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CVCN Pilot Project Grant Program 2012

The NDSU Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience (CVCN), in its seventh year of support from an NIH Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) award (P20 RR020151), announces the availability of Pilot Project grants for NDSU faculty proposing research projects relevant to the mission and aims of the NDSU Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience. The due date for receipt of 2012 Pilot Project proposals is 9/30/11.

One goal of the CVCN Pilot Project program is to increase the number and quality of submitted grant proposals to federal agencies that address important problems in the field of visual and cognitive neuroscience. For examples of projects addressing topics of interest in these areas refer to abstracts of proposals funded through the NSF Cognitive Neuroscience Program and the Perception, Action and Cognition Program or use NIH RePORT to search for NIH awards based on review by Study Sections dealing with Integrative, Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience, Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes, Biology of Development and Aging, or Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience (e.g., ASG, CP, COG, CVP; SCS; SMI; note: this list is not exhaustive).

All proposals must include a section which describes a realistic plan (including a timeline) for obtaining appropriate institutional approval for research activities (IRB, IACUC), for data collection and publication milestones, and for the submission of a grant proposal to an external funding agency (NIH, NSF, DOD, etc) within 24 months of the award (by 10/28/13).

Proposals may request up to 2 years of funding at a maximum award level of $50K/year. Funds for successful Pilot Projects will be available beginning 10/28/11. All Y1 funds must be expended by 10/28/12. A Y1 progress report must be submitted by 10/1/12, and continued Y2 funding is contingent on satisfactory Y1 progress, which must include the submission of at least one project-related manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. The NDSU CVCN anticipates making up to 4 awards in this cycle.

Funds may be used for standard expense categories: personnel (Pilot Project Director/collaborator, student and staff salary, including fringe benefits at NDSU specified rates), supplies, travel, and other. Equipment items (over $5K each) may be requested if specifically justified. Note that the CVCN multiuser core laboratory facilities are available for Pilot Project use. If the Pilot Project proposes to utilize the CVCN Core Laboratory facilities, the application should include a detailed description of their use and an estimate of time commitment. No institutional match is required. Indirect costs do not follow Pilot Project awards.

While not required, applicants are encouraged to consult and/or collaborate with CVCN faculty in the preparation of proposals and in the conduct of research.

How to Apply

Submit, by 9/30/11, a complete application package (in .pdf format) to the CVCN Director. Key elements of the application package are:

  1. A cover page listing the name of the Pilot Project Director and contact information, the amount of funding requested, a table of contents, and signatures of Pilot Project Director and Department Chair (if course release is requested).*
  2. A proposal that includes:
    1. A 10-page (maximum) NIH-style grant application (following SF424 (R&R) forms and instructions) which details the relevance of the proposed research to NIH/NSF/DOD in the area of visual and/or cognitive neuroscience, the importance of the research question, preliminary results, a description of the methodological approaches and techniques, and anticipated outcomes.
    2. References.*
    3. A detailed budget and budget justification.*
    4. Contact information and letters of support/understanding from collaborators (if any).*
    5. A current NIH-style biosketch of the Pilot Project Director and collaborators (if any).*
    6. If the applicant is a junior scientist (i.e., someone with no prior external grant support) then the application must include the nomination of a Pilot Project Mentor. Mentors can be from outside NDSU, but must be highly accomplished grant-supported scientists with expertise in the area of proposed research. To avoid conflict of interest the nominated Mentor should not be either a prior or current collaborator/supervisor. The role of the Mentor is to assist with experimental design and analysis, and the preparation of future proposals. Mentors are eligible to receive up to $3K in compensation for their mentorship (at $100/hour), but such compensation is provided by the parent grant and should not be included in the Pilot Project budget.*
    7. A description of the Pilot Project Director's plan (and timeline) to execute the research, submit manuscripts, and apply for external funding.*
    8. Note: if the Pilot Project involves human or animal subjects, proof of appropriate institutional approval must be provided before funds are released.

Proposals will be internally (COBRE PI/PD, Internal Advisory Committee) and externally (COBRE External Advisory Committee) reviewed and applicants will be informed of funding decisions by 10/28/11; revised applications may be requested based on judged strong potential for applicants to address weaknesses identified by reviewers. Informal inquiries are welcome and should be directed to Mark McCourt.

*Not included in 10-page limit.

2012 NDSU CVCN Pilot Project Application Cover Page