Pilot Projects Program

Release Date: February 28, 2014
Abstract Form Due: May 1, 2014 by 5:00p.m. Hawaii Time
Download the Abstract Form here
E-mail to:
Mariana Gerschenson, Ph.D., BRIDGES Pilot Project Program (rcmippp@hawaii.edu)
Application Receipt Date: May 16, 2014 by 5:00p.m. HST
Anticipated Completion of Internal Review: July 1, 2014

*****IRB and/or IACUC Approvals Due: June 20, 2014 *****

Anticipated Award Date: August 1, 2014 (pending NIH approval)

The goal of the RCMI-BRIDGES Pilot Project Program is to provide a fiscal resource and mentoring for junior investigators, postdoctoral fellows, and those new to health disparity research by providing resources to facilitate the conduct of high-quality, high-impact research that disproportionately affects minority populations or that addresses health disparities.

Funding Available:
The RCMI BRIDGES Program will commit $200,000 in funding. The applicant may request funds for $25,000 or $50,000 direct cost for a 1-year period (August 1, 2014 – July 31, 2015).
All funds must be expended by July 31, 2015. Provisions for indirect costs are not allowed. Salary support for mentor is not allowed. Allowable budget items will include personnel, supplies, computer, travel, fee-for-service work, shipping, small equipment for less than $5,000, and publication cost. Subcontracts are allowed.

Eligible Investigators:
Open to University of Hawaii and/or the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii faculty. You must have a University of Hawaii faculty appointment (adjunct or non-compensated is acceptable).
Applicants must meet at least one of the criteria below. Priority will be given to projects meeting more than one of these criteria.

1) New or early stage investigator or postdoctoral fellow who will be or has submitted an application to NIH or other national funding agency, following the internal grant review policy detailed below.
2) Established investigator with lapsed funding who has submitted an application to NIH or other national funding agency, following the internal grants review policy detailed below.
3) Interdisciplinary collaborations between investigators from different academic disciplines at the University.
4) Collaborations with other RTRN institutions (subcontracts allowed) and use of the RTRN Data Coordinating Center (DCC)
5) Collaborations involving translational research will be encouraged
6) Priority will be given to those using the RCMI Cores:
Histopathology, Microscopy, MR Imaging, Proteomics, Human Tissue Biorepository, Research Design, Biostatistics and Research Ethics and BEMP

If the applicant is a postdoctoral fellow or junior investigator, mentoring by an established investigator is required and the mentor must be identified, with mentor biosketch included in the application.

Format of the Application:
All applications must be in 11 point Arial font with half-inch margins. Figure legends may be 10 point. The overall length of the scientific portion of the proposal is limited to 5 pages (not including references).

Please provide a detailed budget for a 12-month period. Funds should be requested for $25,000 or $50,000 and fully justified.

Biosketch and Other Support (page limits as per NIH instructions):
The NIH Biosketch of the principal investigator is required; a biosketch for other key personnel may be included. The current format for an NIH Biosketch should be carefully followed. Other support should be included and should also follow the NIH format. Any potential overlap should be carefully discussed. Pilot project funding will not provide support for a currently funded project.

Specific Aims (1 page):
List the goals, long-term objectives and what the specific research proposed in this application is intended to accomplish. State the hypotheses to be tested and relevance to health disparities.

Background and Significance (2 pages):
Briefly describe the background/research to date that has lead to the present application. Critically evaluate existing knowledge and specifically identify the need that the project is to fill. Please provide a statement of significance of the project and importance with respect to health disparities by relating the specific aims to the goals and long-term objectives.

Preliminary Studies (1 page):
Provide an account of the Principal Investigator's preliminary studies pertinent to the proposal that will help to establish the experience and competence of the investigator to pursue the proposed project.

Experimental Approach and Research Design / Project Timetable (2 pages):
Describe the experimental approach to the research question and state the procedures and methods to be used in achieving the specific aims. Include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted. A timetable for the project is required and must indicate targeted completion of the proposed project. The timetable should also include plans for abstract and/or publication submission. Point out potential problems or obstacles and the proposed plan if the obstacles are encountered.

Literature Cited (1 page):
List all references in numbered sequence within the text. Each reference must include the title, names of all authors, book or journal, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. Please limit the references to relevant and current literature pertinent to the proposed research.

Human Subjects (no page limits) Please follow the guidelines for documentation of certification for protection of human subjects in accordance with NIH guidelines
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.pdf; Part II).
For Non-Exempt Human Subjects Research, please be sure to include all required sections beginning on Page II-7 of the NIH document. If you are conducting human subjects research, you must also complete the Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/enrollment.doc). Applications with an incomplete human subjects section may be considered ineligible for review. Release of award funds will be contingent on receipt of IRB approval letter(s) and other regulatory documents.

Vertebrate Animals (no page limits)
Certification for protection for the care and treatment of laboratory animals should be obtained for all applicable projects, in accordance with NIH guidelines. Release of award funds will be contingent on receipt of IACUC approval letter(s) and other regulatory documents.

Consultants (no page limits)
Include letters of support from investigators, mentors and faculty members confirming and describing their roles as consultants/mentors in the project and training plan.

Important Dates
The Proposal Abstract Form must be submitted electronically to Mariana Gerschenson, Ph.D. at rcmippp@hawaii.edu, as a pdf file, no later than May 2, 2014, 5:00pm Hawaii Time.

The typed proposal, using an 11 point Arial font with half-inch margins must be submitted electronically to Mariana Gerschenson, Ph.D. at rcmippp@hawaii.edu, as a pdf file, no later than May 16, 2014, 5:00pm Hawaii Time.

Scientific Review and Criteria for Selection
The review criteria will follow the new NIH guidelines based on overall scientific merit
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer_review_process.htm#Criteria), including the appropriateness of the approach and the soundness of the experimental design, methods, and analyses; level of innovation; training and experience of the applicants; and including potential for leveraging independent grant support from NIH or other funding agencies. The scoring scale used by reviewers will be 1-9, with 1 as the top score and 9 as the lowest ranking. The reviewers will be asked to evaluate the proposals on the following criteria:
Mission: Is the study relevant to the aims of the RCMI?
Significance: Does this study address an important health or health care disparity?
Approach: Does the study design and methods and approaches achieve the proposal specific aims?
Innovation: Is the study innovative and/or does it challenge existing paradigms on health and health care disparities in Native or Pacific Peoples?
Investigator: Is the principal investigator’s experience/training appropriate to the study proposal?
Environment: Does the study environment enhance the probability of the project’s success?

The Pilot Project Program Director, Dr. Gerschenson, will serve as the Scientific Review Officer to assign applications to 2 reviewers with scientific expertise. Reviewers will be selected from the University of Hawaii faculty and Super Internal Advisory Committee (SIAC). Members of the External Advisory Committee (EAC) and reviewers from other institutions will be consulted if needed.
The second level of review will be conducted by the Executive Committee: Drs. Marla Berry, Robert Nichols, and Mariana Gerschenson. Following review of each proposal’s overall impact/priority score, percentile ranking and summary statement as submitted by the reviewers in the first tier of review, the projects will be selected based on merit and best fit with the RCMI BRIDGES grant overall research goals. All projects must comply with University of Hawaii and DHHS/NIH Federal policies, rules, and guidelines for research involving human subjects and animals.

Exclusion Criteria
• R01, P01-60 or U01 funded Principal investigator or PI of projects on program grants (INBRE or COBRE junior investigators may apply).
• Overlapping funding
• If you are applying for the Cardiovascular COBRE Program Pilot Project, you are NOT allowed to apply for both.

Funding Decision
All applicants will receive summary statements. The applicants will have the opportunity to meet with reviewers for mentoring. Feedback will be solicited as to whether applicants found the constructive comments helpful and suggestions to improve the process will be solicited.
Awardees will be required to submit an NIH type F, K, R21 or R01 grant within a year of this award
Awardees will be required to submit quarterly reports, as well as complete a progress report to be submitted with the BRIDGES annual progress report.
Awardees will present their project to the Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), the EAC meeting in April 2014, and during one of the monthly BRIDGES seminars.
Applicable IRB and/or IACUC approvals must be obtained prior to the disbursement of funds.

Inquiries or Questions Mariana Gerschenson, Ph.D. rcmippp@hawaii.edu Phone: 808.692.1518