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GEMM Call 2: 1st February 2017 

Closing date: 10th March 2017 

Review Panel date: 5th May 2017 

Notification of review by: 19th May 2017 

Background:

The Medical Research Council is pleased to announce a commitment of £2.25m over 2.5 years to deliver, via the Mary Lyon Centre, a UK community-driven, bespoke genetically modified mouse service, called Genome Editing for Mice and Medicine – GEMM.

GEMM will exploit the technical and logistical expertise developed at Harwell, together with recent advances in genome editing, to deliver novel mouse lines that will advance knowledge of human disease and/or be of widespread use in biomedical science.

The UK academic research community is invited to nominate mouse lines for production and outline their own experimental plans for them. Nominations will be assessed by a cross-discipline group of experts across two key themes:

  1. the nominator’s own research hypotheses and specific research plans for utilising the mouse.

  2. the beneficial impact that generation of the proposed novel mouse line will have on the wider academic community.

This award will financially support mouse line generation and archiving, but will not support the nominator’s own experimental research costs. Researchers will therefore be asked to provide their plans for funding to support their proposed downstream work.

Successfully-generated mouse lines will be made publically available through the European Mouse Mutant Archive (https://www.infrafrontier.eu/search).

Who can apply:

The MRC’s standard guidance for eligibilty apply. Please refer to Section 1.1 of the MRC Guidance for Applicants.

Applicants are expected to have the necessary interests, expertise (e.g. in working with animals), licences and facilities in place to deliver their experimental plans.

The MRC encourages and supports collaborative research projects and team approaches.

Guidance for applicants:

  1. Applications are invited for the nomination of specific genetic alterations in the mouse using genome editing technologies.

  2. The following allele types/methodologies are available in this call (subsequent calls will reflect developments in genome editing technologies):

    • Indels

    • Deletions

    • Point mutation insertions

    • Cassette Knock-ins

    • Conditional or Tm1a allele generation

  3. In addition to single mouse lines, nominations for collections or groups of lines within a specific theme/discipline will be considered.

  4. Applicants are required to submit an online application that outlines:

    • the nominator’s own research hypotheses and specific research plans for utilising the mouse;

    • the beneficial impact that generation of the proposed novel mouse line will have on the wider academic community;

    • funding plans for supporting the described experimental work.

    • collaborators may supply an optional letter of support which outlines the potential impact on their own research of the mouse line nominated.

  5. Principle Investigators will be expected to demonstrate research excellence and a proven track record in their proposed field of study.

  6. Home Office authorisation and ethical review should already be in place for subsequent studies on the mouse line nominated.

Additional details:

As set out in the MTA, the MLC will not claim ownership of or any rights to any data, results, materials (including modifications) or intellectual property produced by the recipient scientists as a result of their use of the materials supplied.

  1. The MLC will commence work to produce a line within 6 months of the nomination’s success, however the completion date will depend upon technical complexity and biological viability.

  2. All intellectual property for the lines generated remains with the MRC. Issues of intellectual property are outlined within the MTA to be signed by the PI, their host institution and the MLC. Acceptance of the supplier MTA is a condition of this award and no negotiation of the terms may be entered into.

  3. All experimental research plans disclosed in the application process will remain confidential to the review panel and MRC staff involved in managing the application process.

  4. The details of the mice generated under this award will be published on the MRC Harwell website (http://www.mousebook.org/) and submitted to the EMMA database (https://www.infrafrontier.eu/search).

  5. There is no limit to the number of applications per establishment or individual scientist.

Assessment Process:

Applications will be assessed, and the decision to proceed with mouse line generation will be made, by a specially-convened group of experts taken from across the UK Biomedical community. Additional referees’ comments will not be sought. Please note that only high level feedback will be provided to applicants following the Group’s decisions and applicants will not have the opportunity to respond.

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be evaluated against the following broad criteria, noting that the focus of the individual proposal may vary depending on the experimental work proposed and the details of the lines generated:

  • Biomedical importance:

The Panel will consider the potential of the new model to address important gaps in biomedical knowledge or/and answer important scientific questions.

  • Strength of applicant:

The Panel will consider whether the applicant(s) have the appropriate expertise and environment to carry out the proposed research. They will also consider whether existing financial resources are in place for the proposed experimental work, or are likely to be obtained after the mouse line is made.

  • Potential value to the research community:

The panel will consider the impact of this model on the wider academic community working in related biomedical research areas.

  • Cost/Benefit:

The panel will consider the cost of making the model, taking into account and balancing the following benefits: (i) the likelihood of success in generating the line, and (ii) the potential impact of the line upon an important research question or through its use as a research tool.

  • Alternative to a mouse model:

The panel will consider evidence whether equivalent results would be more appropriately gained through experiments that use alternatives (e.g. in vitro or an alternative animal model).

Enquiries:

gemm@har.mrc.ac.uk

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