Tier 1: PILOT AWARDS APPLICATION GUIDELINES
Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, October 31, 2021
The pilot wards are intended to foster the development of new research projects that integrate computational approaches in biomedical research. A major objective of the awards is to allow the investigators to obtain sufficient preliminary data required to submit new applications for extramural funding. All UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are eligible to apply.
TERMS OF THE AWARDS
Each award will consist of up to $50,000 for one year, with an expected start date of January 1. Funds should be expended within one year of receipt. Requests to change the start date or extend the funding period (no-cost extension) must be approved by the directors of the Computational Medicine Program. A report summarizing financial expenditures and a one-page summary of the scientific outcome of the project is required two months after the end of funding. When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates of publications and long-term grant support that originated from the award.
All UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are eligible to apply.
Pilot Awards must have at least two principal investigators with complementary expertise in computational approaches and biomedical research. Applicants can be principal investigators on only one proposal per round.
Faculty awardees are asked to participate in the review process for four future rounds (two years).
Proposals will be judged by the following criteria:
- Scientific merit;
- Relevance to award category (computational medicine);
- Qualifications, experience, and productivity of the applicants;
- Project feasibility given facilities, budget, time, and other resources available;
- Potential for future external funding and publications.
Review will be chaired by a UNC Computational Medicine Directors and be composed of UNC Computational Medicine members. Applications will be assigned at least two reviewers (usually three), who will score applications according to the criteria above, using the NIH scale of 1‐9 (best-worst).
- Projects must be completed in the designated period of the grant proposal. Pilot awards are for one year. No-cost extensions and changes to the start date must be formally requested and approved by the Computational Medicine Directors.
- Funds may be budgeted for any of the standard categories and for purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project. Costs are limited to those directly related to the research proposed (overhead/indirects are not allowed). The following additional restrictions apply:
- Faculty salary – Requests for salary support of tenure-track or fixed-term faculty as principal investigators or co-investigators are not allowed. Requests for non-tenure-track faculty who direct labs or projects and requests for consulting biostatistics faculty support (for data analysis) can be considered; however, requests for this kind of support should be appropriate for the level of effort required. Salary, tuition, and other funds for non-faculty named on the budget are allowed in amounts appropriate for the level of effort.
- Travel – Requests for travel support are not allowed.
- Equipment – Requests for equipment should be limited to funds directly related to project performance. For example, a laptop for a research assistant to use in the clinic to collect data would be appropriate.
Unused funds will revert to the Computational Medicine Program. All proposed expenses must conform to the general policies of the University. Projects that use core resources are encouraged to consult with those cores prior to submission.
REQUIREMENTS FOR AWARDEES
- Prior to funding, all awarded projects that involve animals or human subjects must be reviewed and approved in accordance with the University’s general assurances and HIPAA. Reviews and approvals may be “Just in Time” and are not required for registration/application. Projects involving human subjects must be submitted to an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Intervention studies and clinical protocols must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Protocol Review Committee. All investigators and all persons named on the budget page must have certification of training in the protection of human subjects. Appropriate animal forms must also be filed and approved.
- A summary progress report shall be submitted two months after the end date of support. This report must be submitted earlier if the recipient of the grant is leaving the University. The summary progress report should give a financial accounting of funds used for the project, and reference all research products generated, including abstracts submitted/published, peer-reviewed articles submitted/published, grant applications submitted/funded, and potential/actual intellectual property (reports of invention, etc.).
Principal investigators will provide updates on publications, grants, and patents for at least three years after the end of the funding, when asked.
Where appropriate, progress reports should identify the counties and populations involved or affected. For example, for an intervention for adults that works through African-American churches in six NC counties, the report should acknowledge the population (African Americans) and name the six counties included in the study.
- All manuscripts, abstracts, posters, and presentations should acknowledge support from the UNC Computational Medicine Program, e.g.: This project was funded [in part] by a grant from the University of North Carolina Computational Medicine Program.
- Awards co-funded by other sources will also adhere to reporting and other requirements established by those programs.
- Faculty awardees will be asked to serve on four review committees (2-year term). For awardees who are not faculty members, their faculty sponsors will be asked to sit on review committees.
APPLICATION FORMAT (in this order)
Proposals must include in ONE PDF:
- A Title Page that includes: title of the proposal, the PIs’ names, primary appointments, faculty rank, and contact information; Total Budget Registering online does not automatically create this title page: please include in your PDF.
- Scientific Abstract: The abstract summary of the proposal for use by review committee members and UNC Computational Medicine Program (250-word maximum).
- Budget: Use PHS 398 Form Page 4 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/fp4.docx).
- Budget Justification: The Budget Justification should include sufficient detail for reviewers to assess whether appropriate resources have been requested (no page limit).
- Research Plan: The Research Plan should not exceed 3 pages (not including references). The Research Plan should clearly outline the aims of the project, the significance of the proposed research to human health, and the computational approaches to be used.
- Proposal Timeline
- Human and/or Animal Subjects: Although Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) approval is not required prior to submission, briefly describe any human and/or animal subject issues. If human subjects will be involved in the research, provide a description of their involvement and characteristics, specific risks to subjects who participate, and protection against those risks. Describe the sources of materials that will be obtained from human subjects as part of their study participation. Provide assurance that the project will be reviewed and approved by the UNC IRB and comply with HIPAA. If vertebrate animals are to be used, provide a description of the proposed use of the animals in the work outlined and procedures for ensuring that discomfort, distress, pain, and injury will be limited. Projects involving animal subjects must be reviewed and approved by an IACUC (no page limit).
- NIH Biosketches for the key members of the research team.