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JDRF-SCN National Fellowship Program in Type 1 Diabetes

In November 2021, JDRF Canada and the Stem Cell Network partnered to announce the JDRF-SCN National Fellowship Program in Type 1 Diabetes, a new opportunity for high-calibre postdocs from across Canada with expertise in stem cells, regenerative medicine, immunology or related fields to join the JDRF Centre of Excellence at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to pursue research focused on treating and curing type 1 diabetes (T1D).

*The application process is closed.

Summary

Objective
The JDRF Centre of Excellence at the University of British Columbia (UBC) launched in November, 2021 with the goal of accelerating novel type 1 diabetes (T1D) cure research towards clinical translation. The objective of the JDRF-SCN National Fellowship Program in Type 1 Diabetes is to attract new qualified, promising post-doctoral scientists entering their professional career in the T1D research field to join the JDRF Centre of Excellence at UBC. One award will be provided through the program each year in 2022-2026 for the successful applicant to take up at UBC as part of the Centre team. Awards are 1 year in duration and are intended for those in a relatively early stage in their career.

Applicant Eligibility
Required: MD, DMD, DVM, PhD, or equivalent by June 1, 2022. Must not be simultaneously serving an internship or residency.

Application Process
Access and submit full applications to Stem Cell Network via ProposalCentral.

Terms
$60,000 per year, of which $50,000 is stipend and $10,000 is research allowance. It is expected that funding for the fellow beyond the one year of support through the JDRF-SCN Fellowship Program in Type 1 Diabetes will be obtained from supervisors’ grants and/or other internal or external fellowships.

Timeline

Funding opportunity launch January 14, 2022
Application deadline April 25, 2022, 17:00 ET
Applicants notified of outcome of phase 1 review May 31, 2022
Notice of decision July 4, 2022
Funding start date August 1, 2022 (September 15, 2022 latest)

 

Description
The JDRF Centre of Excellence at the University of British Columbia (UBC) launched in November, 2021 with the goal of accelerating novel type 1 diabetes (T1D) cure research towards clinical translation. The objective of the JDRF-SCN National Fellowship Program in Type 1 Diabetes is to attract new qualified, promising scientists entering their professional career in the T1D research field to join the JDRF Centre of Excellence at UBC as a trainee. Successful applicants will pursue research, including stem cell and regenerative medicine approaches, that can be used to treat and/or cure T1D. One award will be provided through the program each year in 2022-2026 for the successful applicant to take up at the University of British Columbia as part of the Centre team. Awards are 1 year in duration and are intended for those in a relatively early stage in their career. Applicants are not required to present a research proposal as part of the application, and the successful applicant will be offered a choice of possible supervisors and projects to develop upon receipt of the award.

The applicant must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM), or the equivalent from an accredited institution by June 1, 2022, and must not be simultaneously serving an internship or residency.

Applications can be made in English or French, but applicants should note that the primary language of communication at the JDRF Centre of Excellence at UBC is English.


Potential Project Titles
Upon receipt of the award, the successful applicant will work with a UBC laboratory affiliated with the Centre on a specific project of interest in an area of T1D research of relevance to regenerative medicine and/or stem cells, including but not limited to:

Optimizing stem-cell derived beta cell maturation by harnessing metabolism
Supervising investigators:

  • Dr. Francis Lynn, Associate Professor, UBC Department of Surgery, and Scientist, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • Dr. Dan Luciani, Associate Professor, UBC Department of Surgery, and Scientist, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Sex differences in beta cell identity during maturation and stresses associated with T1D
Supervising investigators:

  • Dr. James Johnson, Professor, Life Sciences Institute, UBC
  • Dr. Elizabeth Rideout, Assistant Professor, Life Sciences Institute, UBC

Engineering metabolic pathways in innate immune cells for T1D tolerance and beta cell regeneration
Supervising investigators:

  • Dr. Bruce Verchere, Professor, UBC Departments of Surgery and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • Dr. Ramon Klein Geltink, Assistant Professor, UBC Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Building better beta-cells from stem cells via non-cell autonomous YAP signaling
Supervising investigators:

  • Dr. James Johnson, Professor, Life Sciences Institute, UBC
  • Dr. Janel Kopp, Assistant Professor, Life Sciences Institute, UBC

Assessment of differentiated immune-evasive stem cells for the treatment of diabetes
Supervising investigators:

  • Dr. Timothy Kieffer, Professor, Life Sciences Institute, UBC
  • Dr. David Thompson, Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC, and Medical Director, Vancouver General Hospital Diabetes Centre


Eligibility

Applicant
Applicants must be legally permitted to reside and work in Canada by the award start date. There are no citizenship requirements for this program. To assure continued excellence and diversity among applicants and awardees, JDRF welcomes applications from all qualified individuals and encourages applications from persons with disabilities or members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences.

This fellowship is intended for those at a relatively early stage of their career. Ordinarily, the most recent doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DMD, DVM, or equivalent) will have been received no more than 5 years before the application is submitted.

JDRF and SCN are sensitive to personal and COVID-related matters that impact career trajectories. Applicants who have taken leave from their career (e.g. parenting of a child, childbirth, long-term care of a parent/spouse/child/dependent, personal health issues), or experienced a delay in their training due to COVID shutdowns that put them outside of the eligibility time frame for the award mechanism should feel free to reach out ahead of their application submission. JDRF and SCN aim to be flexible and adjust these time frames if necessary and appropriate.

Location
The award will be taken up at UBC in Vancouver, BC, Canada no later than September 15, 2022.

Application Components
Applicants must submit full applications to Stem Cell Network via SCN’s ProposalCentral application portal by the application deadline of April 25, 2022 at 17:00 eastern time. An application will consist of:

  • Completed application form in ProposalCentral, which will include completion of a written section:
    • Applicant expertise
    • Research contributions and impacts
    • Career development plan
    • T1D challenges and knowledge question
  • Canadian Common CV, in CIHR academic format
  • Up to three (3) letters of support (minimum 1, maximum 3) must be submitted that assess the applicant’s scientific abilities and contributions, as well as the potential of the applicant.
    • Note: The letter(s) of support should come from the individual(s) under whom the applicant has trained, who are familiar with the candidate’s characteristics and abilities and/or who have had a good opportunity to assess their potential for research.

Applicants may apply in English or French.

Evaluation Process
Applications will be reviewed jointly by JDRF and SCN through a two-phase process as follows:

  • Phase 1: All applications received through ProposalCentral will be reviewed by JDRF and SCN’s Training and Education Committee (TEC)
  • Phase 2: The top ranked 2-4 applications from Phase 1 review will be invited to participate in virtual interviews with a panel of investigators from the UBC Centre during the month of June, 2022
  • The selected candidate will be notified of their award by July 4, 2022

Applicants will be evaluated on:

  • Candidate expertise and CV (weighting: 25%)
  • Contributions and research impacts (weighting: 25%)
  • Career development plan (weighting: 10%)
  • T1D challenges (weighting: 20%)
  • Letter(s) of support (weighting: 20%)

Terms of Award & Stipend

  • The fellowship term is 12 months.
  • The award is $60,000 per year, of which $50,000 is stipend and $10,000 is research allowance.
    • The research allowance of $10,000 CAD is aimed at providing the fellow with funds to enrich their training experience (travel to scientific meetings, journal subscriptions, books, training courses) as well as research supplies or costs. The research allowance cannot be used to purchase equipment including laptops.
    • Travel stipend can only support travel at economy level, accommodations and meals. Purchase of alcohol or cannabis is not an allowable expense.
  • Fellows must devote at least 75% of their effort to the project assigned by the Centre upon receipt of the award.
  • Fellows must undertake two rotations of at least 2 weeks in Centre laboratories other than their appointed supervisor; if the project undertaken by the fellow does not directly involve stem cell work, at least one of these rotations must be done in a lab working on stem cells.
  • Recipients of the award cannot hold another postdoctoral fellowship at the same time.
  • There are no indirect costs allowed for fellowships and JDRF will make no deductions for income tax, etc.
  • Please contact JDRF with specific enquiries about allowable costs.
  • It is expected that during the fellowship period the PDF will engage in knowledge mobilization activities, including with patient communities, and be available to support either JDRF, SCN or the Centre in communication and outreach initiatives.
  • A final report using a standard template must be submitted to JDRF no later than 75 days after the end date of the fellowship.

For more information about this funding opportunity, please contact: research@jdrf.ca; jdraper@stemcellnetwork.ca

For technical assistance with the ProposalCentral portal, contact Customer Support at 800 875 2562 (Toll-free U.S. and Canada), +1 703 964 5840 (Direct Dial International) or by e-mail at pcsupport@altum.com.

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