1. Home
  2. /
  3. Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA):...

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): ME-INBRE Research Projects

Opens 11/13/2023; Applications Due 2/2/2024; Potential Start Date: 5/1/2024

Eligible undergraduate institutions in Maine include: Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges; College of the Atlantic; Universities of Maine at Orono, Farmington, Machias, Augusta, Presque Isle, Fort Kent, and the University of Southern Maine; Southern Maine Community College; The University of New England.

Research institutions in Maine eligible for funding as part of a Collaborative Pilot Project include: University of Maine at Orono; MaineHealth Institute for Research; The Jackson Laboratory; and the MDI Biological Laboratory.

The Maine-INBRE invites applications for three types of project awards: Research Projects (RPs); stand-alone Pilot Projects (PPs); and Collaborative Pilot Projects (CPPs). Investigator and institutional eligibility, duration, and scope for each of the three types of awards are described below. Funding decisions will be based on the scientific merit of the proposed research and the ability to involve students in significant, innovative biomedical and data science research. We encourage submissions from those underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

Research Projects will be led by new or early-stage faculty investigators at the Assistant Professor level from Maine INBRE undergraduate institutions. RP Leaders (RPLs) will devote 50% effort to their project (confirmed by the appropriate institutional official and Steering Committee representative), submit quarterly progress reports to the ME-INBRE Administrative Core, identify and work with a scientific advisor with expertise in their field, involve undergraduate students in their research, and participate in annual INBRE-sponsored workshops and meetings. RP awards are for two years (contingent on acceptable progress in the first year) and provide up to $125,000 per year in direct costs. These funds may be used for salary for the investigators, postdoctoral fellows, students (including graduate, undergraduate), and research assistants/technicians, as well as to pay for supplies and/or equipment costs. RPLs who make progress in publishing their research in peer-reviewed journals and applying for independent funding (R01, R15, R35, NSF, or the equivalent) can submit a competitive renewal application for up to two additional years of funding.

Pilot Projects will be led by outstanding faculty at any career level at Maine INBRE Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). PP Leaders (PPLs) will dedicate 25% effort to their project (confirmed by the appropriate institutional official and Steering Committee representative), submit quarterly progress reports to the ME-INBRE Administrative Core, involve undergraduate students in their research, and participate in annual INBRE-sponsored workshops and meetings. PP awards are for one year, provide up to $50,000 in direct costs, and can be competitively renewed for one additional year. These funds may be used for salary for the investigators, postdoctoral fellows, students (including graduate, undergraduate), and research assistants/technicians, as well as to pay for supplies and/or equipment costs. PPs incorporating data science and/or computational approaches will be prioritized. The goal and expectation for PPLs is to enhance the biomedical research capacity at the institution and engage undergraduate students in the research.

Collaborative Pilot Projects will be awarded for multi-disciplinary projects co-led by faculty scientists at any career level from different ME-INBRE institutions (including UMaine Orono, MHIR, JAX, and MDIBL), with at least one Collaborative PPL from a Maine INBRE PUI who will involve students in their research. Each Collaborative PPL will commit 25% effort to their project (confirmed by the appropriate institutional official and Steering Committee representative), submit quarterly progress reports to the ME-INBRE Administrative Core, involve undergraduate students in their research, and participate in annual INBRE-sponsored workshops and/or meetings. CPP awards are for one year, provide up to $50,000 in direct costs to each Co-Project Leader (thus, $100,000 for the full award), and can be competitively renewed for one additional year. Potential Collaborative PPLs must submit a letter of intent via email for evaluation by the ME-INBRE Program Director, Dr. Jim Coffman  (gro.lbidmnull@namffocj), and DRPP Director, Dr. Dustin Updike (gro.lbidmnull@ekidpud) before applying via the web-based LabCentral portal.

RPLs and PPLs must submit an application on the web-based LabCentral portal and upload a document that includes the following sections:

  • Abstract (1 page)
  • Specific Aims (1 page)
  • Research Proposal (up to 6 pages for RPs, 4 for PPs, and 4 pages each for each Collaborative PPL). Research Proposals should include Significance, Innovation, and Approach sections as defined in the Research Instructions for NIH SF242 (R&R) Application Packages
    • The Significance section will include background and preliminary data.
    • The Approach section will describe either a two-year Research Project or a one-year Pilot Project. It should include the project’s impact to advance biomedical research and improve human health.
    • The Approach section should state how INBRE support will advance the awardee’s career and enhance student research opportunities. The Approach should include a student mentoring plan.
    • The Approach section should discuss measures to ensure rigor and reproducibility.
  • A plan for maintaining compliance with applicable federal policies, rules, and guidelines for research involving human subjects and biohazards
  • A plan for authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources
  • A Data Management and Sharing Plan
  • An NIH-style biosketch with other support listed
  • IACUC approval for any research involving vertebrate animals and a narrative that addresses the four points of use of vertebrate animals as required by the NIH. See format page with instructions.
  • A letter from the senior institutional representative (Steering Committee member as defined 2024 renewal) confirming that the institution will support the PLs required minimum commitment to annual effort (50% for RPLs and 25% for PPLs) and how that will be achieved.
  • A draft budget that provides information on how the project will use the proposed funding (please be sure to work with your financial office when preparing this budget). If your project is selected for funding, we will request a final budget that will need approval from the financial office at your institution. For this draft budget, we request that you use two NIH forms (Form Page 4 and Form Page 5, followed by budget justification on page 2 of Form Page 5).

Applications are due February 2, 2024, and the review process by ME-INBRE External Advisory Committee (EAC) members is expected to take up to one month. Project Leaders selected by the EAC for funding will have their institutions notified and given two weeks to submit additional required documents. The projects will then be submitted to the NIH-NIGMS at least 14 days before the proposed project starts. Funding of these awards is contingent on successful renewal of the Maine INBRE grant in 2024. If a Project Leader secures independent funding for a research project during the award period, they will “graduate” from ME-INBRE funding.