Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Harrington Scholar-Innovator Grant Frequently Asked Questions

What are the criteria used to select Harrington Scholar-Innovators?

The selection of Harrington Scholars is based on:

  1. Quality of science and the scientist
  2. Novelty and innovative quality of the work
  3. Potential for impact on human health
What criteria are used to determine “potential impact”?

The Harrington Discovery Institute’s approach is pragmatic and market-based. No new drug can reach the clinic without the participation of and significant financial investment by a major commercial partner. Thus all Harrington Discovery Institute funded projects must meet the criterion of economic viability - an identifiable commercial partner must be able to recover expected development expenses.

A detailed market assessment is not required for a successful application. Applicants are encouraged to keep the following criteria in mind:

  1. Ability to identify appropriate patients
  2. Target indication incidence and prevalence
  3. Current treatment options and incremental improvement required for physicians to choose a new, alternative therapy
  4. Eventual clinical trial complexity and cost
  5. Probability of success – degree of target validation, reliability of preclinical models, understanding of associated biology and pathology, clarity of clinical endpoints
  6. On-target liabilities; most likely side effects associated with the target
  7. For targets considered to have multiple potential indications - how might these be prioritized in terms of the above criteria?
Is market size or indication an important consideration?

Not per se. We value discoveries and drugs that address unmet needs and orphan indications. We are disease agnostic.

Do I need to have a drug or biologic candidate in hand?

No. Studies aimed at identification and/or validation of molecular targets are of interest. Please note that pathway analyses, expression profiling, and similar projects should be specifically focused on target discovery and validation rather than on cataloging, correlating, or description. If the study provides strong evidence that modulation of a specific molecular target may provide therapeutic benefit, then the project falls within scope.

Are you interested in biomarkers and/or diagnostics?

Not per se. Biomarkers are of interest as part of a therapeutic development program as a means to identify appropriate patients (“companion diagnostics”) or monitor drug effects in human trials..

Are you interested in drug-device combinations?

Such projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If the therapeutic benefit results primarily from the drug component, the project is of interest. If the benefit is due primarily to the device with the drug serving a secondary role (e.g. an antibacterial coating for an implant), the project may be considered if highly novel or addressing a major unmet need.

What qualifies as “translational or development-type studies not typically funded by basic science grants”?

The Harrington Discovery Institute is seeking to catalyze the development of new therapeutics by complementing standard academic awards. In the best case, the Harrington award will allow the recipient to perform additional studies that help move a product or platform toward clinical use but are not usually fundable via traditional academic grants. Such studies would include screen development, receptor and enzyme profiling of compounds, lead optimization, toxicology, and so on.

Do you fund clinical trials?

Yes, if meaningful results can be obtained within budget.

Is my submission kept confidential?

The Harrington Discovery Institute will not distribute submitted material beyond Harrington Discovery Institute staff and designated reviewers. A formal CDA will be executed if the project is funded.

Can I still submit my application if IACUC/IRB approval is pending?

Yes. Confirmation of IACUC/IRB approval is only necessary prior to releasing the first grant payment, if the proposal is selected for funding. You may make a note of the pending approval on your application.

How many Harrington Scholar-Innovators will be chosen?

Up to 12 physician-scientists will be chosen each year.

Who do I contact for program-related inquiries?

Natalie Haynes, Program Director
P: 216-368-1038

Who do I contact for more information on the application process or questions regarding an existing application?

Natalie Haynes, Program Director
P: 216-368-1038