Open Call Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do industry partners need to be based in Canada?

    Industry partners for the Integrated Discovery Programs do not need to be based in Canada. International industry partners are welcome.

  • Are Integrated Discovery Program partners (academic, industry, community) required to contribute cash to the partnership?

    Partners are not required to contribute cash in order to be part of the network. However, depending on the nature of the collaboration and partnership that is proposed, certain activities might require additional funding or leveraged/in-kind resources. Partners are encouraged to identify these in the application. For more details specifically about Industry partnerships, please see page 17 of the open call application.

  • What is the difference between 'network-led activities' and 'member-led activities'?

    Existing networks should highlight activities they have undertaken or accomplished as a network, specifically those which demonstrate the capacity of the network and its integrated efforts. If a network has not existed before and is only coming together for the purpose of this call they can address this type of question by highlighting single-member activities and experiences.

  • What is the difference between question 8 and 9 in the Open call application?

    Question 8 reflects the network leveraging pre-existing studies/databases to complement their prospective cohort in addressing their primary research questions. Question 9 is more related to linkage with other databases/registries to increase features about participants in their studies to answer secondary research questions.

  • In question 17 Network Leadership Composition, is there a limit on the number of leads per role in the network?

    The Core Leadership Roles are meant to be designated points of contact that represent the members of the network and facilitate decision making in a specific key area. For the purpose of this application please propose only one lead and/or a co-leadership model per each role, as needed. Do not add sub-categories to these key areas.

  • What is the review process for the proposals? Who will be making the decisions?

    OBI will work with a committee of External Advisors in the proposal review. The External Advisors are a combination of national and international experts with experience, expertise, and knowledge across one or more of the four pillars of the IDP model (research excellence; data informatics and analysis; patient engagement and integrated knowledge translation; company partnerships). All eligible proposals will be independently reviewed by both External Advisors and select OBI staff. After the independent reviews, Advisors and OBI will work collaboratively to shortlist the most promising applicants.

    For more details on the review process, please refer to section #3 of the open call:” Application Timelines and Review Process”

  • What is the difference between question #6 and Question #2 

    Question #2 relates to the development of a prospective clinical cohort only. Multiple standardized assessments should be captured here, along with clear hypothesis, or prospective strategy of inquiry, to inform data collection.

    Question #6 instead, relates to modules or studies that could be added and that are informed by the clinical cohort data. These modules should be well integrated into the clinical cohort design and could be used to pilot, trial or validate a new tool or implement evidence. Modular design can be considered as a series of impact studies to translate the knowledge coming out of clinical cohorts.

    In summary, #2 & #6 are related and ought to be integrated into a whole - the base cohort and potential arms of inquiry along the lines of clinical trial arms.

  • Is the proposal for clinical studies specifically?

    The focus of this call is on prospective clinical cohorts and standardized patient-level data collection. The clinical cohorts can be used to trial new tools and treatments, and these could be done via clinical studies, but also via translational and/or basic research arms. These arms should be well integrated into the clinical cohort design and directly inform the underlying clinical hypothesis. For example, participants’ biospecimens could be used in reverse translational studies to inform biomarker development and/or treatment options. Similarly, data collected from multi-modality assessments could be integrated to inform AI/ML analytic models.

  • What is meant by ‘data interoperability’ from question 4?

    Data interoperability” here relates to data elements in the planned protocol from the network that overlap with similar national and international initiatives and thus, allows for possible data sharing/linking with these other initiatives in the future. This can be done by adopting standard data formats and terminology, and by structuring and harmonizing protocols to increase sharing, accessing, and using of data. As referenced in the Open Call, OBI has a commitment to open data and is supportive of data sharing according to the FAIR principles.

  • The program seems to emphasize 'understanding the molecular basis of brain disorders' as one of the main purposes of the program. Is this a mandatory component in the proposal? If yes, is there any possibility that we may seek an external collaboration with a molecular-oriented team?

    The focus of this call is on developing prospective clinical cohorts and standardized patient-level data collection. The clinical cohorts should include the collection of samples that can be analyzed to study the molecular basis of a given disorder and/or to trial new tools and treatments. Similarly, investigators can also use big-data analytic models and algorithms to inform molecular and mechanistic studies.

    In general, networks are encouraged to seek collaborations, and to bring in leveraged expertise, infrastructure, and alignment with other similar initiatives.

  • One of the eligibility criteria of the program specifies that 'At least one Director/Co-director (of IDP) must have an academic appointment and be conducting research at an Ontario-based university, hospital, or clinical site.' Is this mandatory?

    Yes, this is a mandatory requirement

  • Regarding Question 1b) How narrow should the core hypothesis be?

    We encourage the networks to come forward with an ambitious vision and overarching hypothesis. The overarching hypothesis needs to reflect the big picture, value add to national/international initiatives, and how it broadens the opportunity for discovery and impact. Overarching hypothesis doesn’t need to be constraint within the budget and rather serve as a guide for short and long-term impacts.

  • Regarding Question 6 How will the modular designs be funded? Will the funds for it be built in the IDP budget or is this extra funding that will be allocated outside of the IDP budget?

    All proposed modules should fit within the proposed IDP budget. The IDP should list and justify a base cost for the proposed work. However, we encourage the IDPs to bring in leveraged funds to supplement the work. This could be done via leveraging existing infrastructure, and/or collaborations and external funding.

    Importantly, we encourage the IDPs to first focus on the great ideas and opportunities they can pursue and then, focus on how to implement these ideas. Funding levels should not limit the creativity and the proposed plans. We will address scope and operational planning during the co-design phase.

  • In reference to Section #5 of Open Call, what is the difference between “patient partner as a co-applicant” vs “co-investigator”?

    The expectation is that the research network will create diverse opportunities for patient partners to be involved throughout in planning of the open call and the conduct of the research if successful.

    Patient partners add value as co-applicants for the open call application by helping define the central research hypothesis, prioritize clinical assessments, and inform what information gets reported back to the study participants to ensure the work aligns with the needs and preferences of those with lived experience. This role can also extend to external grants from other funding sources the successful research networks or its members may apply for.

    As co-investigators patient partners can play a role as a member of the research team to conduct studies that are extensions of the core clinical study, including quality improvement initiatives, data linkage projects, interventions, clinical trials, and secondary use of data. The patient partner should be listed as a co-author on the resulting publication to recognize their effort and intellectual contributions to the work.

  • Will patient partners be compensated for their involvement, time and effort in the network?

    OBI believes that patient partners should be recognized or compensated for their involvement in the IDPs depending on the nature of their involvement. For the proposed application budget, patient compensation is at the discretion of the program. Furthermore, OBI will work with successful IDPs in the developmental phase to create a consistent compensation framework for patient partners across all programs.

  • Who can serve in the Patient Engagement / Knowledge Translation Leadership role?

    OBI’s approach to knowledge translation (KT) is integrated and driven by patient engagement (PE). The expectation is that the research network will create diverse opportunities for patients to be involved throughout in planning of the open call, and the conduct of the research. Given the above, the PE/KT Leadership could include roles for people with lived experience and acting as Lead or co-Lead of PE/KT pillar.