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FAQ - Inflamation


What are the ASPIRE awards?

Pfizer is fully funding the ASPIRE awards. Additionally, Pfizer is providing the infrastructure and administrative support required to facilitate the application process and the review process, as well as notifying applicants and distributing awards. All applications will be formally reviewed by an independent committee of European medical/scientific experts in the field of the specific appropriate area.

Due to FCPA regulations, submissions selected for awards by the review committee must go through an internal review at Pfizer to ensure provision of the grant is appropriate and relevant information regarding potentially influencing government official status, as well as beneficiaries and controllers information, is captured (when applicable)


Who is eligible to apply for ASPIRE awards?

In 2017, the ASPIRE will focus on wider European countries, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. ASPIRE award applications are possible for any investigator. To be eligible for an investigator award, an applicant must hold an MD, PhD, PharmD or the equivalent and must reside in wider Europe, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or South Korea.


What is the role of Pfizer in the ASPIRE awards?

Pfizer will provide the administrative support required to facilitate the application process and the review process, as well as notifying applicants and distributing awards. All applications will be formally reviewed by the ASPIRE review committee including European medical and scientific experts.


How many ASPIRE awards are available?

The number of awards per years is related to the specific area of research. See the home page.


When will the ASPIRE awards be announced?

The successful awardees will be notified about two month after the deadline. See home page for key dates.


Is the funding a per-annum or per-study amount?

Each award funds the entire research period, and is not a sum paid per year.


Does the funding include Institutional overhead costs and indirect costs?

Yes, the maximum funding for each type of award includes indirect costs, and institutional overhead costs. Final budgets of those studies awarded a grant will be reviewed for fair market value before the contracting process begins.


What are indirect costs?

Indirect costs are additional study expenses such as costs for publication and supplies.


What are institutional overhead costs?

Institutional overhead costs, are costs to the institution for the support of your study. They are not easily identifiable in an economically feasible way as exclusively related to a particular project but are necessary to conduct the grant. Some examples of these costs are human resources department costs, payroll processing and accounting costs, janitorial services, utilities, property taxes, property and liability insurance, and building maintenance.


How are the funds dispensed?

The awards will be paid based on milestones to be determined during the contracting process.


How may the ASPIRE funding be used?

Funds can be used to cover the awardees’ salary and fringe benefits, as well as other direct expenses incurred during the research project. Direct expenses may include the salary of technical associates; the purchase of relevant laboratory supplies; direct expenses necessary for proper conduct of research (e.g. subject-related costs, study-related personnel costs, diagnostic fees/services, data management expenses). Indirect costs may include and travel expenses to scientific meetings, software licensing fees, publication costs etc.

No other government, non-governmental, or industry-sponsored projects may cover the same work scope as the grant application to the ASPIRE Programme. However, a ASPIRE Programme grant may be related to other funding from foundations or government agencies, as long as there is no direct overlap. It is the responsibility of the applicant to justify the novelty of the proposal and provide evidence that the application does not overlap with any current or pending funding.

Note also that, due to the competitive nature of these awards, Pfizer cannot provide any additional funding and/or drug support beyond what has been requested and approved by the external independent review panel.


Can ASPIRE funding be used to purchase equipment?

No. ASPIRE funds may not be used to purchase equipment, although the purchase of relevant laboratory supplies is allowed.


Are the ASPIRE awards renewable?

No. Each ASPIRE award is a one-time, non-renewable research grant. Payments for each grant are made based on milestones, which will be determined during the contracting process.


Are the ASPIRE awards opened to researchers working outside one of the countries listed below?

No. The ASPIRE awards are opened only to researchers in these countries.


What areas of research meet the criteria for ASPIRE funding?

Research proposals with the objective of advancing medical knowledge in specific research area. See home page or visit for specific areas of focus.


Are there any specific research areas that are excluded from ASPIRE funding?

The following topics fall outside of the scope of the ASPIRE Programme:

  • General education and / or training
  • Public health
  • Support for ongoing clinical programs that are part of an organization’s routine operations


What project deliverables are required?

Projects are expected to yield results that will advance the medical knowledge in specific research areas. It is expected that results will be presented at scientific meetings and published in peer reviewed journals.


Will non-drug research proposals be considered?

Yes. Both drug and non-drug proposals will be considered for funding.


If the study uses a Pfizer drug, what are Pfizer’s procedures for reporting of Serious Adverse Events?

For all studies using a Pfizer product and/or device: Pfizer requires that, within 24 hours of first awareness of the event (or immediately if the event is fatal or life-threatening), the principal investigator will report to Pfizer by facsimile any Serious Adverse Event (SAE) that occurs during the SAE reporting period in a study subject assigned to receive the Pfizer Product. In addition, for studies using a Pfizer device or Pfizer product packaged with a device, reportable events include not only SAEs but also device Incidents and device near-Incidents.

  • Reporting Forms: The principal investigator will report such SAEs using the Pfizer IIR SAE reporting form or the approved local regulatory form and the Reportable Event Fax Cover Sheet provided by Pfizer. SAEs should be reported as soon as they are determined to meet the definition, even if complete information is not yet available.
  • Reporting Period: The Reportable Events that are subject to this provision are those that occur from after the first dose of the Pfizer product through 28 days after discontinuation of the Pfizer product.
  • Follow-up Information: The institution and/or principal investigator will assist Pfizer in investigating any SAE and will provide any follow-up information reasonably requested by Pfizer.
  • Regulatory Reporting: Reporting an SAE to Pfizer does not relieve the institution and/or principal investigator of the responsibility for reporting it to the local regulatory authority, as required.


Can an exception be made for certain applicants regarding the eligibility criteria to the ASPIRE awards?

The eligibility requirements - academic, scientific, etc - are designed and maintained by the committee of experts. In keeping with the purpose and intention of the ASPIRE awards, applicants must meet all the criteria in order to be considered for an award. Submissions outside these parameters will not be considered.


I’m still not sure if my proposed research topic meets the criteria, how can I find out?

Please contact the ASPIRE Coordinator with a brief description of your proposed research area.



Is there a time limit for conducting the funded research?

Study results are expected 2 year maximum after the signature of the contract.


How do I apply for a ASPIRE award?

Applications are to be submitted to Pfizer through an online submission website. Visit and click on “apply”. From there you will be routed to Pfizer’s global investigator-initiated research website. Click on “Submit an IIR Request” and follow the online instructions.

When asked if you are applying for a competitive grant program, select yes. Then, select the appropriate program name from the dropdown list.

Completed applications must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Synopsis or protocol in English (summary, objectives, background, hypothesis, methods, references)
  • Abbreviated curriculum vitae (CV) (limited to 3 pages)
  • Budget for proposed research (link to template)
  • Cover letter on institution letterhead
  • Description of available laboratory facilities
  • Bibliography of relevant references


  • Listing of other research support available with a description of overlap and, if applicable, a listing of consenting collaborators (including CVs)

I’m having difficulty submitting my application online, who do I contact for assistance?

Receive assistance by contacting


What is the deadline for application?

See home page of specific research areas.


When will I hear whether my application has been successful?

See home page of specific research areas.


If my application is successful, when will the funding commence?

Awards will commence about 2 months after the notification of the selection, pending receipt of all required documents noted on the application form.


Will I receive a copy of the Review Committee’s evaluation of my grant proposal?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide applicants with comments by the ASPIRE Review Committee. Our objective is to keep our administrative costs as low as possible, preserving the bulk of our budget for actual grants.


Can Pfizer drug be provided?

Funding should include all costs, including purchase of Pfizer drugs. If this is not possible the program can provide Pfizer drug as part of the submission.


If I will get an award, will I become part of the press release in the public domain?

If your proposal is awarded with a grant then you will be informed personally before the press release


I have a question that is not covered here?

If you require clarification on an issue not addressed here, please contact the ASPIRE Coordinator,



Date of preparation: May 2017
PP-XEL-EUR- 0520