THE GILEAD AUSTRALIA FELLOWSHIP: RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM

Over the past two decades, continued improvements in the understanding of HIV, chronic viral hepatitis, haematological malignancies, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), inflammatory diseases, invasive fungal infections and emerging viruses have led to the development of significant new treatments, with multiple therapeutic options now available in these disease areas. As a result, many patients are living longer and have an improved quality of life.

However, while much research at a basic science and clinical trial level is focused on drug discovery and evaluation, Gilead recognises that a key part of improving patient care in real terms is the development of approaches to diagnosis, treatment and education at a local practice level. Learnings from successful initiatives can be applied to other communities and/or replicated in other parts of the country, to provide practical solutions to current challenges across these specific therapy areas.

Aim of the Research Grants Program

Gilead is committed to supporting innovative local research initiatives to improve patient outcomes. The Research Grants Program enables Australian researchers to apply for funding across a range of therapeutic areas.

The Program aims to support:

  • projects with a clinical and ‘real-world’ focus
  • the development and implementation of best practice to enhance patient outcomes
  • research in the specific disease areas of HIV, chronic viral hepatitis, haematological malignancies, NASH, inflammatory diseases, invasive fungal infection and COVID-19.

GILEAD'S COMMITMENT TO RESEARCH

Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd is proud to work in partnership with the Australian research and clinical community to provide opportunities for ongoing scientific investigation and research.

Funding support for local Australian research

Researchers in Australia currently face increasing competition for limited funding, particularly for projects with a local or community focus. In recognition of these projects and their benefits to patient care, the Gilead Australia Fellowship: Research Grants Program aims to help bridge the gap in local Australian research funding.

The Research Grants Program has been running successfully in Australia for close to a decade, providing funding to novel clinical research projects across Australia that can inform and shape best practice in patient care.

KEY INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM

What is the focus of projects included in the Research Grants Program?

Successful applications will focus on investigating solutions to improve outcomes for people living with HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis, haematological malignancies, NASH, inflammatory diseases, invasive fungal infections and COVID-19.

Projects may be based on sociological and epidemiological aspects of patient care, as well as practical aspects. Applications for community-based projects that may not necessarily fall under traditional research grant criteria are welcomed. Please note that basic science projects are out of scope for the Gilead Australia Fellowship Research Grants Program.

Research proposals are invited that explore and address the following issues and project themes:

HIV/chronic viral hepatitis

  • Developing and/or evaluating novel ways to prevent new HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis infections
  • Improving community, carceral system, primary and secondary care awareness, interest and uptake of screening to identify undiagnosed people living with HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis in high prevalence and/or under‑served populations
  • Reducing late diagnosis of HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis in high prevalence and/or under-served populations
  • Improving access, uptake and adherence to medication for HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis, with emphasis on marginalised and/or under-served populations such as Indigenous communities, drug users and immigrants
  • Developing strategies to support the management of long-term complications associated with HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis infection and its treatment
  • Identifying the reasons for and strategies to reduce people living with HIV and/or chronic viral hepatitis being lost to follow-up
  • Improving adherence to long-term medication through innovative programs
  • Describing the impact of nurse practitioners on the delivery of care to patients living with HIV and chronic viral hepatitis

Haematological malignancies

  • Improving care and outcomes of people living with lymphoma and/or leukaemia

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

  • Developing and validating non-invasive tests in the diagnostic, predictive, and/or prognostic pathways in managing NASH
  • Improving outcomes of people living with advanced fibrosis due to NASH

Inflammatory diseases

  • Improving the care and outcomes of people living with:
  • inflammatory arthropathies
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

Invasive fungal infection

  • Improving patient care, quality and safety by investigating:
  • antifungal resistance
  • breakthrough fungal infections, including incidence, risk factors, populations at risk and management strategies
  • optimisation of antifungal use and prevention of unnecessary exposure
  • appropriate sequencing of antifungals.

Emerging viruses

  • Improving care and outcomes of people with COVID-19

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

The Research Grants Program provides funding for clinical and academic staff at Australian hospitals, clinics, universities and research institutes, young investigators, nurses, GPs and other healthcare providers/researchers from professional organisations, in both urban and rural areas. Applications for community based projects that may not necessarily fall under traditional research grant criteria are welcome. The decision to fund a project will be made by an independent panel and is entirely unrelated to the use of any particular therapeutic agent.


How much funding is available for projects?

The total funding available for the 2021 Research Grants Program is $300,000 AUD.

The requested level of funding should be stated at the time of application.

Funding is contingent on the project:

  • being granted ethics approval (if required)
  • being solely funded by a Gilead Australia fellowship grant of up to $60K*
  • concluding in no more than 18 months after execution of agreement.

* The exact amount of funding allocated to each project may vary depending on the nature of the project. Funding is entirely independent of the use of any particular therapeutic agent.


Who is responsible for selecting the projects that will be awarded funding?

The applications will be reviewed by a judging panel made up of experts from across Australia recognised for their contributions to research as well as senior Australian public figures. In addition to the Panel, a member of Gilead senior management will be present at the judging sessions.


How are applications submitted to the Research Grants Program?

All applications and supporting documents must be submitted using the online form on the Gilead Australia Fellowship website (www.gileadfellowship.com.au). Please see the Guidance for applicants page for more information.


What are the evaluation criteria?

All applications will be reviewed by the Judging Panel against clear criteria established to ensure balance and relevance. These criteria are set out on the Guidance for applicants page of www.gileadfellowship.com.au.

Each application should demonstrate:

  • Relevance to the research issues and themes
  • Feasibility of completing the project within the specified timelines
  • Sound scientific and research principles underpinning the potential for sustainability in shaping best practice

Within a particular project theme, each application should demonstrate:

  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Focus on improving patient outcomes
  • Potential for shaping best practice
  • Clear budget allocation and breakdown

For the 2021 research grants, preferred projects will also demonstrate engagement with local communities


What is the timeline for the 2021 Research Grants Program?

The website will open for applications on 1 June 2020 and close on 7 August 2020. Please see the Guidance for applicants page for more information.


Who can I contact for further information?

For further information, please visit www.gileadfellowship.com.au, or contact admin@gileadfellowship.com.au.

For more specific application queries, please contact Dr Heshaam Mir, Medical Director at Gilead Sciences at heshaam.mir@gilead.com.

For technical support please contact Gilead Client Services at gilead@steeprockinc.com.

Please note that all queries must be directed as above and applicants may not contact the judges individually.