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Selection process and criteria

Sites are selected based on the following main criteria :

  • Alignment with the GIHSN scope and design;
  • Significant level of local co-funding: the Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology privileges catalytic funding rather than full funding;
  • Geographical representativeness of the site;
  • Existing laboratory capability to test influenza by RT-PCR;
  • Experience in conducting similar epidemiological studies.

Each coordinating site supervises a group of one to several hospitals in its country or geographical region and follows a core reference protocol.

Funding usually ranges between 20,000€ and 150,000€ depending on the size of the study.

All study sites are public partners and they have full ownership of the data they generate. The Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology has access to the results but not to the the raw data.

A pooled analysis is performed yearly by the coordination partner and discussed at a global stakeholders meeting.

Call for proposal 7th Flu season 2018-2019

Overview

Guided by the need to characterize the burden of Seasonal influenza disease and the impact of current vaccination programs in countries, the Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology is funding the Global Influenza Hospital-based Surveillance Network (GIHSN) as a platform to generate epidemiological evidence on the burden of severe influenza and the potential public health benefit of influenza vaccines.

This worldwide platform is open to networks of hospitals coordinated by public health institutions willing to share surveillance data and epidemiology expertise with other countries. In 2017-2018, institutes from 18 countries (20 sites, 60 hospitals) implemented the GIHSN protocol and contributed to the yearly pooled analysis and related discussions.

We are looking for not-for profit institutions able and willing to implement the GIHSN protocol and share their data for a pooled analysis. Selected institutions will receive partial funding from the Foundation.

Governance of the Foundation

The governance of the Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology is ensured by an Executive Committee, composed of four Sanofi Pasteur scientific and public health specialists and three independent influenza experts. Main role is to select applicant sites for funding allocation each year. Following decisions from the Executive committee in September, grants are provided directly from the Foundation for Influenza Epidemiology to Institutions responsible for the GIHSN study implementation

A Independent Scientific Committee composed 11 experts of was constituted in April 2018, to provide recommendations for technical, scientific and related ethical aspects.

OpenHealth Company, a Paris based independent organisation experienced in public health data management is in charge of the coordination, technical assistance and pooled data analyses during the season.

Added Value to participate in the GIHSN

Be part of a worldwide partnership of key influenza epidemiology experts sharing and discussing yearly data from surveillance of Influenza and other respiratory viruses together with international influenza experts.

Exchange on scientific and methodological aspects related to influenza surveillance, investigate new research questions of interest and be associated to publications across sites.

Enhance or extend your existing surveillance system through our catalytic funding. Funding is usually within the range of 20,000€ to 150,000€ depending on the size of the site.

How to apply

All applications have to be submitted on-line on the GIHSN website.

Admissibility requirement:

To be eligible, applicants should be not-for-profit institutions or organisations. The following documents should be provided along with the proposal:

  • Last annual report
  • Financial report (including earnings and balance sheet) from last year
  • Bank account number (official bank document – with swift)
  • List of the members of the board of governors (i.e group of people who jointly oversee the activities of an organization)
  • Copy of the decree of creation (i.e Statutory act returned by the president of the republic or the head of government)

All documents should be submitted on-line on the GIHSN website on July 14th, 2018 the latest.

By Mid October 2018, official responses from the Foundation will be sent to applicants.

 

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Call For proposal 2020-2021 Influenza Season

GLOBAL ACTIVE INFLUENZA HOSPITAL SURVEILLANCE NETWORK LINKING CLINICAL AND VIROLOGICAL DATA

OBJECTIVE

The biannual seasonal influenza vaccine strain selection process that drives the vaccine composition decisions remains challenging and enhanced data from surveillance monitoring and virology sequencing (timeliness, geographic representativeness, clinical relevance) are most needed.

We are looking for non-profit public institutions who can oversee a network of hospitals and follow a standardized protocol to be part of the GIHSN.

GIHSN evolution to emphasize clinical and virologic data (including WGS) in influenza positive patients began during the 2019/2020 season. However, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of diagnostic and epidemiologic data for both influenza positive and influenza negative patients. While critical to maintain our primary network focus on influenza, inclusion of data and maintaining samples from influenza negative cases allows for expansion, if needed, of our network to rapidly include other pathogens of interest (e.g. COVID-19). This ongoing pandemic also highlights the importance of rapid sharing, when possible, of GIHSN SARI laboratory and epidemiologic data with the global health community through platforms such as GISAID.

As such, the following specific objectives are highlighted for the 2020/21 call for tender:

  • Real time completion of e-CRF (weekly) for both positive and negative influenza cases. COVID-19 diagnostics results should be reported if testing has been performed.
  • Storage (-20C or -70C) of all influenza positive and negative SARI samples for a minimum of one year with a subset of 30% stored for an additional 3 years. This will assure sample availability for additional retrospective investigations (e.g. COVID-19) if necessary.
  • WGS of 50 to 100 influenza positive samples with use of specific selection criteria to be agreed upon. WGS data will be uploaded to GISAID in a timeframe so that results are available for the site’s respective WHO Vaccine Composition Meeting (VCM).

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Applicants should be non-profit public institutions and will be asked to provide substantiating documentation when submitting their application. (See How to apply)

All sites must show an excellent connection between a hospital surveillance platform and a virology laboratory in their country, allowing the possibility for confirmed influenza by RT-PCR and subsequent sequencing of the positive specimens in less than 7 days. If no capacities to generate genetic sequence data (GSD) are available, the site may ship its specimens to the GIHSN sequencing platform at the National Influenza Center in Lyon, France, under the Terms of Reference for sharing materials in GISRS. Shipment expenses will be borne by the GIHSN.

All sites must have the capacity to submit GSD (optional) and submit at a minimum consensus data of the HA and NA segments to the GISAID EpiFlu™ database. Clinical information will be captured in the current e-CRF used by the GIHSN and includes the link with the GSD and other metadata shared through GISAID.

SELECTION PROCESS

Applications from Institutions meeting the eligibility criteria will be reviewed and evaluated by the Independent Scientific Committee of the Foundation according to predefined quality criteria.

Main evaluation criteria are:

  • Laboratory capacities: The existing full genome sequencing capacities on site or proposed referral system to sequence Influenza positive samples should be described.
  • Targeted sample size: The estimated number of sequenced samples expected to be shared via the GISAID platform during the Influenza season is between 50 and 100.
  • Clinical information data collection capacities: The site needs to describe the way and the method to access clinical information (using laboratory referral system or using targeted clinical sampling).
  • Timelines of the data availability: Sites should be able to upload data into the e-CRF for both influenza positive and influenza negative cases on a weekly basis. Sites with sequencing capacity should upload data in GISAID on a weekly basis Sites using the GIHSN sequencing platform should be able to have their samples shipped in regular batches at least 3 weeks before the WHO strain selection meeting.
  • Geographical representativeness: sites in countries under-represented in GISAID will be given funding priority.

Cost-effectiveness: the relevance of the cost in relation to expected sample size will be considered. The Foundation is providing catalytic funding and is not expected to fund the full cost of the clinical and sequencing data collection. In September, the Executive committee of the Foundation will select institutions and the amount of the grant provided during the season in order to support the implementation.

A formal letter from the Foundation describing grant modalities and payment milestones will be sent to the sites selected by mid October 2020.

HOW TO APPLY

The call has been posted on the www.gihsn.org website on June 8th, 2020.
All applications have to be submitted on-line on the GIHSN website before July 17th, 2020 via the application template.
Submission deadline has been extended to July 25th.

Requirements for applicants:
To be eligible, applicants should be not-for-profit public institutions.

The following documents should be provided along with the proposal to attest the above status:

  • Last annual report
  • Financial report (including earnings and balance sheet) from last year
  • Bank account number (official bank document – with swift number)
  • List of the members of the board of governors (i.e. group of people who jointly oversee the activities of the laboratory)
  • Copy of the decree of creation (i.e. Statutory act returned by the president of the republic or the head of government)

The data sharing modality document will be requested to be signed by the selected sites at the start of the season.

 

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GIHSN - Call for proposal 2020-2021

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