RESEARCH PROJECT INVESTIGATOR AWARDS

KEY DATES

Application Due Date: February 2024

Peer Review Date: March/April 2024 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: May 1, 2024

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION

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 support 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 PACKAGE AND SUBMISSION

Applications should be prepared using the application package which will be available in fall 2023. Font size must be 11 points or larger, single spaced, with minimum 0.5-inch margins. Submit a single .pdf file of the proposal to the OK-INBRE Program Manager at dawn-hammon@ouhsc.edu. A paper submission is not required.

AN APPENDIX CONTAINING OTHER MATERIALS, DATA OR INFORMATION IS NOT ALLOWED.

FUNDS AVAILABLE AND ANTICIPATED NUMBER OF AWARDS

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. 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.

NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS

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

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR ELIGIBILITY

INVESTIGATORS AT OUHSC AND OMRF

Principal Investigators must hold a full-time faculty appointment.

OK-INBRE can support non-tenure track or consecutive-term faculty with a justification/letter of support from the Departmental Chair that the institution has provided resources (e.g., startup funding, independent lab space, protected time for research) for the faculty member to successfully carry out the project.

An OK-INBRE eligible investigator is an individual who does not have and has not previously had an external, peer- reviewed RPG, or Program Project Grant (PPG), or PPG subproject, or equivalent awards from either a Federal or non-Federal source that names that investigator as the PD/PI.

Investigators who have obtained significant support in the form of an RPG or PPG (e.g., NIH R01, K99/R00, or P01, NSF, or other Federal or non-Federal agency awards) would not be considered eligible investigators. Individuals holding positions that lack independent faculty status are not eligible to lead OK-INBRE Research Projects.

Grants that name an individual as a co-investigator, collaborator, consultant, or to a position other than PD/PI or PD/PI on research grants that allow multiple PD(s)/PIs, do not disqualify that investigator. Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) grants, exploratory/pilot project grants (such as NIH R03 and R21 awards), mentored career development awards (such as NIH K01 and K08 awards), or other Federal or non-Federal not characterized as research grants, also do not disqualify the investigator. Since NIH K awards typically require nine person-month commitments, however, junior investigators that are also K awardees can serve as COBRE Research Project Leaders only during the last two years of the K awards when the commitments are allowed to be reduced to six person-months per NIH policy.

INVESTIGATORS AT OK-INBRE PRIMARILY UNDERGRADUATE INSTITUTIONS

Principal Investigators must hold a full-time faculty appointment at one of the eligible institutions listed below.

OK-INBRE can support non-tenure track or consecutive-term faculty with a justification/letter of support from the Departmental Chair that the institution has provided resources (e.g., startup funding, independent lab space, protected time for research) for the faculty member to successfully carry out the project.

ALL INVESTIGATORS

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.

EFFORT OF THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR ON THE RESEARCH INVESTIGATOR AWARD PROJECT

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 effort 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.

BUDGET AND PROJECT PERIOD

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 May 1, 2024 – October 31, 2026 (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. Supplies

Equipment

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

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Each application will be assigned to two expert biomedical research scientists with expertise aligned with applicant research topics to evaluate the scientific merits of the proposal. A panel of biomedical research scientists will also discuss and provide scientific input on each proposal. 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

TERMS OF AWARD

  • All selected projects must be submitted to NIH for approval before funds can be dispersed and the project can begin.
  • 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.
  • 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 written project progress report each year, which will be submitted to NIH. Instructions will be provided by OK-INBRE typically in January of the award year. The report shall include a summary of research results; concise summary of significant discoveries, outcomes, and progress in layman’s terms; funding that has been secured with the help of OK-INBRE dollars; manuscripts published, submitted, or in preparation; presentations at professional meetings; and any technology development and patents derived from the project.