required by the Full Application deadline (January 20, 2023).

  • Eligible funding partners for matching funding include individual donors, charitable organizations, provincial and federal government agencies, industry, research institutions, hospitals and health care organizations and any other entities, including foreign organizations and entities.
  • A funding partner may support any number of applications and multiple funding partners may support a single application.
  • Full Applications will not be accepted unless accompanied by a letter of commitment of matched funds from the funding partner(s).

For more information, please see the Competition Guidelines.

The Principal Applicant is responsible for the direction of the research project and the coordination of research activities. The Principal Applicant must:

  • Be an independent researcher in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Be affiliated with either the University of Alberta, Calgary or Lethbridge
  • Have their substantive academic position be in Alberta for the duration of the requested funding
  • Be a member of CAN (join here)
  • Be able to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the award as per the Competition Guidelines
  • Not be in a Conflict of Interest with regard to this funding opportunity
  • Not have active funding from the Alzheimer’s Society (some exceptions apply)

Research Projects must be related to Quality of Life research as defined in the Area of Focus section of the Competition Guidelines and must be conducted within Alberta.

For the full eligibility requirements, please see the Competition Guidelines.

Applicants intending to submit a Full Application to this funding competition are required to submit a NOI electronically through the Online Notice of Intent Submission.

The purpose of the NOI is to provide necessary information in planning for peer review. As such, NOIs will not undergo formal review and comments are not provided at the NOI stage. NOIs will be used to ensure that all Applicants are eligible for this competition as per these guidelines. As such, CAN and AS AB/NT reserve the right to contact any Applicant to suggest revisions or retraction of the intent to apply for funding. 

Notices of Intent must be received before 12:00 PM MST (Mountain Standard Time) on November 18, 2022. A complete list of questions to be addressed by the NOI is provided in Appendix A of the Competition Guidelines.

Click here for the Notice of Intent Online Submission.

Full Applications must be submitted electronically through the Online Application Submission. The Principal Applicant who submitted the NOI must be the same individual who submits the Full Application. 

It is imperative that the Full Application is proofread before submission; changes to the Full Application after the deadline are not allowed. Only a single copy of a Full Application will be accepted.

Full Applications must be received in completion before 12:00 PM MST (Mountain Standard Time) on January 20, 2023. A list of questions to be addressed by the Full Application is provided in Appendix B of the Competition Guidelines. A Budget Summary Template, to be filled out and submitted as part of the Full Application, is provided here.

Click here for the Full Application Online Submission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Notices of Intent are due November 18, 2022 by 12:00 PM (noon) MST. This MUST be submitted to be considered for the award.

Full Applications are due January 20, 2023 by 12:PM (noon) MST.

There are eligibility requirements for the Applicants and for the Research Project.

The Principal Applicant must:

  • Be an independent researcher in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
    • Individuals who are full- or part-time students, postdoctoral fellows, or research associates are not eligible to apply as Principal Applicants, regardless of whether they also meet the definition of an independent researcher.
  • Be affiliated with the University of Alberta, Calgary, or Lethbridge
  • Have their substantive academic position be in Alberta for the duration of the requested funding
  • Be a member of CAN
  • Be able to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the award
  • Be responsible for the direction of the research project and the coordination of proposed research activities
  • Complete and submit the Notice of Intent and the Full Application
  • Assume administrative and financial responsibility for the award

All Applicants must:

  • Not be in a Conflict of Interest with regard to this funding opportunity due to extensive and direct involvement in the development of this funding opportunity
  • Not have interests and intent toward the proposed area of research that intersect with any personal, commercial, or financial interest or benefit pertaining to the individual, their employment, or partnerships and former or prospective professional associations
  • Not have Funding-decision Authority for this funding opportunity
  • Not have active funding from the Alzheimer’s Society for a similar project
  • Not be delinquent in any reporting or deliverables requirements for active funding from the Alzheimer’s Society
  • Not have any active funding from the Alberta and Northwest Territories branch of the Alzheimer’s Society

The Research Project:

  • Must be related to Quality of Life as defined in the Area of Focus section of the Competition Guidelines
  • Must be conducted within Alberta
  • Should think “outside of the box” and bring disciplines together in unexpected ways to form bold, innovative perspectives
  • Should incorporate a plan for knowledge translation, even if it may not be fully reached within the timeframe of this award
  • Should involve Knowledge Users (highly encouraged if possible)
  • Should involve collaborations, academic or non-academic (if possible)

Research projects must, at a minimum, be conducted within Alberta and must be related to the Area of Focus. The current Area of Focus is Quality of Life, including maintenance and improvement for those at risk of and those already affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Research projects that fall under this Area of Focus may address, but is not limited to:

  • Research looking for and assessing potential causes and risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, including gender-specific risks, factors that lead to resiliency and cognitive/brain reserve, and social and environmental attributes, to inform early diagnosis and intervention strategies over the life course 
  • Research developing and testing interventions to prevent or delay disease onset, including lifestyle/behavioral and health tech supported prevention strategies, to maintain optimal quality of life for as long as possible throughout the aging process
  • Innovative diagnostic and treatment tools, including novel imaging techniques, biomarker identification, and evidence-informed and culturally appropriate diagnostic resources and tools, that support better understanding of disease progression, improve quality of life and care of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, and identify who may be most likely to benefit

Proposed research projects should involve collaborations, either academic or non-academic. Additionally, projects should consider an “outside of the box” approach and bring disciplines together in unexpected ways to form bold, innovative perspectives. Projects are encouraged to involve Knowledge Users and to incorporate a plan for knowledge translation (even if it will not be realized within the timeframe of the award).

AS AB/NT, in partnership with CAN, will provide awards up to CAD $250,000 total funding for a period of up to three (3) years. Requests may not exceed CAD $250,000 and must be matched at a minimum of 1:1 ratio through funding from one or more funding partners secured by applicants. Matching funding must be cash. A signed letter guaranteeing the matched funds or other proof of secured matching funds is required by the Full Application deadline (January 20, 2023).

  • Eligible funding partners for matching funding include individual donors, charitable organizations, provincial and federal government agencies, industry, research institutions, hospitals and health care organizations and any other entities, including foreign organizations and entities.
  • A funding partner may support any number of applications and multiple funding partners may support a single application.
  • Full Applications will not be accepted unless accompanied by a letter of commitment of matched funds from the funding partner(s).

The application is a two-stage process. First, the Principal Applicant must submit a Notice of Intent through the online submission. This must be done by November 18 at noon. Then, the same Principal Applicant must submit a Full Application through the online submission, due by January 20 at noon. For more information on what each stage requires, please see Appendix A and Appendix B of the Competition Guidelines.

The Principal Applicant is responsible for the direction of the research project and the coordination of proposed research activities. They must complete and submit the Notice of Intent and the Full Application, assume administrative and financial responsibility for the award, and receive all related correspondence from CAN and AS AB/NT.

For the purposes of this research competition, an independent researcher is an individual who engages in research-related activities that are not under the direct supervision of another individual. The individual must have an academic or research appointment that:

  • Commences by the Full Application deadline
  • Allows the individual to pursue the proposed research project, engage in independent research activities for the entire duration of the funding, supervise trainees (as applicable per the affiliated institution’s policy), and publish the research results
  • Obliges the individual to comply with institutional policies on the conduct of research, supervision of trainees (as applicable), and employment conditions of staff

Individuals who are full- or part-time students, postdoctoral fellows, or research associates are not eligible to apply as Principal Applicants, regardless of whether they also meet the definition of an independent researcher.

All eligible and completed Full Applications will undergo double-anonymous peer review by individuals from institutions outside of Alberta with expertise in basic, clinical, and quality of life research capacities as related to the Area of Focus. Applications will also be reviewed by community reviewers, such as people with lived experience and/or family and caretakers, to reflect the priorities and needs of the community in Alberta. Any Conflict of Interest will be taken into consideration when assigning reviewers. 

Reviewers will have access to the non-confidential summary from the NOI and to the Full Application, excluding identifying information.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, novelty, clarity, and potential to create positive impacts into understanding the causes, prevention, treatment, and cure of Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Specifically, applications will be evaluated based on:

  • Alignment with the Area of Focus (Quality of Life)
  • Knowledge User involvement
  • Innovativeness
  • Potential for impact/feasibility
  • Quality of the Work Plan
  • Expertise of applicant and/or team
  • Environment of the research
  • Appropriateness of the budget

In addition, community reviewers will assess the potential impact, clarity, and relevance of the information provided in the lay summaries submitted in the Full Applications.

Reviewers will evaluate applications using a scoring system. Applications with scores falling within the fundable range will be discussed at the review committee meeting. The review committee and CAN will submit recommendations for funding to AS AB/NT. Funding decisions will be based on the review committee evaluations, availability of funds, and alignment with the objectives of the research competition. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Applications selected for funding will be notified in writing to the Principal Applicant in Spring to early Summer 2023 (date is tentative and subject to change). It is the sole responsibility of the Principal Applicant to ensure that CAN and AS AB/NT are provided with current contact information and to notify of any changes to the contact information provided in the original application.

There will be no formal review or feedback for the Notice of Intent – you will only be notified if there are significant changes requested.

Award notifications will be distributed in spring or early summer of 2023 – subject to change.

Applications selected for funding will be notified in writing to the Principal Applicant in Spring to early Summer 2023 (date is tentative and subject to change). It is the sole responsibility of the Principal Applicant to ensure that CAN and AS AB/NT are provided with current contact information and to notify of any changes to the contact information provided in the original application.

Successful Applicants must accept the offer by notifying CAN within ten (10) business days of receiving a notice of award; failure to comply with this requirement may lead to withdrawal of the offer.

Funds will be paid directly to awardees by AS AB/NT on an annual basis pending the submission of annual reports, affirming no major revisions to the research proposal and providing an update on research progress. In the event that an annual report is not provided to CAN, funding may be revoked.

All successful Applicants, as part of their acceptance of funding, are required to submit: 

  • Annual scientific and financial reports, every 12 months from the start date of the proposed Research Project, affirming no major revisions to the approved Research Project have occurred and providing an update on the progress of the research, including objectives achieved and primary use of funds. In the event that this report is not provided to CAN, funding may be revoked.  
  • Within six months following the end of the final funding period, Primary Applicants must submit a Final Report to CAN that outlines final results and includes any publications, in peer reviewed journals or in press, that resulted from the funding. These reports will be consolidated and shared with AS AB/NT. 

These reports will be consolidated and shared with AS AB/NT. Reporting templates will be provided to successful Principal Applicants. An important component of the annual and final reports is the lay summary. These summaries may appear on CAN and AS AB/NT’s website and be shared with relevant stakeholders and partners, including, when applicable, the partner co-funding the application. CAN and AS AB/NT reserve the right to make editorial amendments to summaries which will be returned to the awardee for review.

The financial support of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories should be acknowledged in all publications, releases, and presentations pertinent to the research project.

Knowledge Translation, Science Education, and Public Engagement are key goals for CAN and AS AB/NT. Therefore, awardees may be asked to attend and/or participate in events and media to showcase the importance of research for the field of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, provide education to both academic and lay audiences, and demonstrate the quality of research being done in the province of Alberta.

CAN and AS AB/NT require that any necessary ethical and/or regulatory approvals for approved research projects are kept current. It is the sole responsibility of the Principal Applicant to ensure that the proposed research project is reviewed by the appropriate ethical review committee prior to the commencement of the project. The Principal Applicant must ensure the proposed research project aligns with all relevant ethical regulations at the researchers’ respective institutions, including required considerations for human and/or animal research aims, design, materials, and procedures.

Please ensure you have read the full Competition Guidelines for any information you may need to complete your application.

If you are interested in applying to this program and require further information, please contact Campus Alberta Neuroscience at [email protected] with the subject line “Hope for Tomorrow Research Competition”.

Q&A Webinars

Applicants are encouraged to attend scheduled Q&A webinars to learn more about the Research Competition requirements, identified Area of Focus, and the overall application process. Q&A sessions will take place on October 19 and December 7, 2022 with more information to follow. 

About AS AB/NT

The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories is working to change the face of dementia and improve the quality of life for those with the disease. Serving Alberta and the Northwest Territories, the Society offers a network of educational and support services for people diagnosed with dementia and their care partners, builds partnerships with health professionals and the community and advances research into effective treatments and finding a cure for this devastating disease. To learn more about Alzheimer’s, dementia, and the work done by AS AB/NT, please visit alzheimer.ab.ca.

About CAN

Campus Alberta Neuroscience, established in 2012 with support from the Government of Alberta, is a province-wide neuroscience network connecting the Universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge to increase the impact of neuroscience and mental health research, education and translation, developing the province as an epicenter for neuroscience excellence. Through collaborative partnerships with researchers, government and health system stakeholders, industry and community organizations, CAN supports and accelerates innovative brain and mental health advances that improve brain health, patient care and quality of life in Alberta and beyond. For more information, please visit albertaneuro.ca.