Pilot Grant Program & Instructions

UFGI Pilot Grants Submissions are closed. Please check back for more information and subscribe to our newsletter for timely updates to grant availability.

Current as of July 22nd, 2024.

Below is the general list of requirements and information from past Pilot Grants.


Funding Opportunity: Interdisciplinary Pilot Grants in Genetics and Genomics

Purpose: The University of Florida Genetics Institute seeks to promote excellence in the areas of genetics and genomics at the University of Florida by enhancing the ability of researchers at the University of Florida to compete for multidisciplinary research grants in these areas. This RFA is intended to encourage and support the assembly of multidisciplinary teams focused on genetics and genomics projects that have the potential to achieve independent extramural funding.

Key Dates: Applications are due on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions on or around Friday, June 15, 2018. The anticipated start date for funded projects is July 1, 2018. Grantees will have up to 12 months to complete their projects.

Funding: Up to $150,000 is available for projects to be funded in the 2018-19 cycle. It is estimated that three to five grants (up to $50,000 each) will be awarded, depending on the quality of proposals and availability of funds.

Announcement Information

Description: While it is expected that applications will likely use a wide range of approaches and model systems, the UFGI, through this mechanism, is particularly interested in supporting studies that explore new or novel research directions for the Principal Investigator and/or research team where preliminary data that could be generated from the pilot grant are necessary to compete for extramural support. This could include, but is not limited to, development of draft genomes or transcriptomes from previously uncharacterized organisms, development of new software tools for genetic analyses, or ascertainment of subjects/samples from a new study population and their preliminary characterization.
Examples of proposals that would not be considered responsive to this RFA include requests for bridge funding, obvious and logical extensions of current ongoing work by the investigators, equipment grants, and applications that largely support a single individual (e.g., proposals that are de facto fellowship applications).

Eligibility: The PI must be a full-time faculty member of the University of Florida and a member of the UFGI (http://ufgi.ufl.edu/ufgi-faculty/ufgi-members-listing/). It is strongly preferred, but not required, that the proposed research team include collaborating faculty members working in different disciplines, departments or colleges. Collaborating faculty must have a significant role in the proposed project (e.g., one that would qualify for authorship on publications generated from the pilot studies).

Awardee Requirements

• Awardees must be in compliance with all relevant UF, IRB, IACUC, and EH&S policies and regulations. Awardee projects involving animal or human subject research must receive appropriate approvals before funds can be released and research activities can begin.
• UFGI staff will administer award funds. Awardees must obtain approval from the UFGI before making any significant change in the scope of work that would affect the outcome of the project or necessitate re-budgeting.
• Awardees should provide a brief update of scientific progress at 6 months. This can be in the form of an e-mail to the UFGI director. A final report must be submitted within 3 months after the project’s end. The format of the final report is described below.
• Awardees are expected to notify the UFGI if extramural grant support is subsequently obtained for the proposed project as a result of pilot support. This allows us to track the impact of the Pilot Grant program.
• Awardees are also expected to present the results of their research at scientific meetings and publish findings in scholarly journal Presentation in poster form at the Florida Genetics Symposium is encouraged.
• In all publications supported in whole or in part by the Pilot Grant, awardees are required to include their UFGI affiliation in the authorship section of the paper and cite support from the UFGI as follows:
“Research reported in this publication was supported by a Pilot Grant from the University of Florida Genetics Institute.”

Budget Considerations

• Funds may only be used to support the direct costs of research—no indirect costs or overhead will be allowed.
• Subcontracts will only be supported if they involve another Florida institution and cannot constitute more than half of the total budget.
• Funds must be used for the activities detailed in the application. Any re-budgeting or significant change in the scope of work requires approval from the UFGI.
• Funds are non-transferable.
• Funds must be used within the project peri Any un-spent balance will revert to the UFGI at the end of the project period. No extensions to the project period will be considered.
• Continued funding during the award period is contingent on compliance with awardee requirements and evidence of adequate progress.
• Funds cannot be used for faculty salaries or for equipment purchases.
• Generally, total costs for salary and fringe benefits should not exceed 50% of the budget. No single individual should be supported for more than 75% effort. It is recognized that proposals with a heavy bioinformatics component may exceed these limits.
• Travel support will only be funded to the extent that it is integral to the completion of the project. Attendance at professional meetings will not be supported.

Application Instructions

Use 0.5-inch margins and Arial 11-point font throughout. The following elements should be included in the application:

1. Cover Page. The cover page should include a succinct title for the proposal of 80 characters of less, and a list of participants including their names, titles, departmental and college affiliations and role on the project (PI, Co-I, other key personnel). For the PI, provide complete contact information (phone, fax, e-mail, and mail).
2. Abstract. Provide a short (275 words) paragraph summarizing the significance of the question being addressed, the rationale for the proposed studies, the approach, expected outcomes and future directions.
3. Research Plan. This section should be no longer than 4 pages (excluding bibliography). The following subheadings should be used:
4. Specific Aim(s): What specific studies are you proposing to carry out with Pilot Grant funding?
5. Significance: What gap in current knowledge will be addressed by the proposed study and why is it important? Be mindful that reviewers may not be highly familiar with the area of your proposed research.
6. Novelty and Innovation: In what way does the proposed study represent a new research direction that justifies Pilot Grant support?
7. Approach: For each specific aim, briefly outline your approach, the expected outcomes, potential pitfalls, and alternative approaches you might employ in the event of problems. Detailed experimental methods are not necessary unless they bear directly on the feasibility of your study or if your proposal is primarily focused on methods development.
8. Future Funding Plans: How do you plan to translate the studies proposed for the Pilot Grant into future extramural funding and on what timescale?
9. Investigators. Provide up to date biosketches for all key personnel in the current NIH format.
10. Budget and Justification. Provide a detailed budget with justification for the funds requested. The budget may not exceed $50,000 and the time may not exceed 12 months.
11. Bibliography. Provide key references. Do not exceed two pages

Final Report

The Final Report should consist of 3 sections:

1. An abstract of 200-300 words (no maximum) summarizing the key results of the studies supported by the Pilot Grant.
2. A list of publications supported by the grant that are published, in press, submitted, or in preparation. These should all contain the required acknowledgment of UFGI Pilot Grant support as listed in the RFA.
3. A brief summary of grant applications either applied for, or planned, that are based, wholly or in part, upon the studies supported by the Pilot Grant.

Review Process and Criteria

All proposals will be reviewed by an internal UFGI panel convened by the director and containing representation from different colleges. Ad hoc reviews will be solicited as necessary depending on the topic areas of the submissions. All proposals will be treated as confidential. Written critiques will not be provided to applicants.
The following criteria will be used in evaluating proposals:

1. Scientific Merit. Does the proposal address a significant scientific question in a feasible and logical manner utilizing the strongest and most current approaches and methods?
2. Strength of the Research Team: Is the proposed research team collaborative and multidisciplinary? Does each member of the team have an important and necessary role that contributes to the goals of the project?
3. Novelty and Innovation. Does the proposed study represent a new research direction that justifies Pilot Grant funding to get it started?
4. Likelihood of Securing Independent Funding. Is the overall project likely to be competitive for extramural funding? Is the contribution of the work proposed for the Pilot Grant likely to be important or necessary for securing that funding?