The purpose of the Pilot Research Program is to provide funds to investigators who show promise of developing a strong career in nonhuman primate biomedical research or who wish to add a nonhuman primate component to their existing research programs. The program is also open to investigators with established research programs using nonhuman primates who wish to develop substantially new research directions. The Program will fund 4 – 6 pilot research projects per year depending upon receipt of meritorious applications, the availability of base-grant funds and resources to support the project. The direct cost for a single research project should not exceed $50,000 for no more than one year of support. No funds will be provided to cover facilities and administration (indirect) costs. No-cost extensions of up to one year will be permitted, with appropriate justification. Pilot research funds will not provide interim support for established projects or for any projects that have qualified for support from other sources.
Research can be on initial model identification, characterization, and development that may follow a case work-up of spontaneously occurring diseases, evaluation of improved husbandry or animal management procedures, or more detailed examination of serendipitous laboratory findings. It is typically developmental or high risk and does not require the extent of preliminary data or results that are normally needed to obtain support from other sources of funding. The proposed study must have potential for leading to a strong research grant application to outside funding agencies.
Investigators must be beyond the postdoctoral rank and may be based at any non-profit academic or research institution. If the applicant is not a TNPRC Core Staff member, a Core Staff Scientist must sponsor him or her. The overall purpose of the project must contribute to objectives of the Center’s research programs, and the projects themselves must have the potential of leading to an extramurally funded grant application. The proposal must be substantially different from the applicant’s funded projects. A Core Staff Scientist must assume responsibility for overall management, coordination and reports concerning the project. In general, all major activities related to the approved project must be conducted and carried out on site at the Center.
PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA FOR SUBMISSION AND REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS
Grant Application and Letter of Intent
Applications will be solicited for two deadlines each year, on November 1st and May 1st, with scientific review in January and July. Awards will be announced in February and August. Projects will be funded in March and September. An investigator is allowed to apply for one proposal per funding cycle and can receive no more than one pilot project award every 2 years. All applications should be preceded by a one-page letter of intent. The letter may contain the abstract of the application, summarily describing background, significance, specific aims, and experimental design. The deadlines for submission of letters of intent are August 1st and February 1st prior to the deadlines for submission of applications. Responses to these letters will be issued within four weeks and are final. Applications submitted without a prior letter of intent will not be considered. After approval of a letter of intent, the corresponding grant proposal must be submitted at the following proposal submission date. Please include with your submission the biosketch(es) of the investigators involved. Incomplete letters of intent and applications will not be considered. Letters of intent with biosketch(es), and applications should be submitted as eight originals to:
Pyone Pyone Aye DVM, PhD
Division of Veterinary Medicine
Unit of Collaborative Research
Tulane National Primate Research Center
18703 Three Rivers Rd
Covington, LA 70433
Ph: (985) 871 6486
All applications will be reviewed for scientific merit by the TNPRC - Pilot Research Review Committee, which is appointed by the Center Director and is composed of one member from each TNPRC Division, and two reviewers from outside the TNPRC and Tulane University. TNPRC reviewers are appointed to the Committee for five years, and their appointment may be renewed. The outside reviewers may be affiliate scientists and are appointed for a three-year period, which may be renewed for an additional three years. Committee members will be permitted to seek confidential verbal or written reports from colleagues not belonging to the Committee if they have a need for additional assessment. All additional outside assessments received, whether verbal or written, will be reported to the committee. Ad-hoc members with particular areas of expertise may be appointed as needed. The recommendations of the Committee will be forwarded to the Center Director. It will be the Director’s responsibility to make the final decision as to which proposals are funded and at what budgetary level. In the event that overlapping funding is received at any time after a pilot study award is made, funding for the pilot study project will terminate. An application that is not funded may be resubmitted as a revised application one time only.
It is expected that one or more manuscripts and a NIH-grant application or equivalent will be submitted while the pilot project is in progress or shortly after its conclusion. If manuscripts or grant applications are not submitted within one year of the conclusion of the pilot project, a written statement must be provided to the Center Director explaining the reasons for this omission. A report of progress on each pilot research project including manuscripts and grants submitted must be provided to the Center Director in March for inclusion in the Center’s annual progress report. Failure to do so will result in termination of funding.
The following criteria will be used to review the proposal:
- Scientific merit (Significance, Approach, Innovation)
- Complementarity between the goals of the project and the scientific program of the TNPRC.
- Likelihood of moving from the pilot study to a NIH-grant application or equivalent.
- Feasibility of the project within the time allotted to the project
- Availability of an approved IACUC protocol (To prevent delays an IACUC protocol may be submitted at the same time as the application. An approved IACUC protocol is required prior to starting the project.)
PILOT RESEARCH GRANT APPLICATION
I. Title Page
The title page will include the title of the project, the name and title of the investigator, institutional and departmental affiliation, the period of the proposed project, the amount requested and the TNPRC IACUC protocol number or submission date.
II. Abstract, Performance Sites, and List of Personnel (Use PHS398 application form page 2 format)
III. Budget Page (Use PHS398 application form page 4 and 5 format)
The budget period is for up to one year ($50,000 cap). The budget must include all costs for purchase of animals, per diem, and veterinary technical support. For TNPRC Principal Investigators, the budget may include 2.5 to 5% effort with salary support. Other TNPRC faculty and staff scientists may serve as consultants at no cost to the grant. Principal investigator’s salary at other institutions must show a percentage of effort but without salary support. The percent effort for those investigators is unlimited. The following items will not be funded through the Pilot Research Project Fund: travel to scientific meetings, publication costs, and salary for faculty-level investigators other than TNPRC Principal Investigators.
IV. Biographical Sketch (PHS398 format including other support)
V. Research Plan
Page limit for the Research Plan (NIH format) is eight pages excluding references. Attachments that are essential to the review of application are permitted but should be kept to a minimum. The Research Plan should include the following:
- Specific Aims
- Background and Significance
- Preliminary Studies
- Research Design and Methods
- Literature Cited
- Appendix (if necessary)
VI. Abstract of Funded or Submitted Proposals
This section should contain the abstract page or a brief summary of each grant and contract that is currently funded or submitted, including those funded or submitted elsewhere for pilot research support.
VII. Statement About Relationship of Proposed Pilot Study to Funded or Submitted Proposals
This statement should explain the relationship, if any, to funded or submitted proposals. If there is no relationship, a single sentence will suffice.
VIII. List of Previously Awarded Internal Grants
This list should include all internal grants previously awarded at TNPRC during last five years. For each previously awarded grant, state what external grant or contract applications resulted from the internal grant, and for each application, whether it was funded.
IX. Feasibility of moving from a Pilot Study to a NIH-grant application or equivalent.
Discuss the likelihood that funding of this pilot project will result in a larger externally funded research program.