Call for proposals: Brain Research Projects 2016

Call for proposals: Brain Research Projects 2016
November 2016 RIDT
The University of Malta Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT) and the Malta Neuroscience Network (MNN), announce the first call for proposals for funding of small projects in brain research within the University of Malta. The awarding of the grants will be made following an evaluation process.
The RIDT has raised €15,000 from various events during the past 9 months of the ongoing Brain Fundraising campaign, which will be used to finance the selected projects.
Projects in Brain Research may include:
  • feasibility studies for larger projects
  • small, self-contained research projects
  • partial cover of bench fees for Masters and PhD students
  • consumables related to existing projects, but exclude the procurement of equipment
Proposals should provide an outline of the specific scope and aims of the intended study, and a brief presentation of the research strategy and design (quantitative and/or qualitative). Applicants are welcome to involve a variety of different research methods.
Budget and duration
  • Grants can range between €1,000 and €5,000 per application selected.
  • The project duration should not exceed 12 months.
Submission deadline and application forms
Applications submitted to the RIDT must contain the following information:
A specific proposal including
  • a title
  • an abstract (no more than 200 words; in scientific style)
  • a detailed description of the project (no more than 2,000 words, excluding references)
  • figures and tables (if your application requires figures and/or tables for explanatory purposes, these should not exceed a single A4 page)
  • timeline and milestones (please present a timeline for the various stages of your project, highlighting key milestones and when you expect these to be achieved)
  • In your detailed description of the proposal, please include (1) the background to the proposal, (2) the specific aims of the research including a clear statement of your hypothesis, and (3) the plan and methodology of research including sample size calculations and intended statistical analysis if required. Your plan and methodology are the most important of these in terms of our assessment, so be sure to describe them in sufficient detail. Please use no more than 30 references
  • CVs for researcher(s) involved in the project.
  • The scheme is open to all academics of the University of Malta.
  • Applicants can only receive one grant under this specific call.
  • Projects that are either already completed or with less of 1 year until completion at the start of the application deadline cannot be considered for funding under this scheme.
  • Awards will take into consideration the relevance of the work proposed, the quality of work to be anticipated and the interdisciplinary of the project.
  • Grants cannot be used to support standalone meetings, conferences or workshops.
  • At any time, an individual researcher may be named on a maximum of two active project grants.
Evaluation Process
Applications are to be submitted by 19 December 2016. Applications are reviewed by an ad hoc (MNN/RIDT) Scientific Advisory Committee and external referees (usually two per project). The Scientific Advisory Committee will choose which proposals to fund at their meeting in March 2017, and their selection will be based on the proposals referees’ comments.
The evaluation process will rank the projects primarily on their scientific excellence, their impact and applicability and the quality and the rigor scale of the proposal, including clear deliverables and sustainability of budget. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.
Given that one of the main donors of these funds had made a clear request to fund research in the areas of depression and of epilepsy, the evaluation panel will strive to satisfy this request should there be proposals in these areas. The decision of the Scientific Advisory Committee is final.
All research proposals are treated as strictly confidential throughout the application process.  Proposals are to be sent to by 17:00 on or before 19 December, 2016. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


The University of Malta Research Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT) was established by the Government of Malta in 2011 as an integral component of Malta’s established policy to bolster investment in research and development on a national level. 
It is intended to attract funds from private and corporate bodies to be used to maximise and exploit the research milieu at the University of Malta. It is envisaged that by encouraging high-calibre research through the fund, the University of Malta will foster the commercial exploitation of research and facilitate its industrial use. 
The Programme for Malta Neuroscience Network, under the aegis of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, is a joint initiative among the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Information & Communication Technology, Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences, Faculty of Science, the Faculty for Social Wellbeing and the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking.
The Network encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary research that brings together academic members from all faculties of the University of Malta with an interest in the rapidly growing field of neuroscience.