Sunday, 18th of January 2015 Print

     1 REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL:  Measles Vaccination Under 9 Months of Age


1. Introduction This request for proposals (RFP) is made by the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines & Biologicals (IVB). IVB is seeking proposals for the rigorous systematic review of  the effect of measles containing vaccine (MCV) given to children younger than 9 months of  age.

2. Background Recent measles outbreaks in many countries show a bimodal age distribution with a high proportion of cases below the WHO recommended age for MCV1, as well as many cases among adolescents and/or young adults.  WHO recommends 1 a two dose MCV schedule, with the first dose of MCV to be given starting from 9 months of age. Some researchers have suggested that the age of first measles vaccination should be earlier than 9 months of age.  For example, some studies have reported that children of mothers who acquired immunity against measles through vaccination themselves, may have lower concentrations of maternal antibodies and lose protection by maternal antibodies at an earlier age.  Given these reports and the fact that today the vast majority of infants are born to vaccinated mothers, it is timely to review the evidence to assess if adjustments to the vaccination schedule of measles containing vaccine are pertinent.

3. Research Objectives The primary objective of this RFP is to  invite applications for a systematic review and  critical  appraisal of the evidence on  whether the effect of measles containing vaccine (MCV)  schedule starting younger than 9 months of age  – in terms of immunogenicity, efficacy or  effectiveness  – outweighs the effect of the current WHO recommended schedule.  Successful applicant teams will use systematic search strategies and will perform a systematic review of literature in order to include all relevant publications. The review should  be conducted in accordance with international standards for the conduct and reporting of  systematic reviews , and should include but need not be limited to  the following objectives: § Perform a systematic review of the  evidence to identify relevant publications . § critically appraise the literature with regard to the appropriateness of the methodology and the analyses performed, and how this may have influenced any conclusions . § As appropriate, perform quantitative or qualitative syntheses of the available evidence. § Critical appraisal of the evidence including risk of bias assessment and methods to address missing data.

4.  Requirement for proposal the research proposal should include the following (maximum of 10 pages):  (i) Project description with goals and /or objectives. 1 Measles vaccines: WHO Position Paper.  Weekly Epidemiological Record. No. 35, 2009, 84, 349 – 360. 2 (ii) Project budget and justification. Applicants must provide a detailed budget, with accompanying justification for all proposed expenses. The budget should include costs per task and deliverable and the applicable Programme Support Cost (PSC), if appropriate. Total proposed costs will be considered when evaluating the application. (iii) Statement of activities and projected timeline, including major mile stones, anticipated completion dates and projected completion date for the project. (iv) Statement of capacity of individual/organization to complete the work including references to other similar technical work completed.  (v) Declaration relating to conflicts of interest for proposed key personnel (see form attached). (vi) Contact information for your organization including the full name of the organization, address and, if appropriate, a signed cover letter from an institutional official supporting the submission. (vii) Use additional pages, if necessary, to include short biographies of the core members of the research team.  Provide information on anticipated involvement of any partner organizations if applicable.

5. Deliverables A Final Report will be due upon an agreed date, but the work must be completed by August 17, 2015. The final product will be a  report  including , among others, the following elements: (i) Executive summary (ii) Background (iii) Research question(s) and /or study objectives (iv) Search strategy for sources of evidence, including information on the  databases and resources used (v) Selection criteria for quality of evidence (inclusion and exclusion criteria) (vi) Data collection and analysis (critical assessment), including , if applicable, statistical pooling , estimation or  other  techniques and methods applied (vii) Main results and/or main  estimates  (viii) Authors’ conclusions on results and data quality  and critical appraisal of  evidence (ix) Citations and access to  extracted  data in a MS access or comparable  format The  Report  must include interpretative commentary with respect to sources of error, bias  and  missing data  in the reviewed  data . The Report may also identify key limitations in the data. The Report may also make suggestions for future research that is needed.  A representative of the research team (PI or deputy) will be expected to attend WHO expert consultations, as required (maximum of two meetings). A comment period will commence following the submission of the Draft and Final Reports to IVB . Within a reasonable amount of time following its submission, IV B will initiate a peer review of each Report and submit questions and comments. Teams are expected to provide a written response to IVB on how comments received were addressed . Public release of the Final Report will occur after the review process is completed.  While a draft manuscript is not a requirement or deliverable of this project, research teams are encouraged to publish the content of the Final Report in an appropriate peer reviewed journal .  All rights in the work, including ownership of the original work and copyright thereof, shall be  vested in WHO, which reserves the right (a) to revise the work, (b) to use the work in a  different way from that originally envisaged, or (c) not to publish or use the work. The data will be posted in a public website, as appropriate. 3

6 . Eligibility They will be selected on the basis of : (i) Experience of the principal investigator  and  the  team ’ s  expertise conducting  and disseminating similar  research . The project team should include a principal investigator (PI) with experience in  vaccines and systematic reviews of vaccine evidence . (ii) Methodological rigor of their proposed approach,  including feasibility of  timelines , (iii) Proposed timelines . Project duration will not exceed 7 months from signature of contract but the ability to complete the project in less time will be  considered favourably in the application review. (iv) Proposed budget/overall value of the project, (v) Adequacy of mechanisms for addressing  any  intellectual and financial  conflicts of interest.  (vi) Content expertise on the team in immunization and vaccines is desirable although not essential. Applicants are expected to disclose any possible conflict of interest capable of influencing their judgments, including personal, political, proprietary, family, academic and financial.  A WHO disclosure form for Declaration  Conflict of Interest must be completed by all named  persons on the research team and submitted with the RFP application.  Research proposals will be evaluated in a two - stage process: § Upon receipt,  IVB staff  will review all applications for compliance with the parameters  of this competition . § Applications that pass review  by the  IVB staff  will then be reviewed by at  least two independent reviewers with relevant expertise in the field for a recommendation on  funding. Final authority on funding approval rests with WHO Secretariat .  WHO will notify the successful applicants  directly.  WHO will be unable to provide individual feedback on unsuccessful applications.

7 . How to Apply Proposals must be submitted by email as an electronic version to . Electronic submission must be received by  5 pm (Geneva time)  on January 26, 2015 and , should include “ IV B – Systematic Review Measles Vaccination Under 9 Months ” in the  subject line.  Proposals that are incomplete, or received after the due date, will not be reviewed.

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