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JPIAMR - 7th Call - 2018 Network Call on Surveillance
Deadline: 12 Jun 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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CALL FOR TRANSNATIONAL NETWORKS WITHIN THE JOINT PROGRAMMING INITIATIVE ON ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) is a transnational platform bringing together 27 countries to maximise European and global research efforts concerning the increasing health threat of drug-resistant bacteria. The aim of this initiative is to develop integrated approaches to pursue unique world-class transnational research on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The outcomes of the JPIAMR’s research will be translated into new therapeutic, prevention, and intervention strategies to improve public health and the wellbeing of populations. It is expected that the results will also lead to economic and societal benefits not only in Europe but also globally.

 

1. Introduction

JPIAMR is pleased to launch a call for leading scientists and experts in the field of AMR surveillance to establish networks to enhance resource alignment and maximise existing and future efforts to combat AMR. The networks set out to assemble motivated leading experts to work on the challenge of surveillance and enhance resource alignment and maximise existing and future efforts to combat AMR. The network can do so by pushing forward the conceptualisation of ideas and in turn providing white papers, prospective views, guidelines and/or best practice/roadmap/systematic reviews and frameworks of value to the wider research community. Note that network calls will not fund research projects. Supported networks will provide outputs that will be of value to the broader AMR research community. The results will be published on the JPIAMR website. The main applicant/network coordinator will be funded by national grants up to €50,000 per network.

 

2. Aim of the call

2.1 Context of the call

On World Health Day, 7th April 2011, the WHO published its global strategy to slow the development of antimicrobial resistance by strongly advising countries to:

  •   Commit to a comprehensive, financed national AMR action plan with accountability and civil society engagement.

  •   Strengthen surveillance and laboratory capacity.

  •   Ensure uninterrupted access to essential medicines of assured quality.

  •   Regulate and promote rational use of medicines in animal husbandry and to ensure proper care of patients.

  •   Enhance infection prevention and control.

  •   Foster innovations, research and development of new tools (ref) The JPIAMR recognized Surveillance in its Strategic Research Agenda of 2014 (https://www.jpiamr.eu/document-library/strategicresearchagenda/) as one of six areas for joint research priorities. The overarching goal of this priority topic is to standardise, improve and extend surveillance systems on antibiotic use and on AMR (in humans, animals, food, and the larger environment) with the final aim to foster a global standardised and comprehensive surveillance system of the spread for AMR. Surveillance is a pre-requisite for assessing the success of AMR stewardship measures, infection prevention and control, and the effectiveness of new therapeutic and diagnostic options.

Surveillance networks are essential to monitor the threat of AMR and guide public health policy. In order to understand antibiotic resistance, we must understand whether resistance genes are highly mobile and whether dominant pathogenic clones spread resistance globally. For too long, our response to epidemics of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been reactive rather than proactive due to the paucity of crucial surveillance data that could have forewarned of the emergence and initial spread of these antibiotic-resistant clones. Surveillance data will quantify the burden of resistance, serve as a warning system and guide policy makers to develop procedures targeting the most pressing concerns and transmission routes of AMR. Surveillance also has an important role in the detection, and subsequent control, of localised outbreaks in hospital settings. Furthermore, concerted surveillance efforts will increase the ability to document the impact of (bundles of) interventions aimed at reducing the threat of AMR.

Countries have different levels of surveillance and many lack national reporting systems. The WHO report “Antimicrobial Resistance – Global Report on Surveillance” (2014 Ref) concluded “There is at present no global consensus on methodology and data collection for ABR surveillance. Routine surveillance in most countries is often based on samples taken from patients with severe infections – particularly infections associated with health care, and those in which first-line treatment has failed. Community-acquired infections are almost certainly underrepresented among samples, leading to gaps in coverage of important patient groups.” The report showed major gaps in ABR surveillance, and an urgent need to strengthen collaboration on global AMR surveillance.

2.2 Focus of the call

The intent of the call is to assemble motivated groups of leading experts and establish networks in order to enhance resource alignment and maximize existing and future efforts to combat AMR. This can be done by pushing forward the conceptualisation of ideas in order to provide white papers, prospective views, guidelines and/or best practices/roadmaps/systematic reviews and frameworks to identify key questions to be addressed or identify potential solutions to overcome barriers to AMR research studies.

2.3 Focal areas of the network

Based on the priority topics identified in the JPIAMR Strategic Research Agenda, applicants are invited to tackle one or more of the suggested focal areas below. Networks should be built with emphasise on what is needed at a National and International level to address AMR. If relevant, Lower Middle Income Countries (LMIC) aspects should be addressed in all seven focal areas. If not relevant, please explain.

  1. Impact of surveillance on prevention, intervention, clinical practice, infection control, treatment and patient management

  2. Surveillance of AMR in the healthy population: Risk factors; risk groups (e.g. migrants, travelers), reservoirs, and monitoring systems

  3. Surveillance of non-human AMR reservoirs: Strategies, models, and technologies for tracing AMR in food, animals and the environment

  4. Improvement and standardisation of methods

  5. Quality assurance, curation and sharing data

  6. Surveillance technology and tools: Optimization of methods for outbreaks, rapidly emerging clones, resource-poor settings and global coverage

  7. Social networks, big data and deep learning for AMR surveillance and prevention

Networks are not expected to duplicate or create new open access system (for data gathering and display), but rather inform the improvement of existing systems (e.g. ECDC atlas, GLASS, European Health Information Gateway of WHO/Europe) and aims to extend, improve and make better use of their outcomes. For example, the networks should aim to use the available AMR surveillance data in Europe and do more in-depth analysis than what is done by ECDC and WHO/Europe. It is important that the networks that will work on these issues are well-informed about ongoing activities in EC/ECDC, WHO, FAO, OIE.

2.4 Characteristics and mode of operation of the network

Networks should be guided by a clear project plan and the Network must complete their work over a maximum period of twelve (12) months after the funding start date (please see appendix A for national regulations). The final report must be submitted, at the latest, fourteen (14) months after the funding start date. It should involve key opinion leaders with an internationally competitive track record in AMR research and policy. An individual with the energy and commitment to drive a collaborative and output-directed process should lead the network. This individual does not necessarily need to be the most senior person in the network. The network will start it ́s work end of 2018/early 2019.

A typical arrangement would entail small workshops at the beginning and end of the process, with sub groups established to achieve more focused work through remote working.

2.5 Eligibility

The funded networks must bring together different partners from relevant disciplines, policy areas and sectors to enhance resources to monitor the threat of AMR and guide public health policy. The network should develop national and international collaborations and partnerships that involve representatives from as many JPIAMR countries as possible as well as countries outside JPIAMR and partners from LMIC is encouraged.

 

 

For an application to be eligible :

  •   Networks must be led by a coordinator from an eligible institution within one of the call participating countries (in accordance with the terms and conditions of the relevant national funding organisations, see Annex A). This individual should have the energy and commitment to drive collaboration and output-directed process.

  •   Network coordinators must be internationally recognised experts with a competitive track record in AMR research and policy.

  •   Only transnational networks will be funded. To qualify for funding, each network must involve in total at least fifteen (15) partners from ten (10) different countries, of which and at least three (3) must be from JPIAMR countries contributing with funding to this call.

  •   Networks are encouraged to include at least one partner from a Lower middle income country (LMIC). See appendix A for national rules. Please find the list of LMIC defined by OECD

  •   http://www.oecd.org/dac/financing-sustainable-development/development-finance-

    standards/DAC_List_ODA_Recipients2018to2020_flows_En.pdf

  •   Network contributors are allowed to be members of more than one network (1) however, individuals cannot act as network coordinator for more than one (1) proposal.

  •   Members can be added to the network as the network develops further and if additional experts and knowledge would benefit the output success.

  •   Each funding agency would potentially fund any high quality network, involving eligible participants, on any topic.

  •   Networks may combine two or more topics into one application

  •   In the course of the JPIAMR peer review process, merging of related networks applying on

similar and complimentary topics may be suggested. Negotiations regarding merging of networks will involve network coordinators and their respective national funding partners. The potential of merging networks will be decided by the Call Steering Group (CSG).

For additional national eligibility requirements refer to rules of the national funding agencies (Annex A) and for queries contact the individuals listed in Table 2:

2.6 Expected outputs and evaluation

The Networks should be guided by a clear project plan and conclude work in 6 to 12 month period (plus 2 months to deliver the final report) starting at the end of 2018/early 2019.

Networks are required to produce outcomes in the form of a standard report and should include additional supporting documents as for example white papers, prospective views, guidelines, and/or best practice frameworks etc no later than 2 months after the end of the funding period . The report should be provided to the joint call secretariat (JCS hosted by VR) and will be published on the JPIAMR website. The report is expected to serve as a reference point for the wider AMR research community and stakeholders in planning/delivering future research and policy studies.

Furthermore, beneficiaries of the grant commit to:

  •  An outline for inclusion in the start-up network meeting

 

  •   An abstract and outcomes summary for inclusion in the final workshop report

  •   Dissemination of results (in any form, including electronic) must:

    • o (a) display the JPIAMR logo and
    • o (b) include the following text:
  •   “This network has been supported under the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance”.

  •   A quick guide for dissemination is found on the JPIAMR website.

  •   Funded networks are required to take part of a final and common review seminar to present their results.

  •   One funded network will be asked to organise the final seminar. This meeting will be supported by JPIAMR funding (funding organiser to be determined).

It is recommended that networks invite one or two JPIAMR members to their organized workshops or meetings (at least once during the network funding period) as observers. The participation of the JPIAMR member will be in kind and not at the expenses of the network budget.

 

3. Application
3.1 Funds available and form of support

Up to €1,100,000 will be available to fund up to 22 networks under this call (see Annex A). Funding decisions will be based on the quality of the applications received and the best fit to the call.

Each network selected for funding will be funded by the funding agency where the institution of the coordinator is located accordingly to its national rules. If for some reason this is not possible, funding will be allocated to one or two partners of the network.

The network would need to start working at the end of 2018 or early 2019 for a time period of 6 to 12 months (plus 2 months to deliver the final report).

Each network can apply for a maximum of €50,000 for support of its activities (see Annex A for national budgets). Additional funding will be available for networks offering to organize the start-up and/or the final and common review seminar.

Funding will cover the costs of meetings and travel required to deliver the networks’s objectives:

  •   funding is expected to cover two small workshops, with further work to be undertaken through email, tele-, video- or web-conferencing.

  •   funds to support an administrative co-coordinator for the activity is permitted

    This funding will not provide support for:

  •   direct research activities or equipment;

  •   the salaries of tenured investigators

  •   student grants.

 

 

3.2 Submission of proposals

The proposal application form for this call is available on the JPIAMR website https://www.jpiamr.eu/7thcall/, and on the online submission tool Prisma.

Proposal application forms together with CVs and publication lists must be submitted by the network ́s coordinator via the online application system Prisma (see instructions below) no later than 14.00 h (CET) on June 12th, 2018. Proposals after this time will not be accepted. The system will be opened by May 2nd, 2018.

Applicants will be required to cover the following in the proposal application form:

  •   Network and applicant summary

  •   The rationale for the proposed network; activities, identifying a clear question to be addressed, and why the outputs will uniquely contribute to moving AMR research forward

  •   The objectives and mode of operation of the network, specifying the work-plan and timeline for delivery;

  •   Composition of the network, the identity of the experts to be involved, specifying the

    leadership/coordinator for the exercise;

  •   Outcomes and deliverables, including dissemination.

  •   Justification of budget;

  •   Organisation of joint network seminars

3.3. How to apply

Submission of proposals is done via the Swedish Research Council’s online application system Prisma. The call in Prisma is available via this link only. https://prisma.research.se/Go/Apply/146437b3-d5f6-46e2-b312-a8ce0122f3c1

The application in Prisma is done by filling in the text fields and attaching the appendices requested to the available form. Mandatory information is marked with an asterisk (*). You will need to attach an appendix to some fields as instructed. The appendix must consist of one file only, and you can only attach documents in PDF format. Appendices are normally limited as to file size and number of pages and you will not be able to register the application with an appendix that exceeds the stated limitations.

For most items in Prisma, there is a user manual describing all the steps, as well as answers to FAQ. Please refer to these when finalising the application, however, please note that some of the information is not relevant to this particular application.

Always refer to the form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below.

 

3.4 Outline and sections of the online form

The form in Prisma includes the following tabs and requested information:

 

 

Descriptive data : Fill in the network title and period. Non-Swedish applicants are advised to duplicate the English project title in the field below. The system will only allow you to enter January 2019 as starting date but may be subject to change later on depending on national regulations.

Research description : Describe relevant ethical considerations and attach the completed JPIAMR proposal application form.
CV : Attach the CVs of the main applicant (separately) and the participating researchers (merged to one document) to the respective field. Each individual CV may only comprise two A4 pages.

Publications : Attach the publications lists of the main applicant (separately) and the participating researchers (merged to one document) to the respective field. Each individual list may only include the 10 most relevant publications and comprise a maximum two A4 pages.
Administrating organisation : Chose the administrating organisation and project site (please see additional information below).
Participants : Here the applicant may invite a participating administrator who can help to input and edit information in the application. Participating administrators who do not already have an account in Prisma may be invited, but must register their own personal accounts in Prisma but in order to participate.
Check and register : The tab shows a summary of the fields in the application that may require action in order to register it (such as mandatory text or appendices missing, text fields with too many characters, discrepancies from limits on the allowed project period). The registration of the application is not finalised until clicking the “Register” button.

3.5 Administrating organisation

The application must be linked to an administrating organisation that also signs the application, thereby confirming its eligibility.

Swedish applicants: Grants from the Swedish Research Council shall be administered by a Swedish university or HEI or another Swedish public organisation that fulfils the criteria for administrating organisations and is responsible for it according to the conditions set. Normally, the administrating organisation and project site correspond to the Swedish HEI and the department where the project leader is employed.

Other (non-Swedish) applicants: The administrating organisation equals to the applicant’s corresponding national funding agency listed in the introduction in this call text and in Annex A.

3.6 Registering and signing the application

The application is signed by the main applicant when he/she registers the application in Prisma. Until the deadline for the call, a registered application may be de-registered, amended and re-registered again as necessary. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the application is complete, that is to say the application form is correctly filled in, the correct appendices are attached and the information requested has been provided according to the instructions. No additional information is accepted after the deadline, except when specifically requested.

To ensure the application is deemed complete and eligible to be included in the subsequent review process, the administrating organisation also has to sign the application. When the applicant has registered the application and the call has closed (at 14.00/2 p.m. on the deadline date of the call), the application will automatically be registered as final and automatically forwarded to the representative of the administrating organisation for signature in Prisma. The application must be signed by the administrating organisation no later than one week (seven calendar days) after the deadline date. The applicant will receive an email when the application has been signed and thereafter find information about the status of the application in the Prisma account, under the tab “Applications and grants”.

3.7 Contact persons

The only official communication line of the proposal is between the Joint Call Secretariat and the network coordinator. The network coordinator will be the person contacted by the Joint Call Secretariat during the application procedure, so the coordinator must forward the information to the other partners. Each funding organisation has national contact persons and applicants are encouraged to contact the national contact person for information about the specific national requirements (see Table 2 below).

 

4. Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated by a Peer Review Panel (PRP) composed of scientists/experts with an internationally recognised expertise with regard to the aim of the call. A scoring system from 0 to 5 will be used to evaluate the proposal’s performance with respect to the different evaluation criteria.

Three different criteria are used for evaluation of proposals:

1. Excellence

  1. Clarity and pertinence of the objectives of call, the JPIAMR strategic research agenda,

    and relevant global or international AMR action plans, including the UN 2030 Sustainable

    Development Goals.

  2. Credibility of the proposed approach with respect to relating to, or incorporation of

    existing networks, and/or previous experiences and results thereof.

  3. Soundness of the concept, with respect to inclusion of key experts, stakeholder

    perspectives (e.g. industry, health care, patients, policy level), both new and well- established researchers, and geographical coverage of JPIAMR member states and beyond.

  4. Network potential to establish new and broader partnerships for collection and aggregation of new knowledge, joint analysis of scientific problems, and the development of innovative solutions with relevance for JPIAMR member states.

  5. Competence and experience of participating research partners in the field(s) of the proposal (previous work in the field, expertise)

2. Impact

  1. Potential of the expected output to direct and/or support future AMR research,

    education, and clinical practice.

  2. Potential of the expected output for uptake by industry to support innovation and

    development of new therapies, diagnostics, and infection control measures.

  3. Potential of the expected output to provide guidance or an evidence-base for public

    health, animal health, regulatory, environmental and/or other AMR relevant polices.

  4. Added-value of transnational network: Potential to pool talent and resources in new

    constellations, harmonisation of data, sharing of specific know-how and/or innovative technologies, support policy alignment, knowledge transfer, and capacity building in JPIAMR member states and beyond.

  5. Potential for JPIAMR to exploit, share, and disseminate the network output for the purpose of engaging in collaborations with international organisations and national governments and agencies.

3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation

  1. Coherence and effectiveness of the work plan, including detailed process description,

    well-defined output and time plan, appropriateness of the allocation of roles of participants, tasks, and resources.

  2. Complementarity of the participants within the network

  3. Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including network administration

  4. Concept for sustainability of network after end of the project

  5. Budget and cost-effectiveness of the network (rational distribution of resources in

    relation to network’s activities, coordinator’s responsibilities and time frame)

4.1 Scoring system of networks

A scoring system from 0 to 5 will be used to evaluate the proposal’s performance with respect to each of the different evaluation criteria:

0: Failure/insufficient value. The proposal fails to address the criterion in question, or cannot be judged because of missing or incomplete information.

1: Poor. The proposal shows serious weaknesses in relation to the criterion in question. 2: Fair/weak. The proposal generally addresses the criterion, but there are significant

weaknesses that need corrections.

3: Good. The proposal addresses the criterion in question well but certain improvements are necessary.

4: Very good. The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but small improvements are possible.

5: Excellent. The proposal successfully addresses all aspects of the criterion in question.

Evaluation scores will be awarded for the three main criteria, and not singularly for the different aspects listed under the criteria. The threshold for individual criteria will be three (3). The maximum score that can be reached from all three criteria together is 15 points.

The evaluation of the proposals will be made based on the quality of the applications received and the best fit to the call. The review panel will consider high quality/fundable network proposals within each focal area (or combination of focal areas) and will provide a ranked list of network proposals taking into account the quality of proposals. Given these conditions, it is possible, for a given topic, that none or several networks will be funded, depending on the quality of the received proposals.



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