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Interdisciplinary Pilot Award Program

Interdisciplinary Pilot Award Program RFA PDF

Release Date: January 11, 2016

To increase awareness of the University of Rochester’s IIMP program, and to promote new collaborations between basic science research laboratories and population science investigators, we are offering a pilot award funding opportunity. PhD trainees in current pre-doctoral training programs at the URMC may apply. Three pilot awards of $7,500 each, for a one-year period, will be made available on a competitive basis.

These pilots are intended to “transform” research approaches in all URMC PhD programs by having current pre-doctoral students incorporate both laboratory and population training in their dissertation research.

The following criteria will be included in our review:

  1. Research projects must include named co-mentors, one each from a research laboratory and population sciences
  2. at least one of these co-mentors will be new to the IIMP PhD program mentoring faculty roster
  3. the research project should be student-driven to further refine research projects at the interface of infection, inflammation and immunity and population science research
  4. the awardee must present their work to our combined TBS and TBS-IIMP student seminar series in 2016-2017.

Important Dates

Release Date: January 11, 2016


  • February 29, 2016 at 5:00 PM – Full proposals will be due.
  • March 18, 2016 – Notification of award will be made.
  • April 1, 2016 – Anticipated start date. Note: All animal and human subject protocols must be approved prior to the start date. No funds for research project costs may be released until all required human subjects and animal welfare approvals have been received.

Submitting a Proposal

Online submission

Proposals must be submitted electronically as a single pdf file via email to Daisy Bird Geer (

Application Requirements

  1. PHS 398 face page
  2. Abstract (limited to one page, Arial font size no smaller than 11 point), which includes the following
    1. Project title and PhD student’s name and degree-granting department
    2. Name, title and department of co-mentors
    3. A description of how the proposal is responsive to the Pilot Program RFA
    4. Overall goals of the project
  3. New NIH-format biosketches for PhD student and both co-mentors (Contributions to Science section)
  4. Research Plan (limited to 3 pages, Arial font size no smaller than 11 point with the exception that fonts of no smaller than 8 point can be used for tables and figure legends) to include:
    1. Specific Aims
    2. Research Strategy (Significance, Innovation and Approach; preliminary data allowed but not required)
    3. Timeline (remember to plan for one year of research)
  5. A signed statement (1 page) on letterhead indicating that both the lab science and population science mentors are supportive of the application.
  6. Human Subjects and Animals: Protection of Human Subjects or Vertebrate Animals approvals as appropriate
  7. Data Analysis Plan (1/2 page limit): Provide a brief data analysis plan and identify if bioinformatics support is needed for data collection and management.
  8. Budget (limited to 1 page using PHS 398 Form Page 4, providing a detailed description of supplies and other expenses.) Funds may not be used to support faculty or student salaries or purchase equipment. Funds may be used for the student to travel to present results at a national conference. Funds may be used to purchase software for data analyses. Funds must be used in 1 year; however, carryover of $1500 to second year to pay for student travel to a national conference will be allowed. If carryover funds not used for student travel, they will be forfeited.
  9. Bibliography (two pages allowed for references cited in the application). Please include all authors’ names in each citation and PMCID numbers where applicable.

Include page number and name of the PhD student in the footer of the application.

Selection Process

This is an internal competition for Burroughs Wellcome funds already awarded. ORPA review and sign off is not required.

Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee and will be assigned a priority score in accordance with the criteria listed above. A summary of reviewers’ comments will be provided once the review process is complete.


If you have questions regarding this RFA, please contact one of the following.

General and logistical inquiries

Daisy Bird Geer

(585) 275-3603

Scientific and peer review inquiries

PJ Simpson-Haidaris


Theresa Green