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Deadline: May 1, 2020, for letters of intent; August 1, 2020, for full proposals

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) supports two seed grant funding programs. These high-risk/high-return funding mechanisms provide funding for research that is exploratory and therefore not yet ready for external funding.

  • Research Incubator Awards, of up to $100,000, require a minimum of two faculty from different disciplines.
  • Research Germinator Awards support smaller, targeted requests up to $25,000, and are open to faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students.

Research Incubator Awards

DIBS Research Incubator Awards aim to promote research that is high-risk/high-return, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and related to the brain sciences. This year, DIBS will fund at least five projects of up to $100,000 for a period of one year. Collaborative teams should be comprised of faculty leaders who represent at least two different departments at Duke. Projects that include investigators from multiple schools within the University (e.g., School of Medicine, Arts & Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, etc.) are encouraged.

Criteria for awards will be: innovation; interdisciplinarity; significance to the brain sciences; quality of the approach; feasibility; and potential to lead to external funding.

Collaborators will also be evaluated for balanced expertise and productive contribution to the team.

Proposals should clearly and concisely describe a project whose scope is matched to the duration (1 year) and amount of funding. The proposal, budget, budget justification, and biosketches for all faculty collaborators should be submitted as a single PDF.

One-page Letters of Intent for 2020 are due by 5 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020. To submit a Letter of Intent and other required information, please use this link: Incubator Awards Letter of Intent Form.

Full Proposals for 2020 are due by 5 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020, via email to nicole.schrammsapyta@duke.edu, and should clearly and concisely describe a project whose scope is matched to the duration and amount of funding. Please download the Incubator Awards Program 2019-2020 Application Form.

Research Germinator Awards

DIBS Research Germinator Awards are designed to support smaller, targeted requests for training, pilot data, non-faculty salary, and/or equipment that would facilitate new research and lead to new external funding. Projects are awarded up to a maximum of $25,000 (non-renewable). A letter of intent and brief application are required. These awards are open to Duke graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.

The application should describe how this targeted investment would catalyze a new program of research or collaboration and/or enhance chances of obtaining external funding. DIBS can assist in identifying appropriate funding sources. It should also describe clearly and concisely how a project’s scope matches its duration (up to 1 year) and requested funding. If a grant or other award proposal has been submitted to another funding source (e.g., NIH, NSF, foundation) on a similar topic, the rationale for DIBS funding should be clearly articulated. Note: Unlike the DIBS Incubator Awards, Germinator Awards may go to single investigators.

One-page Letters of Intent for 2020 are due by 5 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020. To submit a Letter of Intent and other required information, please use this link: Germinator Awards Letter of Intent Form.

Full Proposals for 2020 are due by 5 p.m. ET, August 1, 2020, via email to nicole.schrammsapyta@duke.edu, and should clearly and concisely describe a project whose scope is matched to the duration and amount of funding. Please download the Germinator Awards Program 2019-2020 Application Form.

Learn more: Research Awards Schedule and Application Forms