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Pilot Funding FAQ

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Am I eligible to apply?

You may apply if you are in either the UC Irvine School of Medicine or Charlie Dunlop School of Biological Sciences and have PI status for submitting funding proposals to external sponsors. The Office of Research provides information about Principal investigator Eligibility and Exceptions.

Do fringe and indirect rates apply?

Fringe rates will be applied to salaries and pre-award staff can help with this. As these are internal funds, no indirect costs will be charged.

Can we budget to pay PI salaries?

It is acceptable to use this funding to support researchers in your laboratory; however, those listed as PI cannot use this money to pay their own salaries.

What can I spend the money on?

There are some restrictions on how you propose to spend the money. All expenses must be well justified and clearly demonstrate that they benefit the proposed research project. UC Irvine’s Uniform Guidance on Budgeting and Charging provides information about allowable costs when submitting grant proposals to federal agencies. Adherence to these guidelines is advised.

Who can help us identify external funding sources?

The Research Development contacts in your school can help with this. Please contact Melinda Gormley, Research Development Officer of the Biological Sciences School, or Tara Massimino, Director of Research Development for the School of Medicine.

What should I use as a start date? 

The earliest anticipated start date is October 1.

Can I propose a project for longer than a one year period?

Projects will be funded for up to 12 months.  The expectation is that milestones described in the proposal will be completed within that timeframe. Publications and submission of grant proposals to extramural sponsors can occur within a reasonable timeframe after the funding period ends.

How many awards will be funded?

It is expected that up to 5 projects will be funded.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

If each proposal you submit describes a unique research project, then you can be listed as PI on more than one proposal; however, only one of your projects will receive funding.

Is there a limit to how many PIs are listed on the project?

While there is no limit to the number of PIs, each award will receive a maximum of $50,000 so you may want to consider the limitations of distributing this amount of money among too many research laboratories.

The project description is limited to 3 pages. Does that include references?

References are excluded from the 3-page limit. Thus, your project description can be 3 full pages and references can be in addition to that.

I received one of the BioSci-SOM pilot funding awards during the 2017-2018 cycle. Can I submit a proposal for the current competition that provides 2018-2019 academic year funding?

A PI cannot receive funding from the BioSci-SOM pilot funding program in two consecutive years. A list of 2017-2018 awardees can be viewed here.

What do you mean by diversity of teams?

Diversity of teams can include partnerships between two individuals at different career stages, or with varying amounts of external funding, or other inclusivity measures such as gender, ethnicity, and race.

Can teams with long-standing collaborations apply?  

One goal of the BioSci-SOM pilot funding is to cultivate new research partnerships. Other goals are to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations that facilitate innovative research in novel areas and support early stage research in any area that requires preliminary data necessary to compete for extramural funding. New teams are strongly encouraged to apply. Teams with long-standing collaborations are eligible to apply; however, this pilot program is not meant to support incremental research performed by a team of PIs who have a long-standing collaboration. And it is not bridge funding. If the proposed research is a significant departure from previous efforts, PIs who have an extensive record of working together may apply and should explicitly address these points in the proposal.