International Network of VENous Thromboembolism Clinical Research Networks

Dragons’ Den Competition



Clinical studies, and especially randomized controlled trials (RCT), frequently require international collaboration and participation from multiple clinical centers to meet sample size requirements in a timely manner. Conducting clinical research in multiple countries offers the advantages of faster participant recruitment and study completion, and greater generalizability of results.

INVENT aspires to be the international driver and accelerator for patient-oriented, investigator-initiated clinical venous thromboembolism (VTE) research and to be the key facilitator for international collaboration among VTE clinical investigators.


The Dragons' Den Competition is public competition for INVENT Study Endorsement held in July.  One endorsed study is awarded a $35,000 (CAD) International Collaboration Award / Grant. The 2020 competition was live broadcasted via webinar on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 from 16:00-17:00 UTC / GMT.  Re-watch the competition here.

 Stay tuned for 2021 competition details in early January / February 2021.

Dragons’ Den Session 2020

Applicants are invited (see ‘Eligibility’ and ‘Application Process’ below) to present a proposal of their research study to potentially be endorsed by the INVENT network and/or be awarded an International Collaboration grant. Each applicant will have 5-8 minutes to present their proposal. After each presentation, the presenter will be probed by three INVENT Dragons with pointed questions geared towards determining if the proposed study is well designed, feasible, and will be practice-changing. Simultaneously, the audience, using an interactive polling system, will rate each proposed study on its potential to change practice. After the final presentation, the audience will be asked to vote for the project that is most likely practice-changing. 

The winner of the competition will be awarded a $35,000 (CAD) grant intended to help the project expand into multiple countries and facilitate international collaboration.


  • Applicants: the proposed study must be supported/developed by members of two or more INVENT-member organizations. Applicants must be committed to international collaboration, ethical research practices, and fair recognition of co-investigators’ research contributions.
  • Study stage: research at any stage of development is eligible for endorsement by the INVENT Network. Investigators may apply for approval of a research idea or preliminary protocol, a study with a fully-developed protocol, or one that is actively recruiting participants.
  • Research design: academically-driven clinical research studies that are seeking to recruit participants in multiple countries.
  • Competing studies: ideally, the proposed study is unique and does not replicate or compete with an ongoing study. Applicants are expected to make efforts to identify other studies that are in progress that are seeking to answer the same or a similar research question. Justification for undertaking a similar study must be provided. Studies currently endorsed by INVENT are eligible for this competition; however, priority will be given to new, non-endorsed, studies. 

​Application Process

An applicant sends the INVENT Chair an application package consisting of the following documents:

  1. A completed INVENT Study Approval & Competition Application Form
  2. A one-page proposal for the study
  3. Recommended: a brief statement of support from applicant's national network. While not required, priority will be given to applications with support from their national network.

Deadline: March 6, 2020 -11:59 PM.
Notification of Selection: Mid-March
Submission: Please send complete applications to

​Study Endorsement

All studies presented at the Dragons’ Den competition will be subjected to the INVENT study approval process intended to identify studies that align with the Network’s aspirations and which the Network will endorse. The formal review process (see ‘Review & Approval Process for Study Endorsement’ below) provides a mechanism for INVENT Council Members to jointly determine which applicants will be invited to participate in the Dragons’ Den competition, and which studies the network will eventually promote and support, as well as select for an international collaboration grant.

​Review & Approval Process for Study Endorsement

  1. The INVENT Staff and Chair conduct an initial review for completeness and clarity of application.
  2. The INVENT Chair circulates the application via email to Council for review and comments.
    1. The proposal may be sent back to proponents for refinement/comments/questions prior to invitation to present at the Dragons’ Den competition.
    2. Applicants requesting approval of a research idea or preliminary proposal are expected to provide additional study details once the proposal is developed. Studies that have already received approval will not require formal review again.
  3. Eligible applicants may be invited to present at the Dragons’ Den competition. INVENT reserves the right to limit the number of applicants that will be invited to participate in the Dragons' Den event and hence be eligible for the International Collaboration grant. However, all complete and eligible proposals will be considered for INVENT endorsement.
  4. At an INVENT Council Meeting to follow the Dragons' Den competition, a vote will be conducted to establish support for each proposed study and approval for calling it an INVENT Endorsed study. The top ranked study will be offered a single $35,000 International Collaboration prize.
  5. All Council members may vote, in person or by proxy, to approve a study, regardless of their involvement or interest in the study. For the voting process, quorum is 30% (in person or by proxy) and a majority vote in one where more than half of the members of Council present and voting vote in the affirmative.

​INVENT Support of Endorsed Studies

  1. International Collaboration grant awardee will be announced via INVENT’s communications channels.
  2. A letter of endorsement will be provided (upon request, the letter may be tailored to include in a funding application, etc.).
  3. A study summary will be posted on the INVENT website.
  4. The study will be promoted to members via email and social media tools.
  5. Endorsed studies will have access to INVENT resources; e.g. use of adjudication platform at “academic rate.”
  6. INVENT Council Members will actively promote endorsed studies within their national networks.

​Competition & Study Endorsement Application

Submission instructions: Please open the .PDF file using Adobe - not in your browser. If you are unable to submit the form, please manually save and send your completed application to or simply use the word version available for download.


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