Funding the Italian Research: the Peer Review and the FC Call for Proposals

It is part of AIC/FC mission to grant the Italian research about celiac disease, gluten associated pathologies and related topics with 5x1000 funds cashed yearly by AIC from Italian citizens.

The FC Funding Process

  1. The Foundation for the Celiac Disease, FC, periodically publishes a Call for Proposals (usually one call per year) aimed at funding the Italian research about celiac disease, gluten associated pathologies and related topics with 5x1000 funds cashed yearly by AIC from Italian citizens. The scientific projects must be performed into Italian research centers and universities.
  2. Submitted proposals that are eligible for the peer review, according to requirements in the Call, are sent by the AIC Scientific Office to three independent reviewers which will evaluate them by mean of an established score system.
  3. Finally, the FC Board of Directors decide to finance the first classified projects, whose definitive number will depend on total funds established for that call.

The whole process for peer review selection and funding of scientific research is illustrated in the following Figure, together with the description of type of FC grant.

 

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Name of funding

Funding limit

Funding time

FC Grant

up to 100,000 €/year

3 years

 

Figure: The process for peer review selection and funding of scientific research within the annual framework of FC Call for Proposals. In the above string: The whole process takes a year and is aimed at funding the Italian research about celiac disease, gluten associated pathologies and related topics with 5x1000 funds cashed yearly by AIC from Italian citizens. In the bottom table: The FC Grant is assigned to peer-review selected research projects and is 3-years long.

 

 

The Peer Review 

FC does believe that the peer review process represents an essential part in the promotion of high quality research. In fact, it is only by collaborating with reviewers that FC can ensure that funded research is among the most relevant in the field of celiac disease and related topics. For this reason, FC is approaching the peer review evaluation for funding scientific projects, and aims at establishing a group of international referees committing their scientific expertise for the assessment of project proposals. Reviewers are scientists that actively publish in their disciplines of research, such as clinics, genetics, proteomics, immunology, biotechnology and so on.

-  The peer review ensures a fair, independent, and expert assessment of the scientific merit of each submitted application.
-  FC relies on the expertise of foreign investigators working abroad for the evaluation of applications.
-  Each application is evaluated in an independent manner by three different reviewers with specific expertise in the research area of the application.
-  Reviewer assignments are made in compliance with conflict of interest rules to ensure a review free from inappropriate influence.
-  To assess each application, reviewers must follow a number of review criteria which include relevance to celiac disease or the other topics of the Call, scientific value and purposes of the project, the track record of the principal investigator, feasibility and innovation, as well as budget appropriateness.

 

FC rules on conflict of interest 

The following circumstances represent principal conflicts of interest:

  1. The reviewer works in the same institution of the applicant
  2. There are ties of kinship between the reviewer and the applicant
  3. The reviewer and the applicant are collaborating on a research project (or have been in the past five years)
  4. There are personal or scientific conflicts between the reviewer and the applicant

Reviewers in conflict with an applicant for any of the reasons listed above are released from the assessment of the application.

 

 

The Review Criteria

FC relies on the time and expertise of reviewers to ensure the following in a submitted scientific project:

-  significance and relevance to celiac disease, gluten-associated pathologies and related topics
-  innovation
-  approach and feasibility
-  expertise and track record of the applicant
-  adequacy of the budget requested

 

Monitoring

The research activity of FC-funded researchers is followed by the AIC Scientific Office by monitoring publications on international scientific journals, site visits in the research center, as well as attendance at scientific meetings.

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