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New CIHR (Canada) ME Catalyst Grant Competition

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Old Bones, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    Received in an email today from the National ME/FM Action Network:

    "New Catalyst Grant Competition

    The Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has announced that it has set aside $200k for ME/CFS research as part of a $1.2M catalyst grant competition. CIHR will be awarding one-year catalyst grants of up to $100k each.

    This is an opportunity for existing ME/CFS researchers to expand their research and for other researchers to enter this very interesting area of study.

    The purpose of the CIHR Catalyst Grant program is to provide seed money, on a short-term basis, to support health research activities which represent a first step towards the pursuit of more comprehensive funding opportunities. It is expected that the funds will enable researchers to generate preliminary data, validate methodology or tools, and/or explore novel research ideas in the designated areas.

    The deadline for applications is January 10, 2016. The applications will then be reviewed to determine if they qualify for funding. If no ME/CFS projects are found to qualify, no projects will be funded
    (my emphasis). The anticipated announcement date is February 28, 2017 with funding to start in April.

    Please share this information with anyone who might be interested!"

    This competition is an excellent way for the CIHR to begin to make amends for their earlier appalling decision not to award research funding because ME isn't a real disease. For those unaware of the background:

    http://www.meaction.net/2016/09/05/canada-research-reviewers-as-disease-denialists/
     
  2. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I suppose you mean January 10, 2017 as a deadline ? This is very good news !
     
  3. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    Unfortunately, I have a lot of trepidation about this grant.

    Based on the obvious, ongoing psychobabble bias against ME from Health Canada and the CIHR, punctuated by the CIHR rejection of the application in August for a Catalyst Grant because it was biological and not psychobabble, then we can only assume that the only grant that will be successful this time is a psychobabble application.

    Minister Philpott failed to address the 'disease denial' by the CIHR reviewers August. That is a strong indication that Dr. Philpott is also a disease denialist.

    We have not had any indication from the govt that they believe ME is biological. In fact, on the face of it, sending the sociologist to the ME conference only solidifies their psychobabble position.

    Also, why would any biological ME researcher bother to apply after the last slap down of Moreau et al in August. Especially for a piddling $100k. The govt gave no indication they would be open, or are encouraging, bio researchers.

    Rather, govt has scared them off...the mismanagment of ME continues no matter what party is in power.
    And because they've scared researchers away, the govt can claim no one applied for the grant, that's why there's no ME research.

    Or worse yet, the funding goes to a psychobabble application.

    The last thing I want is the funding crumb we do get, goes to psychobabble to perpetrate more harm on ME patients.

    Until Minister Philpott unequivocally states that ME is biological and not psychological, I view this grant with the fear and presumption that it will further perpetuate the institutional bias against ME patients.

    I hope I am wrong.
     
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  4. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    @Dechi You're more observant that I am. I didn't notice the 2016 -- the text copied directly from the email I received. Yes, I expect it should read 2017, unless this is a crafty way for the CIHR to say no grant applications were received by the deadline!

    One of the reasons for my bolded emphasis regarding qualifying projects in the original post, although I prefer to hope the CIHR received an "ear full" after their previous ruling, and has now done their homework regarding ME.

    @ScottTriGuy You're obviously more "in the loop" than I am. Will you please enlighten us regarding the sociologist sent to the ME conference.

    Actually, based on the extensive news coverage leading up to Philpott's lengthy meeting on Monday, I considered posting the question (tongue in cheek) of whether or not any ME patients had been "switched at birth" -- perhaps the only way someone with ME can get an audience with her.

    "It was a moving conversation, hearing the stories of these man and the impact this has had upon their lives,'' Philpott said following the more-than-three hour meeting.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/1...ng-with-men-switched-at-birth_n_13137928.html
     
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  5. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    They're not even trying to be covert in their efforts to not fund ME research!

    The CIHR sent Nicole Mardis, a sociologist, to the ME Conference. From all reports she was empathic and certainly was exposed to a lot of bio research...and no psychobabble...and she attended the Canadian dinner too...the impression was that she very much wanted to help.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-mardis-01262a7

    Unfortunately, CIHR once again missed an opportunity to advance Canadian research (and confidence in their capacity) by not sending researchers and/or physicians.

    Given their history, did we really expect them to suddenly step up for a bio conference?

    As for Philpott, it is very difficult to watch her repeatedly hold photo opps for different health issues and preach about how access to research and health care is so important when 400,000 Canadians continue to be harmed by the system.

    Its like a slap in the face every time with the message "you don't matter".
     
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  6. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    @ScottTriGuy I totally agree -- more than three hours spent with three indigenous men, but no time for hundreds of thousands of ME patients.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
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  7. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    I received a reply from Dr Phillpott from an email sent on the first of September (I don't remember sending one, where is my memory?) it is likely that the same reply would be sent to others with a similar email.

    IMG_1373.JPG

    My questions is who are the national and international partners, because it matters a lot. suzanne Broadbent for instance wuld be a horrible partners and we are aware she is sending the message out there that patuents need to exercise.

    Also what is the research agenda? Because like Scott mentioned, Dr Moreau's grant request was declined and he is one who attended IACFSME, and CIHR didn't.

    I wonder if we can work on FOI request to dig deeper.
     
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  8. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    First Nations live in desperate systemic poverty throughout Canada. Begrudging them the relatively small amends that the government makes to them does not show us in a good light and reeks deeply of racism. It's clear the government is not doing enough for us but turning on a group that the government has also not done enough for and has harmed for generations is not the right way to go.
     
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  9. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    @Kati The FOI is a great idea. And its only $5 via online system. PM if you want to explore further.

    Actually, the letters from Minister Philpott seem to be getting shorter and shorter as they have less they can legitimately claim to be doing.

    Just a few weeks ago, the standard letter mentioned 3 things (Network Grant - but this was denied; Task Force - but there is no ME rep on it; James Lind FM project - but FM is not ME).

    So now she can only talk about...well nothing, she cannot site any ME research at all.

    Instead of continually defending an indefensible position, Minister Philpott is missing a golden opportunity to make meaningful change in the lives of 400,000 Canadians.

    Her public relations advisors are just digging her a deeper hole.
     
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  10. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    @L'engle I'm sorry if you, or anyone else, interpreted my mention of three indigenous men vs hundreds of thousands of ME patients in the context of their meeting with Health Minister Philpott (vs our lack of such a meeting) as my "turning on them", or begrudging them this redress. That was certainly not my intent. Rather, I used this example to demonstrate how significant the neglect of our patient population is, based on numbers, compared with one tiny subset (individuals "switched at birth") of another group of Canadians who are also deserving of federal government attention.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
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  11. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    @Old Bones Thanks for clarifying. Unfortunately it did read that way to me. I understand what you mean now.
     
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  12. sdmcvicar

    sdmcvicar

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    Grants like these actually bother me quite a bit. The only way it could fund any biological research is if it is awarded to a completely outfitted lab which already has patient samples stored and staff paid for, and is only looking to cover consumable costs. There is no small scale biologically-relevant model available that could be queried at this funding level, because we simply do not know enough about the disease yet. Anything else proposed is going to be overambitious and high-risk, which is academic shorthand for unfundable. Therefore, this is going to cover:

    1) A literature review looking for commonality with other diseases (already done ad nauseum, no success);
    2) An in silico query of drug repurposing or treatment (already done, no success); or
    3) Yet another survey-based inquiry into symptoms, activities and attitudes of patients.

    This is set up to fail...
     
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  13. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Will email
     
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  14. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    Of two possible grants available under the CIHR ME Catalyst Grant Competition discussed in this thread, one was successful. Here's the text of an email received this morning from the Canadian National ME/FM Action Network:

    "Dear friends

    Lydia and I met with CIHR yesterday (April 3, 2017). We learned that CIHR has awarded one catalyst grant as part of the ME/CFS competition announced last year. We learned that the successful applicant is a newcomer to the ME/CFS field. We do not know who he or she is, but we are pleased that an outside researcher has shown interest in ME/CFS and that the number of ME/CFS researchers in Canada is growing.

    The second catalyst grant which was available was not awarded. Researchers seem to accept this as a fact of life. They often rewrite their applications in light of reviewer critiques and many of these enhanced applications are successful at a later time.

    Lydia and I conveyed the disappointment we know the community will feel about not awarding a second grant. We could certainly sense that CIHR is struggling to find ways to move ME/CFS research forward. Compounding the challenge is the high turnover of staff at CIHR. The president, the vice-president-science, and the scientific director of the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health are all leaving their positions this year.

    As impatient as we are, we sense that CIHR won't be in a position to address the lack of research funding for ME/CFS or for FM until the new leadership is in place. In the meantime, the Network will be turning its attention to other issues, ones that can be addressed at this time.

    Margaret Parlor
    President
    National ME/FM Action Network"
     
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