CIHR Training Grant: Clinical Trials Training Platforms – Registration
Academic Unit: inquire with unit
Memorial Deadline: RIS review not required for registration
External Deadline: Tuesday 31st, May 2022
The 2021 Federal Budget announced funding for CIHR’s Clinical Trials Fund (CTF), an integral component of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy (BLSS). In support of this, the CTF will provide funding through three specific vehicles: platforms with the development of a pan-Canadian Clinical Trials Consortium; people with the funding of training platforms; and, projects through the funding of a broad spectrum of clinical trial initiatives.
As a signatory to the G7 Therapeutics and Vaccines Clinical Trials Charter, the Government of Canada has committed to supporting international efforts for improved clinical trial collaboration and cooperation to respond to future health emergencies. As a result of Canada’s scientific expertise, high quality healthcare system, research funding, and infrastructure, Canada is a global destination for important clinical trials. However, planned investments in the biomanufacturing ecosystem, including for clinical trial projects, networks, and capacity, will help to reinforce the existing scientific excellence and ensure that Canada is well-prepared for future health challenges.
The CTF will support research and researchers across the country to conduct the full spectrum of clinical trials including the development and testing of new drugs, treatments, and public health and health system interventions to prevent, detect, treat, or manage various diseases or medical conditions.
People: Clinical Trials Training Platforms
Through this funding opportunity, which will be modelled on CIHR’s recently piloted Health Research Training Platform, support will be provided to develop the highly qualified personnel needed in each step of the clinical trials pipeline. Within the Clinical Trials Training Platforms (CTTP), a diverse cadre of trainees, researchers, healthcare professionals and clinical research professionals will learn from experienced mentors how to direct the conception, design and implementation of high-quality clinical trials and how to communicate the research results for knowledge mobilization.
The CTTP will be required to implement recruitment, training, and mentoring strategies to attract high-caliber trainees, researchers, healthcare professionals and clinical research professionals, while applying best practices for equity, diversity, and inclusion, and Indigenous rights. In addition to supporting the development of technical skills to support excellence in clinical trials, the CTTP will integrate additional training to advance rigorous and responsible research.
These training platforms must demonstrate a value-add and are expected to provide training and mentoring opportunities that demonstrate functions that go above and beyond standard research training programs that already exist.
The successful CTTP are required to participate in the Pan-Canadian Clinical Trials Consortium once it is established.
Key Design Elements
Applications must incorporate all of the following key design elements:
- Governance: A governance plan for enhancing coordination and communication across the training platform leadership to ensure collaboration is enabled, efficiencies are gained, and opportunities for innovative training environments are maximized. The governance plan must include the following:
- A mechanism to engage multi-sectoral and diverse stakeholders. For information regarding principles of engagement, including approaches to compensation of patients/citizens, please refer to the SPOR Patient Engagement Framework.
- A description of roles and responsibilities of key players, as well as mechanisms for decision making, and dispute and conflict resolution.
- Concrete strategies to ensure the CTTP governance upholds principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and Indigenous rights, as well as plans for oversight with external advice.
- A dedicated Platform Manager role, which must be filled within three months of the funding start date and remain filled for the duration of the project.
- The creation of a Training Platform Advisory Committee (TPAC) that will help guide and monitor the progress of the CTTP and future directions, for which membership:
- cannot include the Nominated Principal Applicant (NPA) or Principal Applicants (PAs) (as advisors);
- must include representation from trainees, healthcare professionals, clinical research professionals and ECRs;
- must include the EDI Champion;
- must include at least one Person With Lived/Living Experience (PWLE)*; and
- must include at least one individual who self-identifies as Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) or provides evidence of having meaningful and culturally safe involvement with Indigenous Peoples*.
* Acknowledging that the timeframe for application may not permit the meaningful engagement of community to ensure an equitable, diverse and inclusive TPAC membership, where it is not feasible to name these individuals in the application, this information will be required as a component of the first report to be submitted to CIHR.
- Training and Mentorship: The application must describe, at minimum, the following efforts, opportunities, supports and activities for all CTTP participants:
- CTTP leadership working with partner organizations (e.g., training and capacity building organizations) to ensure the creation and availability of opportunities for participants that facilitate exposure to other relevant employment sectors;
- CTTP-mediated training and networking activities;
- Experiential learning activities;
- Opportunities to engage with two or more mentors, including one from academia and one from the non-academic sector;
- Creation and implementation of individual development plans (IDPs) and tracking of competency development over time;
- CTTP leadership is encouraged to organize at least one capacity building meeting and/or series of capacity building meetings for all trainees. The meetings may be provided virtually unless the pandemic context evolves allowing return to in-person gatherings.
- Multi-jurisdictional and multi-institutional representation: The leadership team must include members from a minimum of four provinces and/or territories and four institutions/organizations to enable a diversity of learning and mentoring opportunities for trainees, researchers, healthcare professionals and clinical research professionals.
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and Indigenous Rights: Incorporate EDI principles and good/wise practices into the governance and programming of the platform, including into knowledge mobilization activities. Set up platform policies and systems to provide culturally safe training opportunities and platform activities that are available and appropriate for groups underrepresented in science, and those with a diversity of experiences, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis to participate in the CTTP. This includes ensuring the training environments are supportive and accessible and any systemic barriers are addressed effectively and swiftly (see the Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research for guidance and examples of systemic barriers).
- Role and Contributions of Applicant Partners: CIHR recognizes that a broad range of partners may be relevant to this opportunity; if applicant partners are included in the application, it is expected that applicant(s) describe the role of all applicant partners and how/if they will contribute to CTTP activities. Any consideration of risk and/or conflict of interest must be explained, as appropriate.
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