As a first exercise, the CRU planned and initiated the grantsmanship workshop series to foster interest and enthusiasm among the faculty, scientists, and residents to apply for the prestigious research fellowships of the DBT Wellcome Trust.
The first sensitization workshop was conducted on 6 Nov 2019 at the Dr Ramalingaswami Board Room, AIIMS. The Director, AIIMS, Dr Randeep Guleria, chaired the session; Dr. Shahid Jameel, CEO of Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance and Prof. Usha Menon from the Clinical Trials Unit, Medical Research Council, UCL London joined as speakers. About 200 participants ranging from faculty, scientists, research staff, and PhD and postgraduate students from various disciplines participated in the activity.
The second Grantsmanship Workshop was planned for aspirants for concept proposal for the Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance Clinical and Public Health Fellowships. A total of 38 faculty members and two (02) senior residents submitted the concept notes to the research section, which were reviewed by three of the lead mentors. Of these, 23 were selected for the mentoring workshop held on 15-16 Jan 2020. There were four lead mentors (Dr Usha Menon, UCL, London; Dr Shinjini Bhatnagar, THSTI; Dr Madhulika Kabra, AIIMS and Dr V Sreenivas, AIIMS) and 2-3 in-house subject experts for each proposal.
The third workshop of Grantsmanship Workshop series was held online (Zoom) on 27-28, Apr 2020, for the 17 proposals that cleared Stage-I and were invited for full/detailed proposal submission by India Alliance. Of the 17 final proposals submitted, 11 were reviewed by the lead mentors and subject experts besides online mentoring and remaining took help from the mentors by electronic methods.
The webinar was jointly organized by CRU and DBT BIRAC, and it aimed at sensitizing researchers at AIIMS regarding the funding opportunities of BIRAC. It was held on 29 Oct 2020 from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm at Dr Ramalingaswami Board Room, AIIMS. The speakers and participants joined virtually on the Zoom webinar platform. There were over 100 participants ranging from faculty, scientists, research staff and PhD and postgraduate students from various disciplines. Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS Dr Subrata Sinha, Dean (Research), AIIMS, and Dr Amit Kumar Dinda, Professor, Pathology shared AIIMS vision of translational research; Dr Manish Diwan, Head, SPED-BIRAC, Dr Vijay Pachanadikar, oorthopedic surgeon and Founder of VMP Ortho LLP; and Dr Vishal Rao, oncologist, and founder of Innaumation Medical Devices joined as speakers.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, fast track intramural grant was announced and over 80 proposals were received. The proposals were reviewed and the shortlisted proposals were approved for funding.
Out of these, 9 clinical observational studies were having similarities, so it was decided to develop common Case Record Form (CRF) for investigators for the multiple sites where COVID-19 patients are being admitted. The data of common CRF is being stored on AIIMS server and different components for each patient can be filled by at different time points and from multiple locations as required.
CRU prepared the common informed consent documents and developed the online case record form in collaboration with the Principal Investigators of the nine observational studies. These studies also required a common consent form, so that in each area the first team in patients care can take consent for all components of the data related to the patients.
The Common CRF and a common Consent Form was designed and ethical approval was obtained for the nine PIs.
The software for Common CRF has been developed, pre tested and been made functional for all teams working for Covid-19 related research.