College of Pharmacy

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Internal Research
Grant Guidelines

Internal Research Grant Program Purpose

The internal research grant program’s objectives are to promote research, outreach, and creative activities in all branches of learning that will improve competitiveness for external funding, which will result in publications, patents, or exhibitions/performances appropriate to the PI’s discipline. The purpose of the program is to provide seed funding to support the establishment of a scholarly program or the transition into a new scholarly area, discipline, or interdisciplinary area.

Grant Application

Eligibility and Restrictions

  • Any USF employee with a College of Pharmacy-paid appointment is eligible to apply including faculty (tenure and non-tenure), post docs, and staff; faculty partner with other college faculty; faculty from other universities; and public agencies or entities in the private sector (Note: The COP must be the primary principal investigator). A COP paid appointment member and/or grant partner may participate in or submit only one seed grant proposal per academic year in a given award cycle.
  • Those who have current Internal Research Grants or have received internal grant award within the past two years are not eligible to apply. If a PI has had an internal seed grant in the past, the new internal seed grant must be for the purpose of transitioning to a new area of study. The PI is responsible for clearly justifying that the proposed project is a transition to a new area.
  • Dissertation research by COP faculty members or their students is not eligible for funding.
  • Faculty who have current grant funding over $50,000 from any source are not eligible to apply unless the seed grant project will be distinct from the currently funded work. The PI is responsible for clearly justifying that the proposed project is distinct from currently funded work.

Alternative funding

If the principal investigator (PI) receives funding for the proposed research from another source after an internal grant has been awarded, unspent funds from the internal award will revert back to the Dean’s office, College of Pharmacy. The applicant should notify COP Research Committee.

Guidelines

One electronic version of each proposal, organized as shown below, must be received by 11:59 p.m., November 1.

Use single spacing, one‐inch margins from all sides, and a font size of 12pt New Times Roman. Do not include extra materials; these will be removed from your proposal before it is reviewed. Figures and tables may be used but must fall within the appropriate margins. Proposals that do not follow these guidelines will be returned without review. Because this is an internal grant program, it is not necessary to route through the USF Office of Sponsored Research.

  1. Cover Sheet (1 Page): The cover sheet should include your name and contact information, department, brief description of purpose and outcome of the proposal. Be sure to include signatures of PI(s) and Departmental Chair.

  2. Abstract: Provide a brief (limited to 200 words), non‐technical description of the project, work to be performed and expected outcome.

  3. Narrative (no more than 5 pages): PIs are encouraged to follow the structure below.

    • Describe the proposed scholarly or creative activity, including brief context or background
    • Explain how the project will contribute to the PI’s field and professional development.
    • Present specific objectives and methods and how they will be completed during the funding period.
    • Describe the expected outcomes and the deliverables that will result from the scholarly activity, e.g., publication, exhibition/performance, patent, proposal to an external funding agency.
    • If the PI has had a Seed Grant or has other grants > $25,000 but less than $50,000, describe the special circumstances that may justify an award.
  4. Bibliography: This will be the NIH style. References must be included within the 5 pages.

  5. Budget Form: The budget must be delineated and justified. The resources needed to complete the project should be described. This may include resources already available (e.g., laboratory equipment, computational resources, performance space, etc.) and resources to be funded by the seed grant. Early faculty (5 years of employment at USF) should describe how their start‐up funds contributed (or will contribute) to the proposed project.

    Allowable expenses include, for example, expendable supplies, capital outlay (e.g., software, computer, equipment, etc.), travel to conduct research and to meetings to present data. Funds may be used for partial support of undergraduate or graduate students, but are not sufficient to be used as a research assistantship. Travel to professional meetings is limited to $3,000 and must be justified as related to the project’s outcomes. Applicants may request funding of $2500-$15,000 over one year. The number of awards funded in a particular award cycle will depend on the available resources approved by COP dean. Budgets that exceed the maximum amount will be returned without review.

  6. Other Information: (up to 3 Pages): Do not include a full CV or resume. Please include:

    • Area of Research and date of investigator's highest degree.
    • Date of initial appointment as a faculty member at USF COP.
    • Present academic rank.
    • Publications, exhibitions/performances, and patents during past five years.
    • Proposals submitted and funding received during the past five years.
    • A brief summary of any previous COP internal seed grants received including dates, amount of funding, and resultant external funding or publications.

    Ownership of any and all intellectual property created through the use of these funds shall be determined as defined in USF Statement of Policy and Procedures for Inventions and Work, (http://generalcounsel.usf.edu/policies-and-procedures/pdfs/policy-0-300.pdf). Additional information may be obtained from the USF Division of Patents & Licensing (813-974-0994; http://www.research.usf.edu/pl/).

    If the proposed project will involve Human Subjects or Animals, the PI will need to obtain the appropriate assurances i.e., IRB, IACUC, or IBC before a grant is awarded. At mid-point of the 1-year funding period, the PI must submit a brief (1-2 pages, single spaced) progress report outlining accomplishments to date, current and planned activities and, if applicable changes in the scope of work. A final project report will be required within two months after the completion of the 1-year funding period, and submitted to the COP Research Committee. The report should summarize the project and work completed. It should also detail “next steps” in terms of external grant submission and the dissemination of findings. The final report should be no longer than three single-spaced pages and should include copies of relevant draft manuscripts and grant as appendices.

Evaluation

Each proposal will be evaluated by 3‐5 reviewers consisting of faculty representatives from College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacotherapeutics & Clinical Research and Dean office. External reviewers may also be included as needed. Applicants are strongly encouraged include sufficient detail, write clearly, and concisely to allow complete understanding of the proposal for a non-expert audience.

Proposers should read the USF College of Pharmacy Internal Research Seed Grant Evaluation Sheet (below) to make sure that their proposal addresses all of the criteria.

Review Process & Evaluation Criteria

The following rankings will be used to evaluate each of the 5 the criteria below: Excellent (5), Very Good (4), Good (3), Fair (2), Poor (1).

  1. Significance of the research question

    • clear articulation of a broader research question that the pilot project is designed to support
    • likelihood that the broader (externally-funded) research will exert a sustained and important influence on the field
    • evidence that the research question addresses a critical barrier to progress in the field
    • evidence that the research question advances scientific knowledge by building on what is already known
  2. Soundness and innovation of the experimental plan

    • clearly articulated specific aims with associated benchmarks to operationalize whether
    • each specific aim has been achieved
    • sound methodological approach with respect to subject selection/recruitment, experimental design, intervention (if appropriate), data collection, proposed analyses including power calculations for quantitative studies, and human subject or animal protection
    • use of novel concepts, methods, instrumentation and/or interventions
  3. Likelihood that the project will lead to external funding

    • evidence that the proposed research will provide necessary and sufficient preliminary data to support an externally funded application
    • identification of an appropriate funding agency (e.g., NIH institute) and mechanism/program announcement and evidence that the targeted agency/mechanism has funded similar projects in the last three years
    • evidence of interest by a representative of the targeted funding agency (e.g., NIH program officer)
    • plan for publishing results of the pilot study
  4. Qualifications of the research team

    • evidence that the applicant possesses the training and experience required to lead the project and that the research team possesses expertise in all relevant content areas
    • evidence of support from all participating sites
    • evidence of support from the applicant’s department chair
  5. Appropriateness of budget

    • feasibility of completing the proposed work within timeline and budget
    • evidence that no other sources of funds are available

All applicants (whether funded or not) will receive summary comments from the review committee. Applications that are not funded will receive a recommendation of (1) Revise and resubmit, or (2) Revision not recommended. Those applications receiving a "Revise and resubmit" recommendation must be resubmitted within 12 months of the initial submission date. Only one re-submission will be allowed. Subsequent submissions must comprise of new proposed scholarly or creative activity.

The reviewers will convene as a panel to discuss proposals and make funding recommendations. The Research Council makes final funding decisions and may require modifications in the budget as a condition of funding.