Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance 2017 Request for Applications

Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance

In 2011, the Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance (NNA) was formed to drive clinical scientific advancements in neuroscience here at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Its mission is to remove barriers in multi-disciplinary translational research, and educate the next generation of researchers and clinicians.

The NNA established a permanent endowment, funded by community support, to invest in pilot studies, merging the laboratory and the clinic, in infectious, inflammatory, and degenerative diseases of the nervous system. The idea is to take “great ideas”, which may not get off the ground with traditional grants, and propel those ideas to clinical trials where discoveries will transform patients’ lives and improve care.

The focus of the 2017 request for applications is Lewy Body Disease and its complications. The disease complex is also known as dementia with Lewy bodies and remains the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease. This request is for basic and translational research that will develop a new program of study focused on the cause, the pathogenesis, and possible treatments of disease. Examples for study include the mechanisms underlying the formation of the protein deposits, how they develop in nerve cells in specific brain subregions, relevant animal models for study, and/or biomarker investigations that will aide in unraveling disease formation.

This grant is a single award up to $100,000 ($50,000 year/two years) supporting an interdisciplinary research team for studies and is open to all University of Nebraska campuses. Model systems for study and partnerships between basic and applied clinical studies are encouraged. 

 

Applicant Eligibility and Preference  

Eligibility

To be eligible for a NNA pilot grant, you must

  • possess a doctoral-level degree
  • have an academic appointment at or above the instructor level at one of the University of Nebraska campuses (UNL, UNMC, UNK, or UNO)
  • be eligible to apply for an independent NIH R application (i.e. U.S. Citizen or permanent resident) 

Preference

This grant will be to an interdisciplinary team in the following categories, with the first category receiving the highest preference:

  1. Translational
  2. New investigators seeking to establish research programs in the area of Lewy body disease. These are junior-level investigators who do not yet have their own NIH or similar funding.
  3. Established investigators in other disciplines who are new to Lewy Body disease.
Grant Forms/Instructions - Submission Information  

Applications must adhere to several criteria and will undergo a rigorous, objective review process.

Applications need to include a research plan up to three pages with specific aims (1 page), background, preliminary data, research plan and intended outcomes including federal grant proposals (2 pages), along with a detailed budget and biographical sketches of participating faculty members.

Grant Forms/Instructions

Please submit the following documents (note: click here to download forms). (*Required documents)

*Title Page

*Face Page: please complete the NIH PHS 398 Face Page (NIH Form Page 1) (institutional signature not required).

*Project Abstract and Relevance Statement: please use NIH PHS 398 Form Page 2. Abstract: Length is limited by the text box.

Project abstract should describe:

1) the goal of the proposed project

2) issues addressed and

3) how success will significantly alter the landscape of research in Nebraska.

Relevance Statement: Using no more than two or three sentences, describe the relevance of this research to public health. In this section, be succinct and use plain language that can be understood by a general, lay audience.

*NIH Biosketch for all aligned investigators (NIH Biosketch blank form; NIH Biosketch with instructions)

*Budget (NIH format-form page 4 and page 5)

*Budget Justification

*Research Proposal (three pages):

  • Specific Aims (one page)
  • Research Strategy (three pages):
    • Background
    • Approach
  1. Include the scientific premise of the proposed research (the strength and weaknesses of the research that is used to form the basis for the proposed research questions.
  2. Can include preliminary data, although not required
  3. Experimental design, including steps taken to ensure scientific rigor and transparency (robust and unbiased experimental design, methodology, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of results, explained as appropriate for a pilot project)
  4. Authentication of key biological variables (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-16-011.html).
  5. Plans for extramural funding applications (e.g. to NIH or other agencies, please specify) upon successful completion of this project.

Literature Cited (not included in Research Strategy page limits)

Letters of Support (if any)

Appendices:  Not allowed

IRB or IACUC approval will be required for funded applications involving human or animal subjects, but approval is not required to submit your application. Also see section "Requirements/Restrictions - Regulatory Approvals."

 

Submission guideline and date

Convert and combine the final documents into one PDF file. E-mail proposal to Robin Taylor (rtaylor@unmc.edu) no later than 4:00 p.m., Central Time, Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Contact PI will receive notification that application was received. 

Formatting Guidelines  

Formatting Guidelines

  • Use a font of 11 points or larger. The only acceptable fonts are Arial, Helvetica, Palatino, Linotype, or Georgia. Note, figure legends can use a smaller font size but it needs to be readable.
  • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 14 lines per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch.
  • Page Margins: use standard paper size of 8 ½” x 11”. Use at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, right) for all pages. 
  • Page formatting: Use only a standard single column of text.
  • Grantsmanship: use English and avoid jargon. If terms are not universally known, spell out the term the first time it is used and note the appropriate abbreviation in parentheses. The abbreviation may be used thereafter.
  • Page Limits: although many sections of your grant application are described as separate sections, the limit of one page for Specific Aims and two pages for the Research Proposal must be followed or the proposal will be returned without review and not considered for funding.
Fund Award - Duration - Start Date  

 

One grant will be awarded up to $100,000 ($50,000/year/two years).

Direct and indirect costs

  • The budget should only list direct costs. No indirect costs are awarded.
  • Faculty salary is not allowed.
  • No office/computer equipment unless justified for the research itself.
  • Review Requirements and Restriction section

Earliest start date

January 1, 2018

Requirements/Restrictions - Regulatory Approvals  

Requirements / Restrictions

  • Faculty salary is not allowed
  • No office/computer equipment unless justified for the research itself.
  • Travel funds are only available for meetings related to Lewy Body Disease: specify meeting title, costs and justification for expending fund.
  • If an awarded grant includes work with humans or animals, Institutional Review Board or Institutional Animal Care Use Committee, respectively, or other review committee approvals, these must be submitted to the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience grant administrator Johna Belling (jbelling@unmc.edu) before awarded funds can be spent. See Regulatory Approval Sections.
  • Overspending on the award is not allowed and must be repaid.
  • Any monies remaining after the funding period will be returned to the NNA.
  • The Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience grant administrator will notify all recipients and UNMC Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) of awards. SPA will set up cost center number(s) or contracts for each grant awarded. Awardees are responsible for working with their department’s grants manager to monitor and manage their funds and ensure that monies are not overspent. Any adjustments needed to balance the funds are the responsibility of the awardees.
  • The contact principal investigator must submit a written progress report every six months and a final report at the end of the funding period to the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience grant administrator (jbelling@unmc.edu). Also see Progress Report section.
  • As part of the grant, awardees must provide documentation of publications and peer-reviewed funding that result from this award. They are also required to cite the Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance Endowed Award support in publications and presentations that are generated by or related to research performed using these funds. Suggested wording: This work was supported in part by the Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance 2017 Pilot Grant.

Regulatory approvals

  • If your grant application concerns a study that requires approval (e.g. Institutional Animal Care Use Committee, Institutional Review Board, Biosafety, etc.), please complete and include the Regulatory Committee Form.
  • Regulatory approvals are not required to submit your application; however, applicants are encouraged to submit the study for approval before applying for the pilot grant. These approvals often take several weeks.
  • If your application is funded, you will not be allowed to spend the award until you e-mail a copy of the approval to Johna Belling (jbelling@unmc.edu)
Resources  

A number of cores are available throughout the University of Nebraska system. We encourage applicants to use these services.

Scientific Merit ~ Evaluation  

Applications must adhere to several criteria (see grant forms and instructions) and will undergo a rigorous, objective evaluation.

Scientific merit
Grants are evaluated on their innovation, feasibility, and potential contribution to the current body of knowledge. The grants will be scored using the NIH scoring criteria.

Evaluation

  • Applications are evaluated on a number of criteria, including investigator eligibility, scientific merit, relevance to Lewy Body Disease and its complications, and potential for generating subsequent funding and publications.
  • All applications received will be evaluated by expert intra- and as needed extra- mural reviewers. Reviewers are selected based on expertise and lack of conflicts of interest. 
  • Final funding decisions are made by the Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance committee.
Notification – Payments - Fund Management and Responsibilities  

Notification

All applicants will be notified in mid-December 2017 of their proposal decision. Along with the decision notice, applicants receive copies of the reviewers' critiques without the reviewers' names. The critiques are intended to help applicants improve their studies regardless of the funding decision.

Payments

UNMC Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) will set up cost center number(s) or contracts for each grant awarded. Awardees are responsible for working with their department’s grants manager to monitor and manage their funds and ensure that monies are not overspent. Any adjustments needed to balance the funds are the responsibility of the awardees.

Fund Management and Responsibilities

  • Grant recipients is responsible for managing his/her project’s funding. Recipients are encouraged to working with his/her department’s fund manager to manage the award.
  • Overspending is not allowed.
  • Any funds are left over at the end of the award period, they will be returned to the NNA Endowed Fund. Extensions are not encouraged but will be considered in exceptional circumstances.
Progress Reports - Grant Acknowledgement - Independent Funding  

Progress reports

  • The contact principal investigator must submit a written progress report every six months and a final report at the end of the funding period to the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience grant administrator (jbelling@unmc.edu). The report should briefly summarize the research accomplishments as well as list research proposals submitted and/or funded along with publications based upon the project.
  • As part of the grant, awardees must provide documentation of publications and peer-reviewed funding that result from this award.

Grant acknowledgment in publications and presentations

Publications/presentations generated by or related to research performed using funds from this grant should acknowledge this funding source. Suggested wording: This work was supported in part by the Nebraska Neuroscience Alliance Endowed 2017 Pilot Grant. E-mail a PDF of your published work [papers, abstracts and/or presentations] to Dr. Gendelman.

Independent Funding

If you receive independent NIH or equivalent institutional funding for a project that is currently funded by the NNA Endowed funds, congratulations! Please notify Howard E. Gendelman, MD (hegendel@unmc.edu). 

Contacts  

Howard E. Gendelman, MD
Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
University of Nebraska Medical Center
402-559-8920

Karoly Mirnics, MD
Director, Munroe-Meyer Institute
402-559-5702

Other Committee Members

Kenneth Follett, MD, PhD
Department of Surgery–Neurosurgery
402-559-9606

Christopher J. Kratochvil, MD
Department of Psychiatry
402-559-8490

Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
Grants Manager
Johna Belling
402-559-5483

Contact Information  

RFA Leader

Howard E. Gendelman, MD
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience
402-559-8920

Committee Members

Kenneth Follett, MD, PhD
Department of Surgery–Neurosurgery
402-559-9606

Christopher J. Kratochvil, MD
Department of Psychiatry
402-559-8490      

Shelley D. Smith, PhD
Munroe-Meyer Institute
402-559-5314