The NIH Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program broadens the geographic distribution of NIH funding for competitive biomedical and behavioral research by enhancing the research capabilities of institutions in eligible states.The IDeA Program aims to achieve this goal through 3 major initiatives: (1) the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), (2) the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), and (3) the IDeA Clinical and Translational Research Program (IDeA-CTR).

The Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE) is requesting applications for Research Project Investigator awards (RPI).A primary goal of the RPI program is to foster and develop the most innovative research that will lead to nationally funded programs through resource sharing, faculty collaboration and mentoring. The program seeks to support proposals designed to generate preliminary data that enhances the competitiveness of the OUHSC/OMRF and PUI investigators for future extramural funding. The proposed project must align with one of the biomedical research themes of the OK-INBRE program: Cancer, Developmental Biology or Infectious Diseases. Mentoring committees are used to ensure that all faculty are aware of other eligible state, institutional, or philanthropic resources to generate funds beyond OK-INBRE funding to sustain their overall research programs. Additionally, mentors help faculty navigate and overcome obstacles, as well as develop their research and prepare grant applications and publication submissions.


 Application Due Date:  August 13, 2021 at 5:00pm

Peer Review Date:  September/October, 2021

Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  November 1, 2021


University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC)

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF)

University of Central Oklahoma (UCO)

Northeastern State University (NSU)

Southeastern State University (SE)

Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU)

Cameron University (CU)

Langston University (LU)


OK-INBRE expects to fund at least eight proposals, four from the Research Intensive Institutions (OUHSC/OMRF) and four from the Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI) in the OK-INBRE network (listed above).Funding is anticipated to be $100,000 in direct costs per year per award plus applicable F&A. Awards are expected to run 2.5 years in duration with the understanding that awardees can compete for an additional 2.5 years of continued support, if eligible, pending continued NIH support for the OK-INBRE program.


Applicants may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct. Only one application will be funded per applicant.


  • Investigators must meet the NIH definition of Early Stage Investigator (ESI).Information regarding ESI policies can be found here:
  • Principal Investigators submitting RPI applications must hold a full-time, tenure-track faculty appointment.
  • Individuals with modified titles (e.g., Research Assistant Professor) can be eligible to apply if a justification/letter of support from the Departmental Chair is included indicating that the institution is/has provided substantial startup package resources (i.e., startup funding, independent lab space, tenure track eligible) for the faculty member to successfully carry out the proposed project. The reviewers for the proposals must be confident that the applicant is supported by the institution financially and not by the grant funds of a more senior faculty member/mentor.
  • If you have questions regarding your eligibility, please contact the OK-INBRE PI, Dr. Darrin Akins, at 

  • Investigators who have been funded for five years as either an OK-INBRE Research Project Investigator and / or an early stage investigator by a COBRE program are not eligible to apply.


It is required that the research project investigators will devote at least 50% of their professional effort (equivalent to 6.0 person months) to career development and research activities.

Institutions must provide release time for project investigators, thus permitting a significant time commitment to the research enterprise. To allow flexibility to investigators who cannot devote 6.0 consecutive months throughout the year, the effort can be distributed over the year to achieve a total of 6 person months (for example, 3.0 person months during academic year and 3.0 person months in summer) to account for a yearly 6.0 person months effort.

While it is not required that salary support be requested, the maximum allowable salary support for the PI is six calendar months. The budget must also include sufficient budget funding for resources in other categories to carry out the project as proposed.

Support cannot be requested for adjunct faculty replacement costs.


Direct costs are limited to $250,000 over the 2.5 year period, with no more than $100,000 in any single year.F&A (indirect costs) may be added at the institution’s negotiated rate. The project period is anticipated to be November 1, 2021 – April 30, 2024 (2.5 years).

Funds may be used for (but are not limited to):

PI salary support (not to exceed 6 months of support)

Personnel needed to carry out the project, including students, technicians, etc.



Travel to one professional meeting for the PI and students, not to exceed $2,000 per year

Other costs such as animals, animal housing, software and publication costs


Applications should be prepared using Arial font (11 point minimum), single spaced, with minimum 0.5 inch margins.

Page limits are indicated below.

Please use a blank page for the elements below not requiring a form or for continuation of an NIH format page listed below. PHS 398 continuation format pages are not required.

Required Components:

November 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022 ($50,000 direct costs + F&A)

Year 1: November 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022 ($50,000 direct costs + F&A)

Year 2: May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023 ($100,000 direct costs + F&A)

Year 3: May 1, 2023 – April 30, 2024 ($100,000 direct costs + F&A)

  • Biographical Sketch in the current NIH format effective May 25, 2021
    Please note that substantial changes have been made to the NIH Biographical Sketch format. Be sure to reference the instructions regarding biographical sketch requirements effective May 25, 2021.
  • Institutional Resources

  • Research Strategy (5-page limit)
    Illustrations or figures may be included but will be counted against the page limitation.

    • Specific Aims
    • Background & Significance
    • Innovation
    • Preliminary Data if available
    • Experimental Plan
  • Bibliography and References cited
  • Scientific and Career Impact Statement (one-page maximum)
  • Future Research Plans (one-page maximum).  Include future plans and how you plan to pursue the results to expand the study and continue the project. Include your future grant submission and publication plans. 
  • Progress Report for renewal applicants (two-page maximum). Please discuss progress made on the current RPI project.
  • Vertebrate Animals if applicable
    • Human and Animal Use Approvals are not required at the time of submission, but they must be in place before the project can be submitted to the NIH for approval and work on the project can begin.
  • Select Agent Research
  • Regulatory Items (IBC, conflict of interest, radioisotope usage, data resource sharing plans)
  • Letters of Support
    • OK-INBRE investigators must devote at least 50% of their time to research, scholarly endeavors, and career development. A letter certifying institutional commitment to that effect, signed by a Departmental Chair, must be included with the application.
    • Letters from research collaborators are allowed
    • Letters from proposed subcontractors are allowed
  • Key biological and/or chemical resources to be used
  • Human Subjects Information, if applicable
    • Human and Animal Use Approvals are not required at the time of submission, but they must be in place before the project can be submitted to the NIH for approval and work on the project can begin.


One electronic application (single pdf file in color if color figures are included) should be submitted to Dawn Hammon, OK-INBRE Program Manager, at Please be sure to route your applications through the appropriate administrative office at your institution. Please refer programmatic questions to Dawn Hammon at or 405.271.2133 x46613 or Darrin Akins at darrin-akins@ouhsc.eduThe deadline for submitting applications is 5:00 pm on August 13, 2021.


Each application will be assigned to two reviewers who will independently evaluate the scientific merits of the proposal. The review will consist of a panel of expert biomedical research scientists who will provide input on each proposal and recommend whether or not an application should be considered for funding. The application will be ranked according to its scientific merit using the NIH scale of 10 to 90 with 10 being the theoretical perfect score.  Upon completion of the peer review process, each applicant will be provided with the faculty peer review committee critiques.

The scientific merit review will be based on the following criteria:

1. Feasibility and scientific merit

2. Soundness of the approach and research design

3. Quality and appropriateness of data analyses

4. Qualifications and experience of the investigator

5. The role played by undergraduate/graduate students/postdocs/fellows in the proposed research.You may describe prior student involvement in your lab if appropriate.

6. Potential of the research to leverage into a national, state, or foundation application

7. Previous publication and grant submission productivity of the applicant


  • For selected projects involving human subjects or vertebrate animals, all Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approvals must be secured before the project can be submitted to NIH for approval and work on the project can commence.
  • Radiation Safety Committee and Institutional Biosafety Committee protocols must also be approved by relevant review committees prior to funding of awards.
  • All selected projects must be submitted to NIH for approval before funds can be dispersed and the project can begin. This may delay the start date of the project.
  • A mentor will be assigned to the Investigator and the Investigator will be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding mentor interaction each year.
  • The Investigator will be required to present their project and progress to the External Advisory Committee once per year.
  • The Investigator will be required to submit a project progress report each year. Instructions will be provided by OK-INBRE each year.