How We Make Grants
Every MPN grant program undertaken by the Foundation follows a process designed to ensure that the most qualified and potentially productive projects are identified for funding. Once we have our funding strategy in place we commence to soliciting and reviewing proposals.
To begin the process, the Foundation’s Scientific Evaluation Committee develops a Request for Proposal (RFP) that describes the objective of the grant program and the requirements for submitting a proposal. The RFP is distributed via email to the Foundation’s database of U.S. and international researchers. For some programs (including the new MF Challenge) the RFP is also sent to NIH Cancer Center Directors for posting on their researcher websites. A press release is issued to help ensure the broadest number of potential researchers receive the RFP.
Next, the Foundation identifies a review panel appropriate for the grant program, using input from its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and other research contacts.
Review panels may consist of academic and industry representatives. Care is taken that no conflict of interest exists that might affect the results of the review process.Once the proposals have come in and are logged by Foundation staff, the chair of the review panel assigns proposals to individual reviewers for initial review, and proposals are emailed to reviewers along with score sheets that list individual review criteria. Each panel member reviews up to 4 proposals, and scores them using guidelines established by the NIH. Score sheets are emailed to the Foundation where they are tabulated in preparation for a final face-to-face review meeting.
The review meeting is where the process really heats up. MPN Research Foundation board members observe as the review panel and our SAB share their impressions and scores for each proposal. They discuss the practicality of what the researcher is proposing and scrutinize the budget. All reviewers then score each proposal, and scores are collected by Foundation staff at the meeting’s close.
The final step is for the Scientific Evaluation Committee (SEC) to meet to weigh the scores of the proposals against the funds available and the priorities established at the onset of the grant process. Once we have selected grants and funding levels we notify the grantees and start the process of working on the contracts with the labs they are working at, typically universities.
The whole process of granting money takes roughly 10 months, not including the time it takes to raise the money. It calls on the help of volunteers from the Foundation board as well as the scientific community to make sure we get it right each time we commit to giving a researcher money for MPN research.