Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I contact the QGHA Business Team to ask questions about Round 2 while the Round 2 clinical project application process is underway?
Yes. The QGHA Business Team is here to help you with developing your application. The Business Team have already met with a number of interested applicants to talk through their proposed projects. To get in touch with the QGHA Business Team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. What are the respective budgets for Round 2 Clinical Implementation, Incubation, and Innovation Projects?
The budget for a single Clinical Implementation Project is up to $1million. The budget for Clinical Incubation and Clinical Innovation is $1million across both streams.
3. Would it enhance the strength of my project if I were to include additional hospitals as recruitment sites?
As long as you can get clinical ownership or a clinical champion at each of the sites you include. Clinicians involved need to have ownership of the project and the project’s outcomes. Gate 2 is Clinical Utility which is where we look at the clinical ownership of the project. Additional sites also come with the additional site-specific ethics approvals, so you have to make a call as to whether you risk those delays for the sake of additional sites.
4. If I'm not a practising clinician but want to apply in Round 2 can I only apply if I have a clinician lead?
For the Clinical Implementation and Incubation Project applications the lead must be a practising clinician within the clinical speciality area the project is targeting. For Clinical Innovation Project applications you do not have to have a practising clinician as the lead, but applications will need to note which hospitals, local research institutions and core Queensland Health functions will be approached to collaborate on the project.
5. What is the best genomic sequencing approach to employ for my project – Panel-based Sequencing, Whole Exome Sequencing or Whole Genome Sequencing?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question, as there are benefits to each of these approaches in terms of cost, turn-around time and comprehensiveness of the result generated. We are happy to discuss these approaches with you in the context of your project, to help you weigh up their relative merits. We can also direct you to project partners that can assist in sequencing and bioinformatics analyses.
6. If I am an industry group and would like to participate, should I apply for a clinical project?
Please make contact with the QGHA Business Team so we can speak about your involvement in Gate 3 “Partnerships”.
7. Who should I (as the Project Lead) approach to be my Project Sponsor?
The Project Sponsor should be a senior executive from within your organisation who is committed to supporting you to deliver the outcomes and benefits of your proposed project. An example would be the director of the clinical department where you are based (which would demonstrate departmental buy-in for Gate 2); or a senior manager in the hospital who will actively support and champion the project.
8. I’m concerned about the high level of competition that may exist for the two Clinical Implementation Projects. What can I do to maximise the impact of my Expression of Interest?
It’s really important that applicants address the Gate 1: EOI criteria listed within the Executive Summary and Project Objectives sections of the Guidance Document. The purpose of the Gate process is to provide applicants with the time and resources required to amend various aspects of their applications, maximising their value proposition.
9. Should I list all project investigators in my Expression of Interest including capability partners e.g. health economists?
No, not at this stage. Projects will not be assessed on collaborations in Gate 1. Collaborations, including capability partners will be addressed at Gates 2 (Clinical Utility) & 3 (Partners and Capability). QGHA wants to make sure that partnerships are well planned and acknowledge that meaningful collaboration takes time to develop. You may wish to mention the disciplines you are considering, but you don’t have to list the partners.
10. What is the scope of QGHAs Round 2 investment?
The aim of QGHAs Round 2 investment is to accelerate the adoption of genomics into everyday healthcare in Queensland through promoting genomics projects that improve patient care in the hospital/clinical setting.
11. Do QGHA intend to fund infrastructure as part of Round 2 funding and if not, how will any intended growth in service provision be matched by a growth in infrastructure availability?
QGHA’s Round 2 funding does not extend to funding new infrastructure. Queensland Health has capital infrastructure programs, through which the Department, and Hospital and Health Services fund infrastructure. These can grow to accommodate the expansion or addition of new services. The QGHA presents an opportunity to facilitate relationships and focus within these programs. In Round 2 QGHA aims to realise these opportunities through using the Round 2 Clinical Projects to establish requirements and to potentially pilot infrastructure through clinical services QGHA is focused on establishing suitable business-related evidence, and business cases with clear requirements for capability and infrastructure in the health and research systems. The investment in infrastructure and/or services will be made in partnership with participating organisations, and at the discretion of Queensland Health.
12. The development of state-wide genomics services will inevitably require the collation of large amounts of data from various sources within and outside the healthcare system. How will this be planned and implemented?
Through the capability building program QGHA will work with Queensland Health core functions, such as eHealth Queensland, existing capability building workstream projects such as Genomic Information Management and new partners to determine requirements. The current Gate 1 EOI process is for Round 2 Clinical Projects. The process to determine the capability building program will commence in July 2018 and will result in commissioning activities to meet Queensland Health requirements.
13. On top of implementing the clinical outcomes of Round 2 projects across Queensland, will it also be possible for participating organisations to use project findings outside of Queensland’s healthcare system?
The answer to this question is context-dependent. Generally speaking the aims of the QGHA are to support better health outcomes for Queenslanders, and to make a contribution nationally and internationally to the field of genomics implementation. The application of QGHA findings in organisations outside the QGHA and Queensland Health would lie with those external organisations.
14. If a clinical partner provides clinical information required as “seed data for innovation”, what data will be available for continued innovation and development within the Queensland environment to continue this work?
At this point in the process it is not possible to answer this question as it is context dependent. We will work with Round 2 Clinical Project Applicants to develop this type of detail. Any data arrangements that emerge must align with Queensland Health’s standards and guidelines.
15. What types of organisations are eligible to lead the projects?
The Clinical Project Specifications within the EOI guidelines lists the essential criteria required in each Clinical Project Stream.
16.We assume based on the statement on page 11 “Applicants should propose what is achievable within the funding and timeline of their nominated investment stream rather than overcommitting to improve the project’s chances of selection as Gate 4” that the solution presented will be within “$2 million for Clinical Implementation and $1 million to be spread across Clinical Incubation and Innovation activities” described on page 6 of the guidelines. Is this correct?
Yes. Please note that QGHA will fund up to $1million for each Clinical Implementation Project (two projects). Overall funding for projects may include QGHA investment and co-contribution from participating organisations either as investment capital or in terms of human resource or other in-kind contributions.
17. Is it expected that all listed applicants on any given project will contribute throughout its lifecycle (implementation and beyond) or can they be interchanged?
We expect clinical leadership to be maintained by an organisation throughout the course of the project. We appreciate that individual people may change during the project, and executive sponsorship and leadership from within participating organisations will go a long way to mitigating this risk.
18. How are Round 2 projects expected to interact with national initiatives (e.g. My Health Record)?
Many linkages are in place to maximise QGHA’s chances to collaborate, share learnings and make a contribution to other Genomics Alliances within Australia and Internationally, and with significant digital health initiatives beyond Queensland. The Australian Digital Health Agency and the Australian Genomics Health Alliance have formed a committee to investigate linkages between the two programs, and the QGHA expects an opportunity will emerge to make a contribution. The QGHA’s primary focus at this time is to work with key Queensland Health business functions like eHealth Queensland, and our Hospital and Health Services to ensure genomic information is managed safely, securely, and sequence results are used for the benefit of patients.
19. “Projects may be seeded from results from other Genomics Alliances within and outside Australia but will be applied in Queensland.” Is this relative to the data used in the project or the origin of the funding? Can you please elaborate?
QGHA is interested in the lessons learnt in these programs and applying the medical knowledge relating to the application of genomics within disease areas for detection (diagnosis), treatment and management in Queensland’s health system. QGHA’s prime function is to accelerate the adoption of applicable medical genomics in Queensland and we are keen to leverage investments made in other part of Australia in terms of knowledge, and matching this to priority and high impact applications in the Queensland health system.
20. Do we need to list Pathology Queensland (PQ) as a collaborator in the EOI?
No, not at this stage. Projects will not be assessed on collaborations in Gate 1. Collaborations, including capability partners will be addressed at Gates 2 (Clinical Utility) & 3 (Partners and Capability).
21. How has QGHA ensured interested parties are kept up to date during Gate 1: Expression of Interest?
The QGHA business team has been assisting prospective applicants through:
- Providing information about the Round 2 process on the QGHA website
- Updating the FAQ page on the QGHA website with incoming questions
- Providing weekly eNewsletters
- Conducting two webinars on the 15th June 2018 (attended by approximately 40 people)
- Offering an Alliance Q&A session on 22nd June 2018
- Attending HHS planning sessions
- Meeting with prospective applicants on request, including clinicians, researchers and industry (approximately 20 people, some on multiple occasions)
- Responding to incoming email enquiries
22. Would it be possible to obtain any feedback on the outcomes of Gate 1?
Yes, please get in touch via email@example.com if you would like to discuss feedback.
23. What type of evidence should recipients of Round 1 Funding demonstrate for Gate 2, Round 2?
The Gate 2 documentation requires that you provide information on:
- the Current State of patient care in your area of interest
- the Transitional State (the lifecycle of your current project) and
- the Future State (the legacy of your project).
In the Current State section, you should outline the positive outcomes of your Round 1 projects. In the Transitional State section you should clearly detail how your current proposal will extend upon the results of your Round 1 project.
24. On a practical level, what can applicants do to improve the chance that their project is integrated into Queensland Health in the long term?
The design of QGHA’s Round 2 investment decision making process is based on Queensland Health and HHS’s internal processes for establishing new services or receiving investment. Focusing on providing information based on the italicised prompts will help applicants understand how their projects can become integrated into the healthcare system.
25. We have submitted an application that we believe might be complementary to the project of another applicant. Will these ultimately be grouped together at a later date and how will this be accomplished?
Whilst Gate 2 is underway it’s important that applicants understand what they need to do in their own project to ensure success of their genomics solution in clinical practice.
After Gate 2, the QGHA Governance Oversight Group may recommend projects be grouped together as part of the Gate process. The QGHA Business Team will adapt the Gate process to enable the development of collaborations should applicants wish to progress with the grouping recommendation.
26. There’s so many signatures and statements required and so little time to get these from clinical organisations and participants. Is there a way to make this process easier?
We acknowledge that it can be arduous and difficult to coordinate the required signatures and statements of support. We want to assure you that this work will pay off, should your application be successful. If your application is not selected for QGHA funding, our process highlights the potential of your proposed solution to a broader audience and it may lead to future opportunities with alternative funding sources.
Moreover, some applicants have made suggestions for making this process easier. The QGHA Business Team have agreed to the following:
- Applicants may provide electronic copies of statements and signatures from clinical participants, stating the date(s) they were received. QGHA may ask for copies of these emails so it is important for applicants to keep these on file.
- Applicants may prepare standard statements of support for their clinical participants and ask participants to sign these.
- Applicants should carefully consider who to ask for signatures. Although large numbers of signatures can demonstrate the breadth of support for your application, signatories should have a clear role in your project, and their participation should tell a cohesive story. i.e., try to avoid the inclusion of tokenistic participants in your Gate 2 submission.