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Solve ME/CFS Initiative Pilot Funding
Deadline: October 11, 2021 12:00 PM

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In Collaboration with the Solve ME/CFS Initiative Pilot Funding is Available from the Iris Cantor Cantor-UCLA Women Women’s Health Center to Study Myalgic Encephalitis (ME), commonly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS CFS)

Pilot funding is available for research related to the etiology or treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). ME/CFS is a disease characterized by:
  • Profound fatigue
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Sleep abnormalities
  • Autonomic manifestations
  • Chronic pain 

Symptoms are typically made worse by exertion of any sort. Criteria for diagnosis include a substantial reduction or impairment in ability to engage in usual activities that persists for 6 months, accompanied by new or definite onset fatigue which is not the result of excessive exertion, is not substantially alleviated by rest, and is characterized by post-exertional malaise and unrefreshing sleep. At least one of two additional manifestations is required for diagnosis: cognitive impairment and/or orthostatic intolerance.

A link to the Institute of Medicine’s ME/CFS report, is here: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2015/ME-CFS.aspx. A PDF of the report is downloadable for free at this web address: https://www.nap.edu/read/19012/chapter/1.

Investigators interested in studying potential etiologies for ME/CFS are encouraged to consider use of the Solve ME/CFS biobank, a repository of phenotypes and bio specimens contributed by individuals with this condition. Solve ME/CFS has assembled a toolkit for researchers, which includes biobank information. The toolkit is available at https://solvecfs.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Toolkit-2021.pdf.

The Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center invites submission of projects for pilot funding addressing the following issues:
  • To encourage and support research, including interdisciplinary research, in the field of ME/CFS, including, but not limited to:
  • Basic science research on the etiologies of ME/CFS
  • Identifying new targets for prevention or treatment of ME/CFS
    • "Long haul COVID” and its relation to the exacerbation of or new onset of ME/CFS
    • To train researchers capable of leading and conducting ME/CFS research programs
    • To extend resources to increase the quality of ME/CFS throughout UCLA and affiliated institutions
Funding Amount Available: Up to $40,000 for a one year period

Pilot Submission Timeline and Selection Process
Submit a one-page letter of intent and NIH biosketch by e-mail for review. All submissions from interested researchers must be received by noon, Monday, October 11th , 2021 (see contact information below). The letter should indicate/include:
  • Abstract of planned pilot research project
  • Long range research goals for this pilot work for future research
  • Whether the research is a new or augmented pilot research project
  • For any augmentation requests, how additional funds will strengthen current research and specify how increased budget amount would be used in your pilot work
  • Budget amount requested
  • NIH biosketch(s) of investigators (attachments)

Investigators may request up $40,000 for a one year period.

The Review Committee will review letters of intent and contact investigators whom they wish to submit full pilot proposals by Monday, October 18th 2021. Funded projects will begin January 1, 2022. Criteria for selection include: (a) quality of the proposed research; (b) potential of the research to expand understanding of ME/CFS; (c) potential of the pilot funding to expand capacity for research on this topic at UCLA and affiliated sites; and (d) credentials of PI and Co-investigators (if included). Funding may be requested for any purpose which meets the needs of the investigator(s) and complies with UCLA policies for expenditure of funds. Please note that highest priority for the pilots will be given to pilots that would likely lead to R01s (or equivalent level funding from extramural sources) within 2-3 years.

Submission of Letter of Intent
The letter of intent, biosketch(s), and other attachments should be e-mailed to the attention of Kara E Justeson, KJusteson@mednet.ucla.edu; (310-794-8063). The letter of intent, biosketch(s), and other requested materials must be received by noon, Monday, October 11th, 2021. Any materials received after noon, Monday, October 11th, 2021, will not be considered.

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