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Request for Applications: Integrative Neuroscience Pilot Projects

The Integrative Neuroscience COBRE invites applications for pilot projects focused on research within a substantive area of Neuroscience, broadly defined.  Applicants may request between $50,000 and $100,000 in direct costs, and project should be aimed at acquiring preliminary data in support of NIH or comparable grant applications and for publication in peer reviewed journals. Preference will be given to junior faculty and projects that utilize the resources of the COBRE Neuroimaging Core and /or Special Populations Database Core, and it is expected that applications for future extramural funding will include usage of the Cores as a central component of the planned research.  Investigators must meet the eligibility criteria for COBRE junior investigators (see below).

Submitted applications will be reviewed by members of the COBRE Internal and External Advisory Committees, with final decisions contingent on availability of funds and NIH approval of the projects.  The COBRE anticipates funding two to four pilot projects in the next fiscal year.

The pilot program funds may be renewable; however, continuation of the funding after the first year is contingent upon success in meeting project goals, clear effort toward submitting and publishing manuscripts, and the feasibility that the research project will develop into a fundable extramural application. Researchers will be required to submit a progress report prior to the end of the first year outlining progress made to date, any manuscripts published, in press, or under review, and how the data acquired will contribute to an NIH or comparable application. Progress reports will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the COBRE's internal and external advisory committees. 


Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for Junior Investigators on the Neuroscience COBRE (see This includes:

  • a position with independent institutional support that allows the individual to serve as a PI on a federal grant submission
  • a demonstrated record of research productivity in Neuroscience and potential to achieve the status of an independently-funded investigator
  • no prior major funding as Principal Investigator from NIH (R01) or NSF or comparable sources

Current or previous recipients of COBRE project support are not eligible to apply and may not serve as collaborators on the projects. Pilot projects cannot overlap with or be used to support the specific aims of currently funded research projects.  If a pilot grant is being requested to strengthen an unfunded grant submission, the specific aims of this grant must be included in the pilot grant application.  

Application process

Applicants should submit the proposal electronically as a single PDF file that includes:

  1. Face page. (on NIH PHS 398 Face page)
  2. Project summary page. (on PHS 398 Form Page 2)
  3. Five-page summary of research plans including a clear statement of how the research is relevant to the COBRE's thematic interests, a clear statement of the projected use of COBRE subsidized research cores, and how the pilot project will facilitate a future grant submission. The research plan should follow standard NIH format (see PHS 398 instructions) and include subsections for specific aims, background and significance, innovation and approach, and literature cited (not included in page limit). (on PHS 398 Continuation Format Page)
  4. Projects that include human subjects, vertebrate animals or biohazards must include the appropriate narratives as detailed in the PHS 398 instructions.
  5. NIH-style biographical sketch including all active and past grant support (on NIH Biographical Sketch Format Page)
  6. Detailed budget limited to up to $100,000 in direct costs. Allowed expenses include: lab expenses, graduate student or postdoc salaries and expenses, travel for training or for presenting project results at professional conferences. Support for PI salary or consultant salary is not allowable. (on PHS 398 Form Page 4:  Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period)
  7. List of current and pending research grant awards (on PHS 398 Other Support Format Page)
  8. IRB or IACUC protocols must be approved prior to funding.  

The PHS 398 forms can be downloaded from  

Conditions of Award

Awardees will be required to sign a memorandum of agreement as a condition of the allocation of funds for their research project. This memorandum notes that recipients are expected to:

  1. Participate in training opportunities provided by the COBRE;
  2. Present their work at national meetings, and cite the University of Nevada, Reno Integrative Neuroscience COBRE as a source of support at these presentations and in publications resulting from their research work;
  3. Submit a written progress reports to allow the faculty to assess their progress and productivity.
  4. As a core component of the COBRE training program, each pilot grant recipient will be matched with a senior faculty mentor who will provide guidance on specific aspects of research work, educational opportunities, and career development.
  5. All funds must be expended by May 31, 2015.  

Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted by email to Michael Webster, Director, Integrative Neuroscience COBRE at by June 15, 2014. The earliest anticipated start date is August 1, 2014. 

RFA Document

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