Pilot Grants Program

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Pilot Grant Program Overview and Instructions

I. Objectives

The objective of this program is to assist investigators in generating sufficient data to be competitive for extramural funding. Faculty investigators of any rank are eligible to lead Pilot Projects. A focus on obesity, cardiorenal, or metabolic diseases is required.  The highest priority for awards will be given to applications that are most competitive for future extramural funding.

II. Eligibility

Employees of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) with either a full- or part-time faculty appointment at UMMC or a joint UMMC/VA appointment are eligible to apply.

III. Submission of Applications

COBRE Pilot Grants are made for a one-year period, although. there is an opportunity for renewal depending on progress.

An electronic copy of the proposal should be submitted as a single file in PDF format to Courtney Graham.   

Please note the following administrative requirements: Page limitations indicated throughout the application will be strictly enforced. Applications should reflect NIH font sizes only, minimum size 11.0 Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype or Georgia and at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left and right) for all pages.

Please attach a copy of the entire summary statement or original review comments from other funding sources for the proposed projects with prior reviews. Also include a brief description of the changes you have made to your submission based on prior reviewer comments or suggestions (1 page maximum). Biosketches are required from all investigators along with letters of support from all consultants.

For an application to be complete, the following must be included in the submission
  1. PHS 398 – Face page
  2. PHS 398 project summary – Page 2 
  3. Research plan  
            The Specific Aims should be 1 page.
            The Research Strategy should be 6 pages.
                   This should include:
                       Expected Results and Future Plans to Secure Extramural Funding
                       Resource Sharing Plan
                       Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources
                       Data Management and Sharing 
            The Vertebrate Animal Section is linked below.
            Please use the PHS Continuation Page for the Research Plan.
  4. NIH biosketch form
  5. Human Subjects Information on PHS FORMS E 
         Proposal must be submitted for IRB approval by the application date.
         The following items are required (if applicable):
    • Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information Form
    • Institutional IRB approval
    • Human subjects protection section
    • Human subjects education certification (Required even when research is exempt. Required for all those involved in the design and conduct of human subjects research.)
    • If applicable, creation of a new enrollment report in HSS.
  6. Documentation of IACUC submission and Vertebrate Animal Section
  7. Institutional Approval from Office of Radiation Safety if radiation or radioisotopes will be utilized, must be completed prior to project start date. 

IV. Method of Review and Funding

Members of the review committee will independently rate the applications based on scientific merit and taking into consideration the applicant's previous research experience, feasibility of the proposed study, scientific and/or medical importance of the proposed work, and potential for securing extramural funding of the proposed research. The Chair of this committee will assign Primary and Secondary reviewers for submitted applications. The NIH scoring format will be used (scoring 1-9). The reviewer will provide recommendations and comments concerning experimental design, methods, data evaluation, budget, and other considerations. The Chairman will compile this information in order to arrive at an overall rating. At a general meeting of the selection committee, final recommendations and comments will be formulated and forwarded to COBRE Director and reviewed by the Executive Committee and External Advisory Committee. Awards are usually made to successful applicants within one month of the application deadline.

V. Restrictions on the use of funds

No awards will be made for faculty salary, travel expenses, or consultant expenses. Indirect costs are not allowable.

VI. Monitoring of expenditures

The COBRE Administrative Core will monitor the expenditure of funds in various budget categories.  Any changes in originally funded budget categories that are restricted will require prior approval by the review committee.

The committee will have the authority to revoke any award if sufficient progress cannot be demonstrated or if overlap funding for the project is received from other sources.  The investigator is obligated to report overlap funding for the project in a timely manner and must relinquish Pilot Grant funds at the time other funding is obtained.

Extension of time or funds of the original award will generally not be considered.  Requests for such extensions under the most extenuating circumstances should be anticipated and submitted at least three months prior to the termination date of the award.

VII. Mandatory reports

Both the mentors and the Pilot Grants investigators will be required to submit (separately) a formative evaluation of the mentoring relationship and research progress to the Center Director 6 months after Pilot Grant is awarded. A final summative report of research findings and plans for submission of an application for extramural funding will be required 30 days following the end of the funding period. This report should include the awardee's progress, publications, pending requests, and awards received from other sources resulting as an outgrowth of the COBRE Pilot Grant.   In addition, a follow-up report will be requested approximately 1-2 years after the initiation of your award.  The content of these reports will be an important consideration in an applicant's request for any subsequent funding.  Instructions for completing these reports will be sent to each grant recipient.  Any invention resulting from a Pilot Grant must be reported to the UMMC COBRE Administration. 

 Awardees will be asked to present their projects at the COBRE/MCCTR joint meetings.

VIII. Publications

All publications and abstracts resulting from research supported either directly or indirectly by a COBRE Pilot grant should acknowledge the support with the following footnote:

“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P30GM149404. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”