Michelson Prize Application Process
Investigators interested in competing for the $25 million Michelson Prize should familiarize themselves with the application process, outlined below.
1.1 Investigators must first register on the Michelson Prize & Grants website by setting up a login. After login, registrants have access to view and download the relevant documents linked below.
1.2 Investigators submit a Registration Letter, including basic information about their proposed product, a list of collaborators & their institutions, and a signed agreement to comply with the Policy for Animals Involved in Research. The Registration Letter must provide a plausible hypothesis for development of a product fulfilling all Prize criteria. The Registration Letter will be reviewed by Found Animals and its advisors, and must be approved in order for the registrant to move forward.
1.3 If the Registration Letter is approved, registrant downloads, prints, and signs the Competition Guidelines. The signed Competition Guidelines must be sent as an attachment to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon receipt of the signed Competition Guidelines, a conversation is scheduled between the registrant and Found Animals’ General Counsel to review and acknowledge what will be required in Master Participation Agreement (MPA), which will be signed after completion of Data Package-1 (DP-1).
2.1 Investigator works independently or with grant funding to develop the data required for Data Package-1. Upon completion of Data Package-1, investigator signs Certification Letter, confirming that Data Package-1 is complete and ready for submission to the Foundation. Because the Master Participation Agreement will require significant time investment from Found Animals’s General Counsel, investigator must sign the Certification Letter verifying that s/he has all data required for submission of Data Package-1 prior to entering negotiations of Master Participation Agreement.
2.2 Master Participation Agreement will be provided to the investigator upon signature of the Certification Letter. Negotiation of Master Participation Agreement must not exceed 30 days.
2.3 After signing the Master Participation Agreement, investigator submits Data Package-1 for Foundation approval, along with $500 Prize Application Fee. Foundation staff will review Data Package-1 for completeness.
- If Data Package-1 is complete, the Foundation will appoint five (core and/or ad hoc) members of the Scientific Advisory Board to review the contents of DP-1. Reviewers will determine whether the proposed product meets the qualifying thresholds for all criteria. If the proposed product meets all qualifying thresholds, the Foundation will conduct a site visit to verify that facilities were appropriate to conduct DP-1 research. Data must be acquired in research that is compliant with the Foundation’s Policy for Animals Involved in Research. If Data Package-1 and the facilities are approved, the Date Stamp for the application will be the day that the DP-1 and application fee were received by Found Animals Foundation.
- If any minor elements are omitted, Scientific Director will ask investigator to provide the missing information to the Foundation. If the Data Package-1 is subsequently approved by the Foundation, the Date Stamp will be the day when the missing sections were received by the Foundation.
- If there are major omissions or if the Data Package-1 is disapproved by the Scientific Advisory Board, investigators must wait 60 days to reapply, and must provide a new application fee with the resubmission. If the revised Data Package-1 is subsequently approved by the Foundation, the Date Stamp will be the date the resubmission was received by Found Animals.
Application Window: Once the first Data Package-1 has been approved, all applicants who have signed the Competition Guidelines are notified that a contender has been date stamped and approved to move on to Data Package-2 (DP-2). A one year window will be announced, during which these potential applicants may submit their Data Package-1 for consideration. The Foundation may approve one or more additional proposals to move forward to Data Package-2 at this time. If the window closes and the Foundation has not received satisfactory proposals, the Foundation reserves the right to consider proposals after the close of the application window.
Study with Found
3.1 Found Animals completes a plan for the Prize Study design, in consultation with the applicant, based on the requirements for Data Package-2. Found Animals and its advisors, consulting with a Contract Research Organization (CRO), approve or revise the study design.
3.2 Upon approval of the design, study will be contracted to a Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) compliant CRO and will be funded by Found Animals.
3.3 Upon completion of the Prize Study, Found Animals and the Scientific Advisory Board reviewers assess Data Package-2 to determine whether all Prize criteria have been met. Possible outcomes are:
- Prize criteria are not met: Applicant must wait at least 60 days before resubmitting Data Package-1 with an improved or different product.
- Prize criteria are met and another contender or contenders has/have an earlier Date Stamp: Michelson Prize is not awarded until the project(s) with the earlier Date Stamp has/have failed or succeeded. If a project with an earlier Date Stamp later succeeds, the Michelson Prize will be awarded to the applicant with the earlier Date Stamp, regardless of when the Prize studies were completed.
- All Prize criteria are met and the applicant’s Date Stamp is first: The Michelson Prize is awarded.
Found Animals is committed to sponsoring the Michelson Prize in fairness and with transparency. In accordance with this principle, it reserves the right to modify the terms and conditions of the Michelson Prize if necessary, and endeavors to provide Participants as much notice as possible of any necessary modifications.
Questions? Email MichelsonPrize@FoundAnimals.org.