Duke Microbiome Center COVID-19 Development Grant

*** This request for proposals is currently closed ***

Request for Applications 2020
Application Deadline: 11:59 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020
(was April 24)

Microbial communities (microbiomes) are known to contribute significantly to human health and disease, including diverse forms of infectious disease. The Duke Microbiome Center (DMC) supports microbiome science at Duke University through pilot project funding in the form of both rolling vouchers for the production of preliminary data and development grants that support larger interdisciplinary collaborations. In the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic and the its devastating effects on human health, the DMC would like to announce a new request for proposals for development grants that address the microbiome and COVID-19. Priority will be given to applications with one or more of the following attributes:

(1) Potential for impacting treatment of COVID-19 or elucidating drivers of disease transmission.
(2) Rapidly if not immediately implemented in the current research environment.
(3) Submitted by teams of investigators representing multiple scientific disciplines and academic units (i.e., schools, departments, and divisions).
(4) Have a high likelihood to lead to new extramural funding.
(5) Utilize Duke shared resource facilities (for example, the Microbiome Shared ResourceGenomic Analysis and Bioinformatics Shared Resource, and Gnotobiotic Core).

To be eligible for consideration, the PI of the proposal must be a faculty member at Duke University currently affiliated with the DMC (see DMC faculty list here). Applications must include as co-investigators at least one additional faculty member at Duke, though they need not be currently affiliated with the DMC. If you are a Duke faculty member that would like to become affiliated with the DMC, please contact Patricia Massard <patricia.massard@duke.edu>.

Budget and Duration:
The DMC COVID-19 Grant will have an approximately one-year term, from 1 May 2020 – 30 April 2021. Proposals may request a 1-year budget of up to $100,000, inclusive of all costs.  The DMC expects to fund one proposal this cycle.

If matching funds are available from other internal or external sources, please describe those sources in the budget justification and attach letters of support confirming those matching fund opportunities.

At this time, we are not planning to support renewals, thought this may be revisited in 2021 depending on the COVID-19 situation. For now, applications should be structured as 1-year proposals.

Application Instructions:
Proposal will be submitted via Duke’s MyResearchProposal online submission system.

To apply using MyResearchProposal:

  • Click here to access MyResearchProposal and logon or choose “Create New User” to apply. Proposals must be submitted under the Duke Principal Investigator’s name.
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is available – Please review this document.
  • Enter Access Code ‘DMC’ then select the “Duke Microbiome Center COVID-19 Grant” funding opportunity and follow the instructions.

For questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact myresearchproposal@duke.edu or call 919-668-4774.

Applicants will enter general project information via the web-based form:

  • Project Title, Abstract describing the project, and Amount Requested
  • Investigator Information: Name, rank and department.
  • Coinvestigator Information: Name, rank and department.
  • General Project Information: Applicants will be asked to answer general questions regarding the project (e.g. clinical need, IRB, IACUC, etc.).

Proposal sections (except the Abstract) will be uploaded as individual PDF files. The application sections are:

    1. Specific Aims: The Specific Aims page should follow the standard NIH format and be limited to one page using 0.5 inch margins, 11 point Arial font, single line spacing.
    2. Research Strategy: The Research Strategy should follow the standard NIH sections of Significance, Innovation, and Approach. However, due to the time-sensitive nature of this award and to provide rapid turnaround and notification of award, the research strategy section is limited to 2-pages, using 0.5 inch margins, 11 point Arial font, single line spacing, including any tables or figures. References do not count toward the 2-page limit. These 2 pages are in addition to the Specific Aims.
    3. Budget with Budget Justification:(using PHS 398 Form Pages 4 and 5 with no page limit).  The Budget Justification should include sufficient detail for reviewers to assess whether appropriate resources have been requested. If key supplies or reagents are not already acquired, a justified timeline for their acquisition along with letters of support from the appropriate vendor(s) is expected. Costs for salaries, supplies, animals, and Duke shared resources are allowed.
    4. Human and/or Animal Subjects Description: Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) approval is encouraged but not required prior to submission. Approval or plans for approval to conduct research in the current environment are REQUIRED; proposals that require resolution of the current social distancing and research guidelines will be triaged.If human subjects are involved, provide a description of their involvement and characteristics, specific risks to subjects who participate, and protection against those risks. Describe the sources of materials that will be obtained from human subjects as part of their study participation. Provide assurance that the project will be reviewed and approved by Duke’s IRB and comply with HIPAA. Follow the DMC’s “IRB Guidelines Regarding Human Subjects Protection and Microbiome Research” listed here.If vertebrate animals are to be used, provide a description of the proposed use of the animals in the work outlined and procedures for ensuring that discomfort, distress, pain and injury will be limited. The Vertebrate Animals document must include the following sections, as described in NIH notice NOT-OD-16-006: (1) description of procedures, (2) justification, (3) minimization of pain and distress, (4) euthanasia.
    5. NIH Biosketches for participating faculty. Please use the “NIH Biosketch Form” (as a single PDF) using this format.

Selection Process for Awards:
Proposals will be peer-reviewed, and awards announced by April 30th, 2020.  Applicants will be notified of funding decisions, and the 1-year award term will start May 1st 2020. Feedback from the evaluation process will be of limited scope. Awardees will be required to submit a year-end progress report and will be expected to present their accomplishments and findings at DMC-sponsored event in 2021.