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Pilot Funding FAQ

View frequently asked questions about the UCI School of Medicine and School of Biological Sciences pilot funding program:

Q. Am I eligible to apply?

You may apply if you are a faculty member in either the School of Medicine or School of Biological Sciences and have principal investigator (PI) status for submitting funding proposals to external sponsors.

View Office of Research information about principal investigator eligibility and exceptions ›

Q. Do fringe and indirect rates apply?

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

Q. Can we budget to pay PI salaries?

It is acceptable to use this funding to support researchers in your laboratory. However, those listed as PIs cannot use these funds to pay their own salaries.

Q. What can I spend the money on?

There are some restrictions on how you may 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.

Q. Who can help us identify external funding sources?

Research and development personnel in your school can help with this. Please contact Tara Massimino, director of Research Development for the School of Medicine, or Melinda Gormley, research development officer for the School of Biological Science.

Q. What should I use as a start date?

The earliest anticipated start date is Oct. 1, 2018.

Q. May 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 time frame. Publications and submission of grant proposals to extramural sponsors can occur within a reasonable time after the funding period ends.

Q. How many pilot awards will be funded?

We expect to fund up to five projects.

Q. May 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.

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

There is no limit to the number of PIs on each project, but 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.

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

References are excluded from the three-page limit. Thus, your project description can be three full pages with additional reference pages.

Q. I received a SOM-BioSci pilot funding award during the 2017-2018 cycle. May I submit a proposal for the current competition for 2018-2019 academic year funding?

A PI cannot receive funding from the SOM-BioSci pilot funding program in two consecutive years.

View a list of 2017-2018 awardees ›

Q. What do you mean by diversity of teams?

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

Q. Can teams with long-standing collaborations apply?

One goal of SOM-BioSci pilot funding is to foster new research partnerships. Other goals are to cultivate cross-disciplinary collaborations that facilitate innovative research in novel areas as well as to 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 also 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, nor is it intended for bridge funding. If the proposed research is a significant departure from previous efforts, PIs with an extensive record of working together may apply and should explicitly address these points in their proposal.

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