The Solvay Pharmaceuticals Influenza Research Grant is an independent grant established to support the global advancement of influenza research. Each year, the topic will be selected by a committee of external experts in the field of influenza. The Committee will independently judge and choose the grant recipient based on agreed criteria.

Subject of the 2010 research proposal
Innovative research into methods of improving influenza vaccine uptake among healthcare workers.

Research background for the 2010 proposal
Nososcomial transmission of influenza is well documented, as are outbreaks of influenza in healthcare settings, which sometimes involve very high levels of mortality among patients (for example on stem cell transplant units). It is also well understood that healthcare workers become infected by influenza (as evidenced by serological studies) yet either do not recall having a respiratory illness, or do not recall taking time off.  In spite of this clear evidence of a problem, influenza vaccine uptake among healthcare workers is sub-optimal, particularly outside North America. Furthermore, recent data suggest that vaccination of healthcare workers in long-term institutions for the elderly reduces mortality among residents.

Recognising the problem of low vaccine uptake among healthcare workers, and the need for novel approaches to improve this, the 2010 Solvay Pharmaceutical Influenza Research Grant wishes to support innovative research into methods of improving influenza vaccine uptake among healthcare workers.

Submissions are invited for research which will either pilot novel methods of improving influenza vaccine uptake in healthcare workers, or explore qualitatively which interventions would be most acceptable to healthcare workers and health service/hospital administrators. It is recognised that the total amount of grant on offer would not support a full size clinical trial of new methods of influenza vaccine delivery to healthcare workers, but it could provide funding for pilot work in advance of a main study (to be funded via an alternative route).

Applicants should be able to demonstrate familiarity with and interest in the specific subject of vaccination of healthcare workers, demonstrate appropriate expertise among research team members, and propose research in an environment in which baseline (pre-study) vaccine uptake is already known or can be rapidly determined.

Available grant
The successful applicant will receive an amount of €50000 for 2010. This would usually be paid in two stages; 50% on confirmation of the grant award and 50% on submission of an executive summary to the independent Solvay Pharmaceuticals Influenza Research Grant Committee. The 2010 Committee is comprised of three external experts, including Chair, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (University of Nottingham) with support from Bram Palache (Solvay Biologicals). Although Solvay will have access to the applications, including proposals, it will not be involved in the selection of the recipient.

Application criteria
Applications will only be considered from individuals or groups who are researchers or employees of academic institutions, research institutions, public health institutes or hospitals. There are no geographical restrictions. The Committee will consider relevant applications to fund new or existing projects, however, a project that is co-funded by an industry sponsor will not be considered.   Applications will not be considered from members of the Committee, their Department or their family members. More than one application can be submitted by an individual or institute.  The deadline for applications is 14 th December 2009.

Call for proposal(doc)

Application form(doc)


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