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Pilot Project and Bridging Fund Program

01 April 2011

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: June 1, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. (Hawaii time)


A dramatic global resurgence of infectious diseases has occurred during the past 25 years, such that infectious diseases have regained their position as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The developing countries of the tropical Asia-Pacific region have been among those geographic areas hardest hit by this resurgence. In response to this urgent regional need, the Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, established in 2003 through funding from the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) component of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program, of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will transition to a translational science center of excellence for the development and deployment of improved diagnostics, effective treatments and affordable vaccines for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, which disproportionately affect ethnic minority populations and underserved geographically remote communities in the Asia-Pacific region. Because the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases demand expertise from more than a single discipline, the new Center is anchored by the tenets of multi-disciplinary research, converging epidemiology and public health, community medicine, biobehavioral health, bioinformatics and biostatistics, and microbiology and immunology. To spur such multidisciplinary research, the Pilot Project and Bridging Fund Program will provide modest grant support to faculty from varying disciplines, engaged in translational research on new, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.


Any faculty member of the University of Hawai‘i System, holding a doctoral degree and possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out the proposed research, is invited to develop an application for pilot project support. Also, faculty members, who have unfunded NIH Research Project Grant or RPG (R01, R03, R21) applications, which are being prepared for resubmission, may apply for bridging fund support. In particular, faculty members who are not principal investigator of an RPG award, as well as individuals from under-represented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. Faculty members with unfunded applications to the National Science Foundation (NSF) are also eligible to apply for bridging funds. Eligible faculty members are limited to only one application in response to this announcement. Faculty members whose research is currently supported by the Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research are ineligible to apply.


Support through the Pilot Project and Bridging Fund Program is limited to research on new, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Support will be provided preferentially to proposals, which either complement or expand the Center’s Research Projects and/or which utilize one or more of the Center’s Cores (http://pceidr.jabsom.hawaii.edu/). Proposals with a high potential of developing into more substantive translational research projects that have a high probability of garnering independent grant support are particularly welcome.


A total of $100,000 is available to fund two or more new or competing pilot project and bridging fund grants. An applicant may request a budget with direct costs of up to $50,000 per year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary. Grant support from the COBRE Pilot Project and Bridging Fund Program may be used for equipment, supplies and travel, as well as salary for the principal investigator and/or technical personnel.


Pilot Project Support: The research proposal will take the form of an abbreviated NIH application, using PHS398 form pages (version 06/09) Link to Draft Schedule of workshops ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html ). Description of the Specific Aims is limited to one (1) page and the Research Strategy component may not exceed three (3) pages. All tables, graphs, figures, diagrams, charts and other displays must be included within the four-page limit. Also, the four-page application (typed single-spaced using 11-pt Arial on one side of the page) must include a brief plan for seeking subsequent or supplemental extramural support. For applications submitted by junior faculty, an additional requirement will be the designation of a mentor and a description of a mentoring plan within the four-page limit. A letter of support and commitment from the mentor is recommended. Preliminary data are not required.

Bridging Fund Support: The proposal, which is limited to four (4) pages (typed single-spaced using 11-pt Arial on one side of the page), must include a summary of the research, as well as statements on significance, impact and innovation. In addition, a statement of need; detailed time-management plan for bridging funds, including a contingency plan, if the request for bridging funds is denied; plan on when an A1 application will be submitted; list of peer-reviewed publications, as well as manuscripts in press, in review and in preparation; list of grant applications submitted during the past five years and their outcomes. The application must also include a copy of the unfunded NIH (or NSF) grant application and the summary statement or critique on which the bridging fund application is based. Letters of support are optional, but limited to three.

All Applications: Although review and approval from the Office of Research Services are not required, a completed face page (PHS398 Form Page 1) must be included. Not counted in the page limits are cited literature, NIH biosketches and other support information of the principal investigator and key personnel, including the mentor, if applicable; an itemized budget with detailed justification (PHS398 fp4 and fp5); and, if applicable, full descriptions of Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk; Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children in Research; Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research; and Biohazards and Select Agents. For applications involving the use of human subjects, a Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table Format Page must be included. Applications should be submitted electronically, as a single pdf file, to yanagiha@pbrc.hawaii.edu, and must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. (Hawaii time) on June 1, 2011. Paper applications will not be accepted.


The Center’s leadership and mentoring team, as well as Collaborators and External Advisors, will review proposals for pilot project and bridging fund support. An NIH-type reviewing and 9-point scoring system will be used. Briefly, review criteria include significance, innovation, approach, qualifications and academic potential of the applicant investigator, use of one or more of the Center’s Cores, potential contribution to the thematic focus of the Center, and local, regional and/or global scientific relevance.

For pilot project support, funding decisions will be based on scientific merit, whereas for bridging fund support, urgency of need and potential of securing extramural NIH (or NSF) funding will weigh heavily. Continuation of pilot project and bridging fund support will depend on scientific productivity and progress and will be provided on a competitive basis. In all cases, support will be limited to two years. Awardees will be required to submit detailed written summaries of research productivity and progress toward research independence.

To download the FOA


Richard Yanagihara, M.D., M.P.H.
Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
651 Ilalo Street, BSB320L
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
Telephone: (808) 692-1610
Email: yanagiha@pbrc.hawaii.edu