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BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION PERSONAL AWARDS BASIC SCIENTISTS Dr Shannon Amoils Senior Research Advisor British Heart Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION PERSONAL AWARDS BASIC SCIENTISTS Dr Shannon Amoils Senior Research Advisor British Heart Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION PERSONAL AWARDS BASIC SCIENTISTS Dr Shannon Amoils Senior Research Advisor British Heart Foundation

2 An introduction to the British Heart Foundation Overview of our current research funding Personal Awards for basic scientists How we award What makes a successful fellowship application

3 British Heart Foundation Founded in 1961 Charitable organisation – all our income comes from public donation Single largest funder of cardiovascular research in the UK We spend £80-£100m on cardiovascular research every year Aim is to fund pioneering research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease Fund basic and clinical research focusing on the heart and circulatory system

4 Current funding - overview Epidemiology/ Clinical trials 15% Laboratory science 70% Other clinical studies 15% Research portfolio ~£400m

5 Current funding - overview Studentships Fellowships Professors People 30% Infra- structure and Centres 10% £80-100 million per yr Projects 25% 3y Project Grants Programmes 35% 5y Programme Grants

6 Current funding - overview Funding is response mode – with the exception of a few calls for applications for substantial funding on a specific theme – Research Excellence Awards 6 centres awarded 2013 emphasis on training and multidisciplinary research – Centres of Regenerative Medicine 3 centres awarded 2013 Mending Broken Hearts Appeal programme of investment in cardiovascular regenerative medicine research

7 Current funding - overview Spending controlled by 3 committees, each meeting 4x per yr: – Project Grants Committee (22 members) – Fellowships Committee (7 members) – Chairs & Programme Grants Committee (11 members)

8 Personal awards – non-clinical Advanced Training Award (2-3y) PhD studentship (3 or 4y) Postdoctoral RA on project grant (1-2 x 3y) Intermediate Basic Science Fellowship (4-5y) Includes research costs and technician/RA Senior Basic Science Fellowship (5y: renewable) Includes research costs and technician/RA; renewable at 50% salary BHF Professor (10y: reviewed at 5y) Career Re-entry Fellowship (3-4y) Immediate Postdoctoral Fellowship (3-4y) Named Research Associate, Co-applicant, Principal Investigator Includes programme grant funding for research

9 Immediate Postdoctoral Fellowship For the most outstanding newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to start establishing an independent cardiovascular research career Apply in the final year of PhD or within 1y of the PhD viva Award includes personal salary and research expenses for 3y (possibility of a 1y extension) Up to 18 months of the award should be spent overseas or in a second UK institution

10 Advanced Training Award To provide younger researchers with an opportunity to move into cardiovascular science from a different field or to gain additional expertise in a different field within cardiovascular science Apply within 2-3y of submitting PhD thesis Award includes personal salary and research expenses for 2-3y Successful candidates are likely to be moving to a strong cardiovascular research environment where their existing skills will be useful in future cardiovascular research

11 Intermediate Fellowship For talented individuals intending to become research leaders, ready to establish independence Candidates are usually 3-6y since PhD, with a series of first or senior author research papers in high quality journals Personal salary, research expenses and technical support Award for 4y, (1y can be spent overseas if justified) Possibility of 1y extension

12 Senior Fellowship For outstanding scientists expected to reach Reader or Professor level in less than 5y Candidates are usually 7-10y since PhD, with an established track record of research leadership, often a previous Intermediate Fellow Personal salary, research expenses and technical support if justified for 5y (up to 1y overseas if justified) Competitive renewal possible, host institution must then pay 50% personal salary

13 Career Re-entry Fellowship To enable successful post-doctoral scientists to re-enter research after a career break of longer than 2y Award includes personal salary, research expenses and technical support post if justified Duration of the award is 3y Possibility of a 1y extension

14 Personal awards – clinical Clinical Research Training Fellowship (3y) Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship (4-5y) Pre or post CCT, includes research costs and technician/RA Senior Clinical Research Fellowship (5y) Includes research costs, renewable once only at 50% salary BHF Professor (10y: reviewed at 5y) Includes programme grant funding for research Research Leave Fellowship

15 BHF Professors BHF Professors are expected to be internationally competitive research leaders, with a commitment to training cardiovascular scientists We consider how the candidate will enhance the university’s cardiovascular strategy, and the added value to BHF Current support offer is for 10y (with 5y review) Provides personal salary, 1-2 support posts, start-up funds (normally up to £200k), discretionary fund (£20k/y) 32 in post, 9 are basic scientists (4 awarded 2012-2013)

16 How we award Panel interview Senior Fellows, some Intermediate Fellows, all Immediate Fellows Award or Reject (Can often reapply) Some decisions made prior to committee Rest are discussed Don’t rank applications Application submitted [no outline required] Peer review Sent out to at least 3 external UK (international) reviewers 2 committee members each provide reviews Fellowship Committee (4 times/yr)

17 Award numbers - non clinical Fellowship typeAwards/ Applications 2011-2012 Awards/ Applications 2012-2013 Awards/ Applications 2013-2014 Current award nos 3 year PhD studentship 35/73 [48%]28/65 [43%]31/55 [56%]106 Advanced Training Award 1/40/11/22 Intermediate Fellowship 8/21 [38%]14/36 [39%]6/23 [26%]39 Senior Fellowship 2/10 [20%]7/10 [70%]2/7 [29%]17 Career Re-entry Fellowship 1/1001

18 Assessing fellowship applications Person – quality of the applicant Project – quality of the science Place – quality of the research environment

19 Before you start your application Is this the right time for you to be making this application? – if in doubt – ask advice – ask your mentors – contact us, send us your CV, come and talk to us Is this the right place to conduct your research with the appropriate expertise? Have you chosen the right supervisor? Have you chosen the right collaborators? If there’s a gap in your expertise, choose collaborators to fill the gap

20 What makes a good project? Logic Originality Feasibility Compelling pilot data

21 Key points about any application [1] Must provide the scientific foundation for your project, citing the appropriate papers It’s your job to show why your science is important and worth doing, and why you have the right credentials to do it Aims must be clear Hypotheses must be testable (not vague aspirations)

22 Key points about any application [2] Experimental plans must be focussed, detailed and test the hypotheses Must provide pilot data to back up your approach Should be at least predominantly achievable by the end of the award Make sure all your aims aren’t dependent on each other Career intentions – clear statement Strong letters of support

23 Before you submit your application Make sure you have laid out the application correctly and followed the funder’s instructions Get advice from your colleagues – the next pair of eyes seeing your application should not be those of the reviewers

24 Otherwise you’ll get comments like… The project is overambitious and lacks preliminary data. Without these data it is too high risk to fund. The applicant has little expertise in this area and this is also not an area of expertise of his supervisor. It is not clear how the applicant’s research pathway is different to that of the host department. It is also not clear whether he will drive the work forward independently. The application is densely presented, with small font and no margins – it is extremely difficult to read. The applicant clearly can’t present his ideas in a concise way and this is reflected in the overambitious nature of the project.

25 When you want comments like… Dr XXX is a strong candidate for an Intermediate Fellowship. The publications from his PhD and his awards mark him out as an able clinician researcher. He has begun to develop his own programme of research attracting funding to support this. He has the appropriate facilities available to him and strong support from his supervisors and mentors. AWARD

26 New BHF Fellows Alan Lawrie University of Sheffield Tamara Girbl QMUL Maarten Koeners University of Bristol

27 BHF Fellows

28 Thank you Shannon Amoils

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