COBRE Project - Request Example

'Mentoring Translational Researchers in Louisiana'
Guidelines for Submission of Proposal
Deadline for Proposal Submission: May 15, 2015
Award Period: July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

The COBRE program “Mentoring Translational Researchers in Louisiana” is pleased to announce funding for pilot research projects from promising junior investigators (PJI) and/or teams of established investigators (team-science) aiming to advance the understanding of biological and molecular mechanisms through which inflammation promotes the development of disease, and determine and test potential prevention and/or therapeutic approaches based on these observations. Areas of particular interest include, but are not limited to, investigations on inflammation and cancer in response to oncogenic viruses and bacteria; inflammation as a promoter of malignant transformation and metastases; mechanisms of tumor evasion; obesity as a proinflammatory disease; and, mechanisms regulating inflammation as a biological basis to health disparities.

Funds Available: Up to five pilot projects will be funded at $50,000 per year for a PJI, or up to $100,000 per year for team-science collaborations. It is expected that funded projects will acquire preliminary data supporting competitive grant applications to federal funding agencies. Pilot Project funds may be renewable for a second year contingent upon significant progress. Investigators are encouraged to use the state-of-the-art COBRE cores (Cellular Immunology and Immune Metabolism, Translational Genomics, and Molecular Imaging and Analytic Microscopy). Applicants should discuss research plans with the COBRE Director (Dr. Augusto Ochoa) to determine the relevance of the research topic to the thematic focus of the COBRE Program.

Eligibility Requirements: The Principal Investigator (Pl) must be a full-time faculty member of a COBRE Phase Ill participating institution (Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, Pennington Research Center). Postdoctoral fellows or graduate students are not eligible to apply.

Application Procedures and Categories of Grant Projects: Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent describing the project, including specific aims, 30 days prior to application deadline. The LOI will be reviewed by the COBRE Steering Committee and the selected LOIs will receive an invitation to submit a full application. The full application should be submitted electronically (PDF) to Augusto Ochoa MD, Director, LSU Cancer Center Submitted applications will be reviewed by three reviewers and members of the External Advisory Board. The projects will be ranked based on merit and best fit with the COBRE research goals.

The pilot project grants fall into two general categories: 1) Promising Junior Investigator (PJI) grants and 2) Team-science grants.

  • PJI applications will be accepted from faculty members who are developing an independent research program and have no prior or ongoing extramural funding. Junior faculty will require a primary mentor who will provide guidance and oversight to the PJl.
  • Team-science applications will provide support to collaborations among established and junior investigators who wish to pursue a novel and promising project as a team that can more effectively generate the necessary data to submit a highly competitive federal grant, or a novel clinical trial and/or publications.

Application Submission:

The applications should adhere to the NIH R21 format and include the following specifications:

  1. Title page: Include descriptive title, Pl's name, department and position title.
  2. Description of the project (Abstract, NIH form).
  3. Research strategy (6 pages maximum, excluding references).
    1. Specific aims (1 page)
    2. Significance and innovation of the research (1/2 page)
    3. Preliminary data (1 page)
    4. Experimental methods and anticipated results (3 pages)
    5. Plans and timeline for submission of a national grant application (1/2 page)
  4. Literature cited (not included in the 6 page Research Strategy limit).
  5. Biographical sketch. Include 4 page NIH format for applicant and potential co-investigator(s)
  6. Budget: Use NIH format, including budget justification. Salary for the Pl or purchase of research equipment (>$5,000), computers, administrative support, publication costs, or subscriptions/memberships is not permitted.

Animal and Human Welfare Issues (NIH forms): Prior to grant award, IACUC, IBC, and/or IRB approvals must be finalized.

Project Funding and Duration: COBRE Pilot Project grants for Promising Junior Investigators (PJIs) will be funded for one year at a maximum of $50,000 each and for team-research projects at a maximum of $100,000 per year. The grants are renewable for a second year, pending satisfactory progress during the first year.  Researchers will be required to submit a progress report prior to the end of the first year outlining progress made to date, manuscripts published, in press, or under review, and how the data acquired will contribute to an NIH grant application. Progress reports will be reviewed and evaluated by members of the COBRE's internal and external advisory committees. Investigators receiving COBRE Pilot Project support will also be obligated to attend and present research findings of their studies at COBRE "work-in-progress” meetings.

For additional information, contact Lisa Johnson at the LSU Cancer Center (, 504-210- 2828); Augusto Ochoa, MD (, 504-210-2828), Lucio Miele, MD, PhD ( , 504-210-3433); or John Estrada, MD (, 504-210-2974)