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Flavio Kapczinski

Unrestricted Industry Funding

Posted on July 25, 2008

Flavio Kapczinski (bio) discusses the use of industry funds to build a career progress institute in Brazil.

The main reason I came was that I heard about this CDI training, and I felt that in South America we didn't have anything similar to that. And particularly in the case of Brazil, I can see a lot of people who are interested in doing research in bipolar disorder, not only M.D.s, but biologists, people from the field of pharmacy.

And they come asking for advice, and I thought that it would be great if you had, if we could have something like what's going on here, which would bring those people, those young researchers, together and get some senior people, international researchers, to go there and speak to them and exchange experiences.

So we are going to do this this August, this year, 2008, and we already had a grant which came actually from the pharmaceutical industry. We got what we call an unrestricted grant. So Eli Lilly gave us a grant for us to develop this training program in the way we want to do it. So we don't need to give Eli Lilly feedback, just to do the thing.

There are no strings attached. We say, we want the grant to carry out a program to develop the career of young investigators. If they are happy with that, they give the funding, and that's it. All we have to do is to do what we said we would do. That's the deal.

And one important thing is to use these opportunities because if you are in a country like the U.S., that is like a reference for giving money for research, you, if you manage to get into this system, you get funded right? If you are in a developing country, like Brazil, you get funding from the government but it's not so, the amount is not good to carry out cutting edge research.

So you do have to be creative in attracting funding to your center, so you have to go and shop around for funding abroad. Some agencies in the U.S. like NARSAD or the Stanley Foundation, they don't give money just within the country, they give internationally. So we can compete for that.

And also I think it's very important to assess those opportunities that are given by the pharmaceutical companies as well in terms of what we call investigator-initiated trials. So you have the idea, you ask the support from the industry, what we call unrestricted grants, which is this funding that I mentioned.

And basically you need to be very flexible and search for research funds where they are, and usually they are not maybe in the way that you thought they would be.


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