Funds Administered by the OoR

“FORWARD TOGETHER” INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT CLINICIAN SCIENTISTS

In an effort to bolster the engagement of junior clinician scientists in research, the School of Medicine is rolling out a new incentive to support research activities of clinician scientists in their departments.

Clinician scientists are critical to ensuring the effective translation of discoveries from the bench to the bedside. The first step towards a successful clinical research career is often a mentored career development award from the NIH (K award), which requires that the applicant devote a minimum of 75% effort for the research project.  Clinical departments must provide clinical coverage to release research time for the recipients of these awards. The Dean’s office recognizes that clinical obligations can limit the ability of departments to expand their support for early career physician scientists engaged in research.

This strategic initiative is intended to help address this problem and expand the cohort of clinician scientists with an MD or MD/PhD in the SOM who are engaged in scientific research.  On an annual basis over the course of the strategic plan, the Office of Research (OoR) will allocate $15,000/year for up to 3 years to the department of each K awardee that holds an active externally funded K01, K08, K22, K23, K24, K26 or K99 grant from NIH, to help offset clinical departmental obligations for these clinician scientists.

To apply for funding, clinical departments should submit the names and degrees of current K awardees in their departments by July 12, 2019.  Please submit the information on this online form.

Please contact Jennifer Brennan or Trisha Dant in the Office of Research with any questions: oor_submissions@med.unc.edu .

“FORWARD TOGETHER” RESEARCH INITIATIVE FOR BASIC AND CLINICAL JOINT FACULTY HIRES

The School of Medicine (SoM) is host to an exceptional array of scientists across 8 basic science and 19 clinical departments.  The Dean’s office recognizes that increased research collaboration and integration of basic and clinical scientists will fuel discovery and innovation to improve human health.  As part of strategic efforts to capitalize on these strengths and increase translational research, the SoM Office of Research (OoR) is sponsoring a new initiative to support external joint faculty hires in research between clinical and basic science departments. The new faculty member must have an appointment in both a clinical and a basic science department.

Clinical and Basic science Departments that would like to partner and jointly recruit an external research faculty member in the Fall of 2019 are encouraged to submit an application to be considered for support.  The SOM OoR intends annually to provide funding of up to $300,000 towards the recruitment package for each of two recruits over the next five year strategic plan timeframe.

Additional funding may be available for faculty hires who are underrepresented minorities in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

To be considered for funding this year, please submit the following information in a single PDF using the submission form linked here. The application is limited to no more than 3 pages. The deadline for funding is 5pm on June 7, 2019

  • Letter of Intent: Describe the importance of the recruitment for filling a research need in the Clinical and Basic science departments and any relevant centers (if applicable).  Focus on how the external recruitment will enhance the translational research capabilities in the targeted area of need.  If there is a targeted hire, provide specific details and a CV for the prospective hire.
  • Recruitment Plan: Outline the plans and obligations for salary, space, administrative support and the sharing of F&A receipts among the participating units. Please also indicate the intended research/clinical/teaching expectations for the position.

Indicate the resources from each department that will be included as part of the                        recruitment package.

  • Mentoring Plan: Briefly describe plans for jointly mentoring the faculty member.

Please contact Jennifer Brennan in the SOM Office of Research with any questions: oor_submissions@med.unc.edu. 919-966-8089

FACULTY COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH CHAT AWARDS

The Faculty Collaborative Research Chat Awards fund meetings to help departments and centers initiate new interdisciplinary collaborations. The intent of the award is to enable the exchange of ideas and expertise between faculty members that will lead to novel and innovative research endeavors. A secondary goal of this award is to encourage collaboration between basic and clinical scientists, as well as conversations between new and established faculty at UNC.

Recipients will be given $300 dollars which will cover expenses for at least 2-3 meetings (over 6-8 months) between the requesting unit, collaborators, and other key players from different areas necessary to initiate a new collaborative research project. The topic of the collaboration should not be limited to an existing project or mission of the department or center, but instead should expand the research areas and/or boundaries of the unit.

Only one proposal per department or center will be considered. For clinical departments with multiple divisions, one proposal per division will be reviewed.

To apply for the award, those interested in applying should develop a project title/meeting topic and a brief description (up to 1,000 characters) outlining the following:

  1. The purpose of the meetings
  2. How different groups will be involved, and
  3. Include a list of names of the collaborators. Proposals should involve a combination of scientists from basic science and clinical departments as well as new and established faculty.

Applicants must also include a brief endorsement and sign off from the Department Chair or Center Director (to ensure submission of one proposal per unit). Please use the template of this endorsement that can be found here and upload the signed letter in the submission form linked below.

The awards will be offered bi-annually.

A list of awarded collaborations can be found here.

To submit your application, please visit the submission formThe Deadline for Applications is October 12, 2019. For questions regarding the award or the submission process, please email Trisha Dant.

TRANSLATIONAL TEAM SCIENCE AWARDS

The School of Medicine’s new Strategic Plan includes a new annual award cycle – the Translational Team Science (TTS) Award- administered in partnership with NC TraCS. This award is aimed at capitalizing on the “culture of collaboration” at UNC Chapel Hill to foster new synergistic interdisciplinary teams of basic science and clinical investigators. The award is not restricted to human subjects and tissues, and proposals may include research using cellular and animal model systems; however the project should translate across basic and clinical disciplines. Due to the current vaping epidemic and reports of related illnesses and deaths, vaping research proposals will be considered as high-priority for the 2019-20 cycle.

There are multiple stages of TTS applications and awards (see application process, below). After submission of an initial one page Concept paper, selected teams will be invited to submit a full Feasibility proposal for review. If awarded, TTS Phase I Feasibility grants will provide a 12-month period to begin to fully engage team members in the development of a competitive continuation proposal for TTS Phase II ( 12 months). Advancement to the next award stage is contingent on the merit of the proposed plan and progress in the prior period. The expectation is that these awards will provide the planning time and initial funds to support early stage denovo research teams that would otherwise not be possible. This would ultimately lead to submission of novel interdisciplinary program project grants and multiple PI R01s by UNC SOM investigators.

TTSA awards will be made jointly with NC TraCS pilot funding. For teams led by SOM PIs, the SOM will provide the funding match for TraCS funds. For other teams led by non-SOM PIs, matched funds should be provided by other appropriate units. Review of phase I and phase II applications (defined below) will be done by the NC TraCS review panel with equal consideration for early to late stage translational studies.

The inaugural TTSA RFA was issued in October 2013. A summary of the teams and projects awarded are listed here.

Solicitations for new concepts are released in the fall.  Please see the TTSA RFP for a description of the program and guidelines for submission.

EMERGING CHALLENGES IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH (ECBR)

The SOM Office of Research has started a new award mechanism for pilot funding – Emerging Challenges in Biomedical Research (ECBR). The intent of the award is to provide support for innovative, early stage research relevant to NIH priorities. The supported research is expected to lead to submission of novel interdisciplinary program project grants and multiple PI R01s by UNC SOM investigators. Preference will be given to new projects and ideas from individual investigators and cross-cutting teams with the highest impact research across the spectrum of basic and clinical research. The funds are not meant as a supplement of bridge to an existing project.

The purpose of the current challenge (Fall 2019) is to recognize the importance and impact of fundamental research by supporting interdisciplinary, technology-focused, basic science research that can lead to new discoveries or technologies. All new basic-science research proposals are welcome, and we particularly encourage new projects and ideas from cross-cutting teams in areas that are not supported yet on campus. The lead PIs on the proposal should all be from the UNC School of Medicine, and at least two of the PIs should be from different scientific disciplines.

The Fall 2019 RFP details can be found here.

It is anticipated that future funding challenges will be aligned with high profile research objectives such as concept clearances from NIH institutes and the Common Fund. Click here for information on the previous award recipients and their projects.

COLLABORATIVE CROSS PILOT PROGRAM

The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a unique UNC resource consisting of a mouse multiparent population derived from eight inbred strains. High level and uniform distribution of genetic variants genome-wide and the presence of combinations of alleles derived from three different subspecies, found only in this population, make this resource uniquely suited to test and characterize the role of genetic diversity in the etiology of biomedical traits. This resource is maintained and distributed by the Systems Genetics Core Facility at UNC.

Successful pilot projects will have access to 96 CC mice at $32.50 per mouse (25% of the regular price). The CC strains allocated to each pilot project will be based on availability and researchers cannot select specific strains.

 

The RFP can be found here. Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed at the beginning of each month. 

Please contact Jennifer Brennan in the Office of Research with any questions. Proposals can be emailed directly to Jennifer at oor_submissions@med.unc.edu.

OTHER INTERNAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

A short description of the internal research funding opportunities available to faculty and their deadlines can be found here.

 

STARTUP/RETENTION FUNDS

The OoR can assist departments and centers with startup and retention packages, but never funds the full package. Chairs and Center Directors should make requests for these funds as early in the process as possible. OoR contribution: 25% of the package, up to $100,000. The OoR’s contribution will be disbursed to the department over 2 or 3 years. If you need to request startup or retention funds, contact the Office of Research.

BRIDGE FUNDING

Bridge funding applications are accepted 3 times during the academic year.  The deadlines for FY20 are October 2, January 8 and April 22. A memo is sent to Chairs and Center Directors to share with their faculty giving specific due dates.

The current memo can be found here. Eligibility criteria:

  • The grant has been reviewed and received a written critique
  • The PI has no more than 2 active R01s or the equivalent level of funding
  • The PI does not have more than $50k of additional sources of lab support, e.g. trust fund, startup, retention, royalties.
  • If the grant’s NIH number identifies the grant as a ‘new’ grant, the PI must include a cover letter explaining how the new grant is a repackaged version of previously funded research
  • The grant under consideration must be administered in an SOM unit
  • The department/center agrees to match the funding from the Dean’s Office.

The application for bridge funding much include:

  • cover letter
  • letter of support
  • current 3-4 page NIH biosketch
  • publications
  • research section of the original grant application
  • the NIH review of that application
  • a draft rebuttal for the revised application
  • proposed budget for the bridge funds.

Please email your applications to Trisha Dant at OoR_Submissions@med.unc.edu. You can also email her or call her at 919-966-4287 with any questions.

BOOST FUNDING

UNC School of Medicine (SOM) faculty are extremely successful in their efforts to obtain funding for their research, although the SOM recognizes that it often takes multiple submissions and additional experimental data to get a new project funded, particularly as a new investigator, or with a more complex, multi-PI project.

In support of these efforts, the SOM Office of Research is inviting applications from faculty for Boost awards, which are designed to boost the chances of funding for an NIH grant (or similar) that has been reviewed favorably but needs additional revisions and preliminary data in order to be funded on resubmission.  Please note that Boost awards are distinct from the OoR bridge funding program, which provides funds for bridging A1 renewal applications for ongoing, not new, projects.

Please see the previous RFA for info.  The next deadline will be April 22, 2020. (Currently not accepting applications).

Award Information:

Up to $25,000 will be provided to successful applicants for lab supplies, animal expenses, core services, and salary for research support personnel for up to a 12-month period during the preparation of a revised proposal.

Eligibility:

  • Funding must be requested for a new NIH R01 or equivalent that has been reviewed previously within the last 12 months.
  • The proposal must have been administratively routed through the SOM.
  • Applicant/PI must have no more than 2 R01s (or equivalent) of funding.
  • Applicant/PI must have no more than $50k of startup, retention, or other similar funding available to offset project costs.
  • Although all eligible applicants are welcome, priority will be given to K to R01 transitions, early stage investigators, and multi-PI team projects.

CORE FACILITIES

The Core Facilities Advocacy Committee [CFAC] is responsible for disbursing emergency and equipment funds for Core Facilities. Emergency funds can be used for assistance with salaries and service contracts, purchase of small equipment needs [~$5-25K] and methodology development. Equipment funds can be used for the purchase of instruments ranging from $30-100K and for cost-share amounts in conjunction with instrumentation grants. The CFAC generally issues requests for funding applications (RFAs) twice a year. Emergency requests are considered throughout the year as funds allow.
Please contact for more information