Project Description

Fresco Basic Science Research Grant

Request for Applications (RFA)

The Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders at NYU Langone Health (FI-NYU) is seeking applications to support promising collaborations to advance our understanding ofParkinson’s disease (PD) and to encourage early career scientists to pursue basic research in areas that impact PD and movement disorders. A central goal of the FI-NYU is to help develop and support the medical and scientific community in Italy working in this area. Our Basic Research Grants Program is specifically focused on encouraging outstanding and innovative early career scientists to pursue basic science questions related to PD and movement disorders.

This program is designed to support early career scientists during a critical career stage, as they prepare to move from a mentored position, such as a postdoctoral fellowship, into a more independent role, such as a faculty or equivalent position. Each Fresco Basic Research grant will support a three-year postdoctoral fellowship or equivalent appointment in one of the centers in the Fresco Network (FN) or in any other center that is performing innovative and excellent research in PD in Italy. We anticipate early career scientists supported by the FI-NYU to compete for subsequent independent funding and advance to a permanent faculty or equivalent position.

This is a Request for Applications from postdoctoral fellows or junior faculty who hold a PhD, MD or equivalent degree and have full-time employment at a university in Italy conducting research relevant to PD and movement disorders (“Applicant”).

Applicants should be within 10 years of receiving their highest degree.

Exceptions to the eligibility requirements (e.g., non-university research support or extension to the 10- year eligibility limit due to family care, illness, etc.) must be requested at least ten days prior to the deadline for submissions.

This year, we will award up to two Fresco Basic Research grants. Applications must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must propose to conduct research to advance knowledge into the biological mechanisms of PD or a model providing insight relevant to PD with a clear link to PD explained in the application.
  • Applicant must dedicate 20% or more of his or her full-time effort to the research.
  • Application must name a mentor for the project. The mentor will be a senior scientist who may be at another institution. The application must include a letter of support from the mentor stating that the mentor agrees to serve as an advisor and guide only, and that the study design and its execution will be under the independent direction of the Applicant.

Applications will be evaluated based on assessment of the following criteria:

  • Academic and scientific excellence in basic research in the field of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders including a proven track record of first-authored peer reviewed publications.
  • An achievable, rigorous proposed three-year research plan that, if successful, will improve our understanding of the basic science of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders.
  • Available quality mentorship within the designated center including a mentoring committee of more established investigators.
  • An institutional environment conducive to the proposed research program including a commitment to the applicant’s research plan and to the applicant’s future scientific career. Grants will be made to each successful applicant’s designated center with the intent that the center will use these funds to support the applicant’s salary and research needs related to the submitted proposal, according to the complete terms and conditions provided in the official grant award agreement. Each grant is $100,000 (USD) and funds will be dispersed on an annual basis to each awardee’s center, subject to continued satisfactory performance as assessed from semi-annual progress reports submitted by the awardee to FI-NYU. The funds can be used to provide salary support as well as support for the awardee’sresearch supplies, equipment, or other research needs. No indirect costs or overhead will be paid from the grant. The first payment will be disbursed upon return of the executed grant award agreement. If the proposed work can no longer be conducted by the awardee at the center, the center may be required to return any over-payments to FI-NYU, as detailed in the grant award agreement. All the funds need to be utilized in Italy exclusively. Awardees will be required to submit semi-annual progress reports, a report from his/her mentoring committee, and an institutional financial statement to FI-NYU including a report of effort for any individuals receiving support from the grant, according to the schedule stated in the grant award agreement. The semi-annual report must be sufficiently detailed for FI-NYU to appreciate the research findings and achievements, use of funds, and career progression of the early career scientist awardee. FI- NYU reserves the right to request clarification of any ambiguities in any report or statement.

Research Plan

  1. Specific Aims (1 page)
  2. Background and significance of the proposed work, includingits relevance to and potential impact on our understanding of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders (1-2 pages)
  3. Detailed explanation of experiments proposed, hypotheses tobe tested, and anticipated results (3-4 pages)

Page Limits: 6


  1. Narrative Budget Justification (salary support, supplies, equipment, and other expenses to support research and laboratory activities)
  2.  Annual Budgets

Page Limits: 2

Candidate’s Background, Previous Research Accomplishments, and Career Goals

  1. Relevant educational and research background that prepares you to succeed with the proposed research plan including a description of your two most significant first author publications
  2. Your long-term research and career objectives

Page Limits: 4

Professional Development and Mentoring Plan

The primary research mentor must provide a statement that provides:

  1. Information of his/her experience as a supervisor
  2. A mentoring plan that includes a description of the mentoringcommittee that will provide guidance to the applicant
  3. A description of the previous, current and proposed activities to attain the necessary research experience and professional development to launch the applicant into an independentresearch career

Page Limits: 3

Institutional Support Letter

The center must provide a statement that includes:

  1. Description of research facilities, equipment, other resources,and training opportunities that will be available for thecandidate’s research and career development
  2. Details of how the center will support the advancement of theapplicant’s career toward an eventual independent andpermanent faculty position

Page Limits: 2

Curriculum Vitae

Applicant CV, including education, research positions, publications, and other relevant professional history


Names and contact information for two scientists who can provide letters of support
Instruct your letter writers to provide confidential letters of support to and with your name in the subject line.

  • Application Deadline:

    September 30, 2019

    Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date. Applications should be submitted in English. Applicants are responsible for reviewing their application for accuracy and completeness prior to submission.

  • Review and Selection Process:

    All applications will undergo an administrative and scientific review by a committee appointed by the NYU-FI leadership, which also considers overall funder priorities. The evaluation will be based on the criteria noted above.

  • Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates:

    We anticipate announcing awards by

    November 15, 2019,

    with the earliest possible

    start date commencing January 2020.

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