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FAQ

Innovative Veterinary Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance
CALL FOR PROPOSALS – 2018
 

Frequently Asked Questions - Updated August 10, 2018

Eligibility 

1. Which country or countries are considered eligible Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)?  
Afghanistan Dominica Lebanon Philippines
Algeria Dominican Republic Lesotho Rwanda
Angola Ecuador Liberia Senegal
Argentina Egypt Madagascar Sierra Leone
Bangladesh El Salvador Malawi South Africa
Belarus Equatorial Guinea Malaysia Sri Lanka
Belize Eritrea Maldives St. Lucia
Benin Ethiopia Mauritania St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Bhutan Gabon Mauritius Sudan
Bolivia Georgia Mexico Suriname
Botswana Ghana Mongolia Swaziland
Brazil Grenada Morocco Tajikistan
Burkina Faso Guatemala Mozambique Tanzania
Cabo Verde Guinea Myanmar Thailand
Cambodia Guinea-Bissau Namibia The Gambia
Cameroon Guyana Nepal Togo
China Haiti Nicaragua Tunisia
Colombia Honduras Niger Turkey
Congo, Dem. Rep. India Nigeria Uganda
Congo, Rep. Indonesia Pakistan Venezuela
Costa Rica Jamaica Panama Vietnam
Côte d'Ivoire Jordan Papua New Guinea West Bank and Gaza
Cuba Kenya Paraguay Zambia
Djibouti Laos Peru Zimbabwe
 
Countries subject to additional approval:
Please note: IDRC supports research in these countries, but proposals may be subject to a further stage of approval within IDRC: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Myanmar, Sudan, Suriname, Venezuela, West Bank and Gaza, and Zimbabwe

2. What is a Lead Applicant Organization?
The lead applicant organization is the institution where the Principal Investigator is based. Lead applicants, along with co-applicant organizations, will assume responsibility for the administration of grant funds (see question 6 for more information).

Eligible Lead Applicant Organizations will:
- Have a key institutional objective to carry out independent research
- Not be a United Nations organization or a CGIAR centre
- Have a legal status

3. What is a Co-Applicant organization(s)?
Co-applicant organizations propose research to IDRC jointly with the Lead Applicant organization. These organizations are direct partners in the research and jointly share the intellectual responsibility and ownership for the knowledge and outputs produced with the Lead Applicant organization. Up to 2 co-applicant organizations can enter into grant agreements directly with IDRC (i.e. 3 grant agreements total). 
Eligible Co-Applicant Organizations will:
- Have a key institutional objective to carry out independent research
- Not be a United Nations organization
- Have a legal status  

4. Are projects required to have co-applicants?
Applicants to this call are not required to have co-applicant institutions, but the proposal must demonstrate that the research team has the necessary expertise and capacity to complete the proposed research in the 33-month time frame and must have at least 1 applicant from an institution based in an LMIC

5. What is a Principal Investigator?
The Principal Investigator is responsible for the intellectual conception and implementation of the idea, the direction of the proposed activities. The Principal Investigator should be based at the Lead Applicant Organization and should submit the application to IDRC on behalf of the partnership (if applicable).

6. If I am not affiliated with an institution, can I apply alone?
Applications from individual persons will not be accepted.

7. What is the maximum number of co-applicants for an application?
The principal investigator may add as many investigators as are needed for the project, but IDRC will only have a grant agreement with a maximum of 2 co-applicant organizations in addition to the lead applicant organization (i.e. three grant agreements in total). However, lead and co-applicant organizations may subcontract to third parties. See question 10.

8. Can an institution or an investigator be a co-applicant on multiple applications?
An individual can be an investigator on a maximum of two applications. They can be on two applications as a co-applicant, or on one as a lead applicant and one as a co-applicant. However, an individual investigator cannot be on two applications as the lead applicant. An institution can be the lead applicant institution on multiple applications (i.e. more than 2), provided that the lead investigator on each application is different, the substantive content of the application is different, and the team composition is different.

9. What is an “administering institution”?
Administering institutions are the organization with which IDRC will sign a grant agreement. Regardless of the number of investigators, IDRC will sign a grant agreement with a maximum of 3 administering institutions (i.e. the lead applicant organization and up to two co-applicant organizations).

10. What is a “third-party organization”?
A third party organization is an institution that will participate directly in the conduct of the research and other functions of the research project but will not receive funds directly from IDRC. The lead applicant and/or co-applicants are responsible for the disbursement of funds to third party organizations and ensuring the research is conducted according to the agreement. Third party organizations could be contracted to carry out a task that may not be available in-house for the lead and co-applicant organizations (e.g. gene sequencing). The number of third party organizations involved in the research project should be limited, as should be the budget allocation (not more than 30%). In addition, the lead applicant and co-applicant organizations must first ensure that the third-party organizations have adequate financial management capacity.

11. Can project teams in this Call partner with institutions that are not based in Low and Middle-Income Countries?
Yes. Project teams can consist of co-applicant or lead-applicant institutions that are not based in Low and Middle-Income countries, as long as at least one of the applicant organizations which will be entering into the grant agreement with IDRC (i.e. one of the administering institutions) is registered as a legal entity in an LMIC.

12. Can a project conduct research in an LMIC other than that of the LMIC co-applicant institution?
Yes, a project can conduct research in an LMIC other than that of the LMIC co-applicant institution, provided that the proposal demonstrates the capacity and relevance of the expertise of the project team to conduct research in that country. Projects can also conduct research in another LMIC as part of a multi-country research project that includes the LMIC of the co-applicant institution.

13. Why can’t United Nations organizations and CGIAR centres apply as the lead applicant organizations?
United Nations organizations and CGIAR centres receive significant Canadian funds through other funding windows. However, CGIAR centres are eligible co-applicant organizations.

14. Can the research institution or the investigator from the institution located in an LMIC be a CGIAR centre or an institution part of the United Nations system?
This call is intended to also strengthen the capacities of local institutions in LMICs to conduct research related to livestock health and antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, the applicant from an institution located in an LMIC should be a local institution of the country and not an international organization based in the country.

15. Are proposals from private sector companies to conduct research eligible, or must the lead applicant in a proposal be a research entity?
Private sector organisations and civil society institutions are encouraged to apply provided they can demonstrate that they have the capacity to conduct high-quality applied research.

16. Are recipients from past or current IDRC/UK DHSC-supported research projects eligible for funding?
Recipients from past or current IDRC/UK DHSC-supported research projects may apply to this Call provided that the proposed research is deemed by IDRC/UK DHSC to be distinctly different and/or complements past or current research carried out by that recipient.  

17. Can the proposed research be connected to existing research agendas funded from other sources?
Yes, provided the proposal clearly shows the added value of the work funded by InnoVet-AMR, and it is possible to clearly separate and attribute costs. It will also be important to be able to demonstrate that the proposed InnoVet-AMR work is largely self-standing – i.e. there are no critical dependencies on the work being funded from other sources that could result in the InnoVet-AMR work failing if there were problems with the other work.

18. Will I be notified if my application is deemed ineligible?
Eligibility will be assessed at two stages:
  1. Starting with the online application system, applicants will need to first complete an eligibility form. Should they be deemed ineligible at this stage, they will be notified through the application system.
  2. As a second step, all applications subsequently submitted will undergo a screening to ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria for this Call. Incomplete applications will be considered ineligible, in which case the applicants will be notified thereof at the email address provided. We encourage applicants to check their spam folder during this time.

19. What is the definition of a “product” to reduce the use or misuse of antimicrobials in the target species? What could be included in this scope?
Product-oriented solutions proposed in this call include:
  • The development of vaccines, vaccine administration/delivery methods; or
  • The development of alternatives to antibiotics, including but not limited to pro- and pre-biotics, immuomodulators and bacteriophages.
Proposals for products that are not covered in the above, but meet the other criteria described in the Call document, are eligible to apply for funding.

20. Are novel feed ingredients or bioactives considered under the category of “antibiotic alternatives” in this Call?
Alternatives to infection prevention and control and growth promotion will be considered under this call.

21. Are proposals for research on repurposing existing antimicrobials for the target species eligible under this Call?
No. The purpose of this Call is to fund research on new or improved antibiotic alternatives, with a specific focus on product development.

As stated in the Call, some types of innovations or products that we will fund include:
  • Novel vaccine design/formulation that present significant improvements over current vaccines
  • New vaccine administration methods and delivery systems
  • Exploration and development of new multivalent vaccines
  • New alternative products to antibiotics that target improved infection prevention and control
  • New alternative products to antibiotics that promote animal productivity and growth.
22. Why will this Call not fund research on the discovery of new antibiotics?
IDRC and the UK DHSC recognize that antimicrobials (including antibiotics) play a critical role in the treatment of the diseases of farm animals. However, this call is focused on the development of innovative alternative veterinary products to reduce the use or misuse of antimicrobials in low and middle-income countries, as part of a larger global landscape of funded research on antimicrobial resistance. Please see the Call document, Section 4.1 for more information.

23. Can the research be based on a species other than swine, poultry or aquaculture animals (fish)?
The proposal should focus on one or more of the InnoVet-AMR target species. But, in the case of multivalent vaccines, the research could also potentially include other species.

24. Does research concerning poultry only include chickens, or are other species of fowl eligible to be studied under this Call (e.g. ducks, geese, or guinea fowl)?
Yes. An application to this Call can include other species of fowl, provided that the proposal details the relative importance of this species to livestock holders in the LMIC countries in the project, and how a focus on this species will contribute to reducing the use of misuse of antibiotics.

25. Are projects that include more than one of the target species (poultry, swine, and aquaculture) eligible for this Call for Proposals?
Yes, projects can include more than one of the target species of the Call, as long as the proposal demonstrates the relevance of the proposed innovation to each of the selected species. Projects may include species outside of the indicated target species, as long as the proposal includes at least one of the target species as the primary focus of the study.

26. On the Fluid Review application portal, it is only possible to select one target species. What if a project includes more than one of the target species?
If the proposal includes more than one of the target species, please select the target species of greatest importance or priority to the research.  The selection of species question in fluid review is primarily for administrative purposes.

27. Why is the call focused on swine, poultry or aquaculture animals (fish & shellfish)?
While understanding that antimicrobial resistance presents a serious issue in various animal species, InnoVet-AMR has chosen to focus on these three animal species in view of the current scale, the high antibiotic use, and the projected growth in production for aquaculture, poultry and swine.

28. Does one of the applicant organizations need to be based in a LMIC?
One of the applicant organizations which will be entering into a grant agreement with IDRC (i.e. one of the administering institutions) must be registered as a legal entity in an eligible LMIC (See question 1).

29. Are proposals on diagnostics, surveillance, or husbandry eligible?
Only projects focused on new or improved veterinary products which would significantly reduce the therapeutic and non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in poultry, swine, and/or aquaculture production are eligible.

30. Are projects that intend to develop new assays on an already developed diagnostic platform, technology or device eligible under this Call for Proposals?
No. Projects focused on diagnostic devices, surveillance platforms, or new/combination of biomarkers are not eligible. Please refer to page 6 of the Call document for further information.  As stated in the call, product-oriented solutions include:
  • The development of vaccines, vaccine administration/delivery methods; or
  • The development of alternatives to antibiotics, including but not limited to pro- and pre-biotics, immunomodulators, and bacteriophages.
31. Are projects that include field trials eligible for this Call for Proposals?
As stated in the call document, we will not consider funding proposals that are to carry out field trials only. Projects must start Technology Readiness Level 3 through 6 (see Annex 2 of the Call document for further information). However, IDRC will consider project that start within TRL 3 to 6, but exceed TRL 6 during the course of the study to reach the stage of carrying out field trials.

32. Does the 5% of the review criteria allocated to the inclusion of gender in the proposal reflect the percentage of research that should be dedicated towards research on gender in a project? Is it possible to include a specific objective with an allocated budget to study whether the new technology will benefit or be adopted by women?
The review criteria is not linked to the percentage of research activities that should be undertaken.
Yes it is possible to include a specific objective with an allocated budget to study whether the new technology will benefit women.  All research activities should be justified in the proposal.

33. Are applications to this Call given priority based on the income level of the countries that the project is working in? For example, will a proposal for research in a high-middle income country receive less consideration than a proposal for research in a low-income country?
The income level of the proposed country of research is not an element of the review criteria, and therefore will not be given specific priority, as long as the project benefits populations in LMICs and the research team includes at least on co-applicant institution and researcher based in an LMIC.


Preparing an Application 

34. How do I submit an application?
All applications must be submitted through the online application platform.

35. How long does it take to complete the online application form?
It takes approximately 1.5 hours to fill in the application form and upload the research proposal and required documentation. Please note that although the cut-off time for applications is 11:00 am EST, uploading the required documents takes time, so please leave at least an hour before the deadline.

36. Is there a Microsoft Word document or .pdf version of the application available for drafting purposes?
The Application Guidelines and the Proposals Guidelines are located on the Resources page of the Call platform in .pdf format to aid with the drafting of proposals.

37. Does each applicant institution (lead, co-applicant, or collaborating) need to create an account on the platform to submit an application?
No. Only one of the applicant institutions is required to create an account on the platform to submit the application.

38. Can the same individual be included in more than one application?
Individuals may only submit one (1) application as a Principal Investigator. The same individual may be a co-applicant on one (1) other proposal. However, the role played by the individual under each proposed research project must be deemed by IDRC to be significantly different. See question 8 for further information.

39. Do I need to include any supporting documents with the application?
Yes, applicants will need to upload and submit the following supporting documents with their application:
  • Research proposal
  • Signed cover page of the budget and Budget Template 
  • List of Proposed team members
  • CVs of proposed team members
  • Institutional Profile Questionnaire 
  • Legal documents of administering institutions
  • Audited financial statements of administering institutions 
  • Letters of request from administering institutions
  • Signatures of proposed team members.
For more information on requirements and formats, please log in to the online application platform.

40. Does the list of references count towards the page limit for the proposal? 
No, the list of references is in addition to the 20 page proposal. 

41. What are the requirements for research ethics?
It is the policy of IDRC that research work involving human participants or animals be carried out in accordance with high ethical standards (please consult here). Prior to commencing research, applicants will need to obtain approval from an official institutional or national research ethics body and will need to comply with the terms and conditions of the Grant agreement. Any research involving animals will need to obtain explicit approval from an appropriate body for oversight of the use of animals in research.

42. In the review of proposals, how much weight is given to the commercial viability of the innovation and the development of distribution channels to reach livestock keepers in LMICs?
In the review criteria, the “realistic commercialization and adoption plan for the veterinary solutions to be developed and ready for use in low and middle income countries” is worth 7.5% of the proposal’s total score.  However, the overall goal of the program is to develop innovative veterinary solutions, focusing on product development; therefore the commercial viability of the innovation is an important factor. 

43. Will I receive confirmation that my application was received?
Completed applications containing all supporting documentation and submitted through the online application system will receive an email notification to confirm that they have been received. If you did not receive an email notification, check your spam folder.

44. How will applications be reviewed?
All complete applications received through the online application system that meet the eligibility criteria will be subject to a formal review process. Applications will be evaluated by external and internal reviewers in accordance with the review criteria outlined in the call document, assigned a score, and ranked. The selection committee will use the scores provided by the reviewers to select the applications. Final selection of projects will take into consideration regional and topical balance of projects. Only successful applicants will be notified of the status of their applications. Please do not contact IDRC before end of December 2018 to inquire about the status of your application.

Budgets and funding arrangements

45. What is the budget for this Call?
The total budget for this Call is expected to be $22 million Canadian dollars and we expect to fund up to 10 research projects.

46. What is the maximum duration for the research project?
Projects should plan for 1.5 months start-up, 30 months to conduct research, and 1.5 months to close. Projects are expected to begin in either March or April of 2019 and must end by December 2021.

47. Is there a maximum budget amount per project for this call?
We expect budgets to be in the range of CA$1 million - $3 million

48. What is the limit of indirect costs or overhead costs allowable?
Indirect costs are allowable up to a maximum of 13% of the overall budget for each member. Please refer to Guidelines for acceptable project expenditures for more information on indirect costs.

49. Must indirect costs / overheads of third-party organizations respect the limit rule?
The maximum allowable percentage of the indirect costs is 13% of the overall budget for each member, including parts allocated for subcontracting. This means that if a member decides to pay a third party a higher overhead, the member can only do so provided that indirect costs calculated on the basis of the rest of the budget are lowered in order for the total to not exceed the 13% figure.

50. Must the budget be broken down equally between all members of the partnership?
No, however proposal budgets should ensure that all partners are adequately resourced to perform their expected roles and to participate in the overall coordination of partnership activities (including monitoring, reporting, communication, etc.). Third party organisations cannot receive more than 30% of the total budget.

51. Is the organization housing the lead applicant permitted to include a management fee for the partnership and if so what are the rules in setting this up?
The lead organization cannot include a fee for the management of the partnership. However, the lead applicant organization can include a Coordinator position in the Personnel line item of the budget to cover fees related to management and coordination of the research and related activities.

52. Are the lead and co-applicant institutions expected to make financial contributions to the project?
No, there is no requirement for the applicant organizations to make a cash contribution or have funding from other donors or contributors in order to be considered for funding under this Call. However, contributions in kind and/or cash must be recorded in the application.

53. Are the lead and co-applicant institutions expected to make in-kind contributions to the research project?
No, there is no requirement that the applicant organizations make an in-kind contribution to be considered for funding under this Call. However, while not mandatory, organizations are encouraged to make in-kind contributions to the project, particularly where this will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the research outcomes. This must be clearly described in the application form.

54. Do I have to give permission for use and disclosure of information?
By submitting an application under this Call, the applicant consents to the disclosure of all information and documents submitted by the applicant to the reviewers involved in the selection process, both within IDRC and externally. The applicant further consents to the disclosure of the name of the lead applicant and co-applicant(s), and the name of the proposed research project in any announcements made by IDRC under this Call. Personal information collected by IDRC under this Call is used to administer and monitor grants for research projects, and to promote and support international development research in Canada and in the regions where IDRC operates. Consistent with these purposes, applicants should expect that information collected by IDRC may be used and disclosed in IDRC-supported activities.

55. If my proposal is accepted, who will own the intellectual property rights to my research?
IDRC’s main priority for intellectual property generated as a result of funded research is that the developed products will be affordable and accessible to end-users in LMICs (e.g. small-holder farmers). IDRC will enter into specific agreements (MoUs) with research teams that develop patentable inventions stemming from IDRC support. Such agreements will only be developed after a patentable invention has been developed. For IP focusing on knowledge or methodologies generated as a result of IDRC funded research, grantees will be required to adhere to IDRC’s Open Access Policy

56. One of the partners (or third parties) in our project is based in India and does not yet have FCRA clearance. Can we still apply?
Yes, but only if the process of obtaining FCRA clearance is already underway and a statement of this fact (or other proof that the application is underway) is submitted with the proposal. All organizations from India need FCRA clearance in order to receive funds from IDRC.

57. Can the funds for this research be used to support graduate students (Masters or PhD)?
Yes, funds for selected projects can be used to support graduate students, as long as their contribution to the research is demonstrated and their inclusion in the project is justified.

Technical difficulties and/or additional information

58. Will I receive feedback on my submission?
Given the volume of applications, IDRC will not provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.

59. Who should I contact for further information?
Any inquiries related to this Call and the application process not answered in this list of FAQ should be sent by email to the InnoVet-AMR program at innovetamr@idrc.ca 

60. Will there be a second phase of funding for projects selected under the InnoVet-AMR initiative?
At this stage of the program, it is undetermined as to whether there will be a second-phase of funding for projects selected under the InnoVet-AMR initiative.