Bando di Ricerca 2017

Processo di selezione del progetto di ricerca



The Gruppo Famiglie Dravet (GFD) offers seed funding to support a one-year (12 months) basic or clinical research project aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of Dravet syndrome.



Proposals must explore the altered mechanisms impacting the brain of people with Dravet syndrome and the unanswered clinical questions related to genetics, pathogenesis, evolution and treatment of Dravet syndrome.
It is expected that the results originating from this type of research will help gain a deeper understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of Dravet syndrome and will be used for rational design of future disease-modifying therapies.
Proposals submitted under this call may include, but are not limited to, the following types of research:

  • investigating the development of neuronal network dysfunction;
  • defining key regulatory steps affecting the onset or the progression of the disease;
  • discovering compensatory pathways;
  • defining or re-defining clinical phenotypes related to Dravet syndrome;
  • examining pathological processes triggered by SCN1A mutations, e.g. by electrophysiology and cell/molecular biology or biochemistry approaches.

This funding opportunity is meant to act as a catalyst for further research. Therefore, proposals should have clear aims achievable within one year. A plan to secure subsequent funding must be presented. The added value and the impact on disease understanding or future development of treatments for Dravet syndrome should be clearly stated. If necessary, access to relevant, well-characterized patient populations or suitable biomaterial collections must be demonstrated. In this regard, applicants should know that the GFD has an agreement with the Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks (TNGB), by which biological samples and related clinical data from individuals with Dravet syndrome and their relatives are collected, preserved and offered to the scientific community. Interested applicants can refer to the online catalogue of the TNGB to identify biosamples to be employed in their proposed research.
Please note that proposals that are currently funded by other agencies are not admitted.



A three-step evaluation process will be issued. First, Letters of Intent (LoIs) will be evaluated by the GFD Scientific Committee for relevance and potential to generate significant knowledge coherent with the aims of the Call.
Selected LoIs will be invited to submit full projects. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of this first evaluation step by email. No written feedbacks will be provided to applicants at this stage.
During the second step, full projects will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee on the basis of the following criteria: scientific quality, appropriateness of approaches, logic of experimental plan and methods, likelihood of success and long-term sustainability of the research program. Each proposal will receive a score at this stage and a final rank will be built upon.
The proposals falling above the funding threshold established by the Scientific Committee - and therefore judged as fundable - will enter the third evaluation step. These will be received by the GFD Lay Review Committee (LRC) involving parents and members of GFD Board of Directors. The LRC will choose among the fundable proposals the one that better suits the scope and aims of the Call. All applicants will receive a written detailed feedback at this stage.
All reviewers - both scientific and lay ones - will be bound to strict confidentiality about the matters that come to their knowledge during the review process.



In order to be eligible for this award, applicants must be:

  • Scientifically independent (early career investigators, i.e. senior post-doctoral fellows, research associates and assistant professors, are eligible for this Call provided that their salary is covered by the Host Institution throughout the funding period – Host Institutions must sign a formal declaration)
  • Affiliated with a public or private non-profit research institution.


Host Institution Agreement. Applicant’s Host Institution is required to sign a letter of agreement that must be printed on paper bearing the official letterhead of the host institution itself and attached to the LoI as a pfd file.


International applicants are welcome. All documents must be submitted in English.
The awardee will be required to provide an interim scientific report and a final report at the end of the funding period, including financial details as a proof of the use of the awarded funds. It is possible that GFD will invite the awardee to present his/her findings at its annual family meeting.


Budget. The budget request can be made up to €50,000 (fifty thousand Euros) for maximum 12 months. Indirect costs are not supported.


Grant agreement. Awardee and his/her Institution will be asked to sign a Grant Agreement highlighting the following conditions:

1) the project’s start date will have to be within January 10, 2018;
2) no overheads will be covered;
3) Intellectual property- and revenue- sharing will be agreed among the parties.


Submission process

All applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LoI) by May 5, 2017.
Full projects will be invited by June 7, 2017.
Full projects must be submitted by July 21, 2017.
The award will be announced on October 10, 2017.



Please note that the present Call is managed by an independent professional consulting firm, namely Science Compass, that provides services and tools for grant-making and peer review in the field of biomedicine. To know more visit: or write to Dr. Francesca Sofia, PhD at

Please find below information for completing and submitting a proposal.

Letters of Intent - Submission Guidelines


Letters of Intent have to include:

  • Title of the project
  • Keywords (between 3 and 5 keywords that highlight the proposal’s topics)
  • Applicant (name, position held at the Host Institution, contacts, curriculum vitae)
  • Host Institution
  • Current and pending support (all current and pending funding for the Applicant and his/her co-investigators)
  • Letter of Intent (in maximum 2 pages please describe the project’s goals, how they will be tested, the expected results and the impact this research will have on the field of Dravet syndrome in terms of increasing knowledge and/or improving clinical management of the disease)


Formatting guidelines:

Font: Times New Roman
Type font: 12 point
Spacing: Single-spaced between lines of text


Host Institution Agreement must be printed on paper bearing the official letterhead of the host institution itself and attached to the LoI as a pfd file.



Questions about the present Call and the guidelines for submission are welcome and can be submitted by email at


LoIs must be submitted as pdf. files and emailed at  not later than May 5, 2017.


We inform you that your personal data submitted through the Letter of Intent, sent in reply to the GFD Call for Proposals 2017, will be processed by the Data Controller of GRUPPO FAMIGLIE DRAVET (GFD) Onlus based in Via Fontana, 11 - Milan, Italy in pursuance of the Legislative Decree 196/2003 (Code regarding the protection of personal data). The personal data will be processed electronically or manually in such a way to ensure security and confidentiality of the data.

The Chairman of GFD - the Data Controller - is responsible for personal data processing and will treat the data in accordance with regulatory requirements, ensuring full compliance with the law.

Personal data received by means of LoIs, will be processed and used for the sole purpose of the GFD Call for Proposal 2017 and will not be communicated or disseminated to any third parties. The processed data may be disclosed to members of the Scientific and Lay Review Committees who will be appointed for the purposes of the Call specified above and will manage the data in accordance to strict confidentiality rules. Their names and affiliations are available on the web site

The provision of data is optional, but refusal may prevent the accomplishment of the aims of the Call and may result in exclusion from review. 

At any time you can contact the Data Controller (email at:  )  in order to request the cancellation, destruction, updating, opposition for legitimate reasons, rectification, access or to exercise any other rights under the article 7 of the Privacy Code, or to request an updated list of those appointed in charge of data processing.