New National Funding Programme for Preclinical Confirmatory Studies and Systematic Reviews Launched in Germany

The new BMBF initiative provides funding for up to three years for preclinical confirmatory studies and systematic reviews carried out by institutions of higher education and research institutes in Germany.

The aim of this newly launched funding programme by Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF – Federal Ministry for Education and Research) is to promote preclinical research in all its methods and phases as well as increase the validity, robustness and reliability of scientific research results from preclinical research. In this way, it is designed to aid the translation of results to clinical application. Additionally, the programme is aimed at incentivising systematic reviews of preclinical research publications as well as the further development of quality assurance procedures and the publication of negative or null results.

The initiative is divided into the following two modules:

Module 1: Confirmatory, Preclinical Studies

Funding is provided for science-led, prospective, controlled, preclinical studies for the proof of concept of clinically relevant therapeutic approaches. The confirmatory studies must be carried out in a multicentric approach which brings together two to three different laboratories, and must validate the results of exploratory studies.

Module 2: Systematic Reviews

Funding is provided for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of preclinical studies according to international analysis standards.

The initiative is part of the German government’s overarching Framework Programme for Health Research.

Eligible to apply are public and private institutions of higher education and non-educational research institutions in Germany.

Funding is provided in the form of a non-refundable subsidy on the basis of project-related eligible costs. The maximum funding period of confirmatory studies (module 1) is three years. The maximum funding period for systematic reviews (module 2) is two years.

Project grants may be used to cover project-related personnel, material and travel costs. In justified cases, BMBF may also support project-related investments that go beyond the applicant’s basic equipment.

The scheme comprises a two-stage application process. Initially, applicants are asked to submit an outline proposal. This is then followed by the submission of a full, funding application for shortlisted projects.

The deadline for the submission of outline proposals is 19 October 2022.

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)