Ono Pharma Foundation
Ono Pharma Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions


Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Ono”) is a leading global healthcare company committed to delivering new, innovative drugs to patients and championing the fight against disease and pain. Ono carries out these goals in cooperation with researchers, patients, their families, and healthcare providers.

Ono established the Ono Pharma Foundation to carry out the Ono Pharma Breakthrough Science Initiative Awards Program (“Ono Initiative”), a competitive awards program to support scientific research projects throughout the United States and the subject of these Frequently Asked Questions. The Ono Initiative is the embodiment of Ono’s commitment to focus on and accelerate researcher-driven open innovation by supporting high-risk and high-reward science research projects, which have potential to lead to science discoveries/solutions and, possibly, based on further research, to breakthrough treatments for patients.

What is the goal of the Ono Pharma Breakthrough Science Initiative Awards Program?

The purpose of the Ono Initiative is to support scientist Principal Investigators (“PIs”) with creative ideas in selected scientific research fields with the mission of seeking discoveries/solutions and development of high impact science.

What is the length of this award?

Each Award may last three years.

What is the funding level of these awards?

Total research grant is $900,000 for the three year research project.

The Ono Pharma Foundation will provide up to a maximum of an additional 15% of the funding approved for the research to be used for indirect costs of the institution of the PI. The total amount of the grant for three year research will be up to $1,035,000. The grant will be sent every six months in advance.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, the PI must fit the following criteria:

  • There are different conditions of eligibility depending on the scientific areas, which are Chemical Biology and Oligonucleotide Medicine.
    • Each PI applying chemical biology area must be working in one of the Nominating Institutions. Nominating institutions might be replaced or added to in subsequent years.
    • Each PI applying oligonucleotide medicine research area must be working in United States and Canada.
  • They have an MD and/or a PhD degree.
  • They are not already engaged in other grant program with Ono Pharma Foundation and/or sponsored research with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
  • The Applicant/PI may not apply for funding to amplify current work. However, they are eligible to research a new idea based on previously competed work.
  • More detail as to eligibility criteria can be found in the “Ono Pharma Breakthrough Science Initiative Awards Program: Program Information & Overview” document.

Which are the Nominating Institutions?

2018 Applicant Nominating Institutions in Chemical Biology Research *

  • Baylor University
  • Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • The Rockefeller University
  • The Scripps Research Institute
  • The University of Texas -Southwestern Medical Center
  • University of California - Berkeley
  • University of California - San Francisco
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Whitehead Institute
  • Yale University

*Each Nominating Institution may nominate up to two (2) applicants in Chemical Biology Research.

2018 Applicant Nominating Institutions in Oligonucleotide Medicine Research**

All institutions in the US and Canada equivalent to the US 501(c)(3) entity.

**No limitation on the number of nominated applicants in Oligonucleotide Medicine Research.

What are the research requirements?

Applicants/PIs are expected to:

  • Design studies to generate novel science to address at least one of the Scientific Research Areas of interest. The scientific Research Areas of Interest for 2018 are:
    • Chemical Biology
    • Oligonucleotide Medicine
  • The Chemical Biology is defined as research that deals with the interface between chemistry and biology.
  • The Oligonucleotide Medicine is defined as groundbreaking work using synthetic oligonucleotides to gain broadly valuable insights into molecular mechanisms, delivery strategies, pharmacology, or physiologic targets.
  • Complete the full two step application process which is: (i) submission of a Letter of Interest, and, (ii) if selected, to submit a full Proposal within the time designated by the Ono Pharma Foundation.

What are the Selection Criteria?

Applications will be assessed and Awards will be made based upon the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit of the research Proposal;
  • Relevance of proposed research to the mission of the Ono Initiative
    • Significance
    • Innovation
    • Approach
  • Technical considerations for the research;
  • Qualifications and relevant experience of the PI; and
  • Evidence of a suitable research environment.

What is the application process?

There are the different application processes depending on the scientific areas, which are Chemical Biology and Oligonucleotide Medicine.

  • Letter of Interest (“LOI”) in Chemical Biology Research: At first, PI needs to contact administration office of your Institution. Institutions will be asked to nominate PIs, but only the PI may submit LOIs and Proposals. The LOI should be submitted through the Fluxx portal on Ono Pharma Foundation website and follow the online instructions. If this is your first time visiting the portal, you must first “Create an Account”, as instructed.
  • LOI in Oligonucleotide Medicine Research: The LOI should be submitted through the Fluxx portal on Ono Pharma Foundation website and follow the online instructions. If this is your first time visiting the portal, you must first “Create an Account”, as instructed.

The common application process is described below:

  • Proposal submission by LOI applicants and selected by a Scientific Advisory Board will be invited by the Ono Pharma Foundation to submit a full Proposal. The Proposal must be submitted through the Ono Pharma Foundation Portal. Please access the Application Portal on Ono Pharma Foundation website.
  • More detail as to the application process can be found in the “Ono Pharma Breakthrough Science Initiative Awards Program: Program Information & Overview” document.

How will I know if I am invited to submit a full proposal?

The Ono Pharma Foundation will make an announcement about LOI reviews and send Request for Proposal (“RFP”) to selected PI/Applicants on May 1, 2018. RFPs will be made based on:

  • Eligibility of Applicant;
  • Completion of Research Requirements;
  • Strength of proposed project against Selection Criteria.

What is the timetable?

StepTimelineResponsible Party
Funding Opportunity Program AnnouncementDue: December 12, 2017Responsible Party:
Ono Pharma Foundation
LOI submission openDue: January 2, 2018Responsible Party:
Ono Pharma Foundation
LOI submission due dateDue: February 28, 2018, 5pm ET *Responsible Party:
PI/ Institution
Request for Proposal (“RFP”) sent outDue: May 1, 2018Responsible Party:
Ono Pharma Foundation
Proposal due dateDue: May 31, 2018, 5pm ET *Responsible Party:
PI
Announcement of the AwardsDue: July 23, 2018Responsible Party:
Ono Pharma Foundation
Project StartDue: September - October, 2018Responsible Party:
PI

*Addenda, supplemental materials, changes, or updates will not be accepted after the deadline for submitting either the LOI or the Proposal.

**As a US private foundation, Ono Pharma Foundation grants to Canadian institutions are conditioned on an equivalency determination by the Foundation. This may require additional documentation and information from the institution outside of the application process.

How many awards are given?

No more than five Awards will be made in the 2018 cycle.

Who will make the decisions about the Awardees?

The Ono Pharma Foundation selects all Awardees based upon recommendations of its Scientific Advisory Board (“SAB”), which is comprised of outside experts from the fields of chemical biology and oligonucleotide medicine.

How is the SAB selected?

The members of the SAB are selected by Ono Pharma Foundation based upon their expertise and reputation in the fields of chemical biology and oligonucleotide medicine.

Who is TCC Group?

Formed in 1980, TCC Group provides strategic planning, program development, evaluation and management consulting services to foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporate community involvement programs, and government agencies. Its consulting staff includes individuals with wide-ranging expertise and experience in a diverse range of issues including education, arts and culture, community and economic development, human services, health care, children and family issues, and the environment. TCC Group is providing ongoing support for Ono Pharma Foundation.