Apply Now! Novo Nordisk Science Forum, Vanderbilt researchers invited

Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes innovation, recently announced a new opportunity for research funding and industry partnership. The  Novo Nordisk Diabetes and Obesity Biologics Science Forum Program is now accepting applications from researchers at a limited to a number of leading U.S. academic and medical research institutions, including Vanderbilt University.

What's new? Previously the Science Forum was held in the West Coast, Midwest and North Eastern regions. Novo has invited a selective group of around 20 institutions across DC, MD, VA, WV, TN, KY and NC states to participate. They are enthusiastic to include Vanderbilt given our strengths in drug development and translational medicine/science.

Who's eligible? Researchers who have potentially novel ideas for biologics innovation within diabetes and obesity research. The proposals are open to collaborative research projects with Novo Nordisk scientists described as:

“Non-clinical research related to new biologics and targets amenable to biologics or novel effects of known biologics in the field of Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, including microvascular and macrovascular complications, and obesity.

Non-clinical research includes translational research (bed to bench), i.e. wet lab analyses on samples procured from clinical studies. The term ‘biologics’ means peptide or protein ligands (e.g. hormones), inhibitory or modulating antibodies, immunotherapies, small interfering RNA (siRNA) or microRNA (miRNA), and cell based concepts (e.g. stem cells). Such biologics either have to be novel or represent novel effects of a known entity. More specifically, biologics in scope under the Awards are those with potential effects on glucose lowering with diabetes co-morbidity benefits (e.g. cardiovascular and obesity), improving β-cell function, increasing β-cell mass, microvascular complications such as nephropathy and retinopathy, and immune intervention of Type 1 diabetes. Excluded from the definition are novel targets easily manipulated by small molecule entities such as enzyme inhibitors and intracellular targets with significant access barriers for larger molecules.”

How does it work? The competition is structured in two phases.  Investigators submit a two-page non-confidential summary of a proposal, due Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.  Selected individuals will then be invited by Novo Nordisk to participate in a two day Science Forum (held in Washington DC on April 1-2, 2014) to present their research proposals in depth.  The cost to participate in the Science Forum will be borne by the investigator.  Ten proposals from the Science Forum will be selected for a formal submission for the research awards, and will work with a Novo Nordisk scientist to prepare the formal submission.  Two award categories are offered:  A $250,000 Early Exploration Award, and a $500,000 Proof of Principle Award.  For both award categories, these amounts are for direct costs over two years.  Indirect costs are covered in addition to the direct cost award.

Other details of note:

Novo Nordisk may ask investigators to consult on with Novo Nordisk’s scientists regarding technical and biological challenges within Novo Nordisk at the Science Forum. Additionally, equipment purchased via the award is for use in the funded research project and Novo Nordisk may require return of such equipment at the end of the term.

To learn more, email