Mentored Scientist Award in Tuberculosis

Project Award Amount up to $50,000


DESCRIPTION
The Mentored Scientist Award in Tuberculosis is a mentoring and training grant focused on Early Stage Investigators (ESI) at UCSF and UC Berkeley in the conduct of a TB-focused research project. These awards, granted by the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis, are intended to be used to acquire preliminary data and research skills leading toward a future grant effort. Applicants for this award must indicate a faculty research mentor(s) who will commit to guiding the applicant throughout the duration of the proposed project. In addition to receiving research funds, the awardee will automatically be enrolled in the TB Research and Mentoring Program (TB RAMP) (http://tiny.ucsf.edu/tbramp) as a TB RAMP Scholar. Awardees are required to participate in the TB RAMP Program as they launch their independent research career.

Funding for this program is up to $50,000 in total costs (see below for budget details) for one year. Any carry forward of funding is not guaranteed. Indirect costs are not allowable in a UCSF proposal budget.  However, UC Berkeley applicants may include indirect costs in their budgets not to exceed 8% of the overall award maximum (up to $4,000). 

This UCSF Center for Tuberculosis-sponsored funding opportunity is open to any TB-focused investigations including bench research; clinical research; epidemiologic research; research focused on new tools in diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines; implementation sciences; health economics; social behavioral research; health disparities research, among other domains relevant to combatting TB in high burden TB settings. 

NOTE: Projects should address NIH’s TB research priority areas. Proposers are encouraged to review NIAID Strategic Plan for TB Research.

(https://www.niaid.nih.gov/sites/default/files/TBStrategicPlan2018.pdf)  

NOTE: The NIH funding mechanism that supports this RAP grant does not allow the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis to fund international expenses, including travel to/from international research sites. While international research projects and collaborations are encouraged, the funds from this award can only support domestic expenses.

If you are considering a study involving any international work, please contact Mariana Velleca ([email protected]) with a brief description of your study to determine whether your proposed project would be eligible for funding through the UCSF Center for Tuberculosis. If it is not, we will provide advice on alternative funding options.

Program Contact: Should you have any questions regarding submission or reporting procedures, please contact Mariana Velleca, TB RAMP Program Coordinator, at [email protected].  

ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission; no waivers are allowed.

Investigators must be at UCSF or UC Berkeley. Investigators with backgrounds in clinical, basic, behavioral-epidemiological, implementation, and/or health disparities TB research are encouraged to apply.

Who is Eligible:

  • Postdoctoral fellows or fellows in training.
  • Current faculty in any Series (Ladder Rank, In Residence, Clinical X, Health Science Clinical, Adjunct) at the Assistant Professor or Clinical Instructor level (including acting positions) who have not yet received an R01-equivalent award in TB.
  • Non-faculty series - Professional Research Series, Librarian Series and Specialist Series. Investigators in these series must make a strong case for their plan for becoming independent researchers.
  • Previous recipients of Mentored Scientist Award in Tuberculosis funded by the UCSF Center for TB are eligible to apply again for additional funding as long as their previous project was successfully completed. New projects should not be a continuation of the prior project but are not required to be a totally discrete topic. Please contact Mariana Velleca you have any questions about this policy.

Who is NOT Eligible:

The Mentored Scientist Award in Tuberculosis is supported by a NIH funding mechanism. Per NIH policy, the award and/or stipends are restricted to US citizens, non-citizen nationals (native of an American territorial possession) or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time an offer of an award is made.

Associate and Full Professors or Staff; applicants without terminal degrees, (e.g., PhD, MD); applicants with a currently active UCSF Center for Tuberculosis award that will not be completed by the time of award decisions. Please note that UCSF Center for Tuberculosis is not allowed to provide funding to any investigators who have received TB-related R01 awards.

Special Considerations for Current NIH T32 and K Awardees:

  • Current T32 awardees can apply for UCSF Center for TB funds provided NO salary/stipends are taken from the UCSF Center for TB award.
  • UCSF Center for TB allows current K awardees to provide complementary effort on their Mentored Research Scientist in TB award with salary within their remaining 25% effort, if they also maintain the 75% required on the K-award as long as the specific aims differ from those on the “K” award. Please see the guide notice for details: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-094.html.

Submission Rules

DESIGNATION OF MENTOR

All mentored award applications require a faculty research mentor from UCSF or a UCSF-affiliate at the time of submission (see below for the mentor’s letter of support requirements). UCSF Center for Tuberculosis requires your research mentor to advise and guide the research portion of your application before submitting it to RAP.

NOTE: The mentor is allowed but not required to have supervisory authority over the applicant during the project period. The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in TB research and should be able to demonstrate past success in training/mentoring independent investigators. The mentor’s role is to provide oversight on the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed research. In addition, the mentor must commit to mentoring the applicant throughout the duration of the research project.

AWARD RESTRICTIONS

  • Clinical Trials: NIH has revised the definition of Clinical Trials in 2018: ‘If your study involves one or more human subjects, involves one or more interventions, prospectively assigns human subjects to interventions and has a health-related biomedical or behavior outcome.’ If yes, please contact Mariana Velleca with a brief description of your study ([email protected]) to determine whether your proposed project would be eligible for funding through the UCSF Center for TB.
  • Studies with Foreign Components: Studies with an international component are allowed but expenditure of funds from this award cannot be used for any foreign expenditures (including travel expenses, flights, hotel, visas) or subcontracts to a foreign institution.
  • Human Subjects: New investigators should visit the UCSF CHR website for details on when and how to apply for CHR approval at http://irb.ucsf.edu. Information on training, including online training resources, can be found on the CHR website at http://irb.ucsf.edu/citi-human-subjects-training.

CRITERIA FOR REVIEW / EVALUATION OF APPLICANTS

Completed applications which meet eligibility requirements will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate review committee convened by the UCSF Resource Allocation Program in accordance with NIH review criteria: 1. Significance, 2. Approach, 3. Innovation, 4. Investigator, 5. Environment. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall application score.

SELECTION OF AWARDEES

UCSF Center for Tuberculosis makes funding decisions based on several factors – scientific review score, potential of the proposal to enable the PI to become an independent investigator, applicant’s proposed engagement in the TB RAMP mentoring program, whether the applicant has received prior UCSF Center for TB funding, and alignment with other requirements set forth in the RFA.

TO APPLY:

STEP 1) Complete the electronic application formPlease note there are several pieces of information that need to be provided directly via the electronic application form (selecting the appropriate grant mechanism, providing demographic information, uploading an abstract, etc.).

Click here to preview an inactive template of the electronic application form.

STEP 2) Upload your proposal as a SINGLE PDF that includes all the things listed in numeric order in the instructions below.

Instructions for Proposal PDF

Proposal Length: Maximum 6 pages, including figures and tables, excluding table of contents, literature cited and community engagement component (if applicable).

Format Requirements: Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices; include page numbers and table of contents.

Resubmissions
Definition: same research topic with an amended application or research plan rather than a new research topic and new research plan.

Requirements: Please use up to one extra page to introduce your revised proposal, addressing the issues raised in the review, and any additional changes to your proposal. A new letter from the Chair is not required if the resubmission is within 2 cycles (one skipped cycle max). You will include the old letter and state your resubmission is within 2 cycles.  Make sure the new changes are highlighted in bold or italic font so the reviewers can easily see where and how the proposal has changed. Do NOT use track changes.

1. Investigator Name (no multiple PIs); only one application is permitted per cycle.

  • Country of citizenship
  • Country of permanent residence

2. Project Title

3. Proposal - (maximum 6 pages: including figures and tables; excluding literature cited, mentoring plan, TB RAMP Scholar plan, and additional human-subjects information).

Sections included within the 6-page limit:

  • Aims (list at least two aims). Do not submit an application that describes an idea that is the same or similar to one used in a previously funded RAP grant. If it is a similar idea, describe how the new proposed research is uniquely different.
  • Feasibility: Describe what steps you are taking to ensure the proposed project can be completed within the one-year project period for this grant (approximately 300 words max).
  • Background and Significance
  • Preliminary Studies
  • Experimental Design and Methods (include timetable): a) Hypothesis, b) Rationale, c) Experimental approach, d) Interpretation of results
  • Explain how this pilot project is important for your career goals, e.g., leads to future funding, etc. (1-2 paragraphs)

Not included within the 6-page limit:

  • Mentoring Plan. Describe the plan for oversight of this project by your mentor(s) including the specific role of your primary mentor named in this application. One primary mentor must be identified, up to 3 total can be included in this application. (200-words max)
  • TB RAMP Scholar plan. Discuss your motivation for joining the TB RAMP Program as a Scholar and specifically what goals you have for the mentoring program. (200-words max)
  • Literature cited
  • Protection of Human Subjects description (if applicable)
  • Inclusion/Enrollment Table (if applicable for studies proposing human subjects, including existing resources) https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/phs-inclusion-enrollment-report.html

4. Budget - The award level for this program is up to $50,000 in total costs for a one-year project period. Total costs may include personnel (salary and fringe benefits), consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel to perform the study or to present findings from the study, and other expenses. Travel, along with all other costs, must be fully justified. Expenditures cannot be made on any kind of international costs. PIs are required to list their effort whether it is 'paid' or 'in kind'.

Please use the NIH PHS 398 form “Page 4: Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/fp4.doc) to prepare your budget. The grid below describes the budget items which are allowable/not allowable for the Mentored Award Program:

 

Allowable

Not Allowable

PI Salary

X

 

Post Doc Salary

X

 

Administrative Support

 

X

Program Supplies

X

 

Equipment

X

 

Software

X

 

Personal Computers*

X

 

Mailing

X

 

Tuition

X

 

Travel**

X

 

Research Staff Support (e.g., RSA; Lab. Technician)

X

 

Patient Care

 

X

Other Expenses****

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIH base salary cap. Fully justify all requests.

NOTE: Indirect costs are not allowable in a UCSF proposal budget.  However, UC Berkeley applicants may include indirect costs in their budgets not to exceed 8% of the overall award maximum (up to $4,000).  

* Computers are only allowable when essential to the conduct of the proposed research. If the computer is planned to be used for other projects / responsibilities in addition to the proposed project, we require that the cost of the computer be shared with those other project budgets, in accordance with the amount of use anticipated by each project.

** Travel for awardees is allowed only if required to conduct the study or to present findings from this study at a conference (not simply to attend a conference) and must be domestic.

**** Refer to the UCSF Charging Practices and Guidelines of allowable Expenses
https://controller.ucsf.edu/quick-reference/contracts-grants-accounting/cost-accounting-standards-cas-guidelines

Note: If chosen for an award, applicants must adhere to NIH policy specifying that the collection of salary support from UCSF Center for TB NIH funds while simultaneously collecting salary support from an NIH T32 award is unallowable.


6. Budget Justification: Clearly and fully justify all costs including benefit rates and indirect costs. Please contact us for assistance with your budget and/or sub-contract if you have any questions.

7. NIH Bio-sketch of Principal Investigator(s); Mentor(s), and Co-Investigator(s) and UCSF Mentor(s) if applicable) (5 page maximum).

Use this version: Biosketch Version F. Include biosketches for all PIs of a multi-PI application, and any other key personnel such as Co-Investigator(s) or UCSF Faculty Mentor(s). In section "D. Additional Information", list the relevant recent past, planned, active, and pending proposals, including percent effort and total direct costs (annual), where possible. Include a brief discussion of any potential overlap with the current proposal.

8. Letters of Support – Department Head and Mentors

  1. Department Head or Unit/Division Head (should indicate support for the application)
  2. Mentor’s Letter of Support: Include a letter of support from all research mentors you include in your proposal (up to 3) that includes the information outlined below:
    • Specific areas in which mentoring will be provided/mentor’s role in the project
    • Mentor’s background in mentoring
    • Describe how the project fits with the mentor’s research agenda and mentee’s career development
    • Describe mentor’s working relationship (previous and/or current) with applicant