Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, 2017-2018 (Currently Closed)

Important Dates

  • Not currently accepting applications. Watch our newsletter, social media and website for a new announcement for the next round later in 2018. Click here to view a partial listing of past funded projects.

Submit your proposal by email to

Award Amount: Up to $10,000; Anticipated number of awards: up to 7

Program Information

The goal of the SC INBRE Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program is to stimulate interest in the application of genomics and bioinformatics methods by supporting research and student training throughout the SC INBRE and South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR) networks. Funded projects are expected to generate preliminary data for presentations, publications and grant proposals by faculty and their students. All resulting publications must acknowledge SC INBRE support. If at all possible, projects should propose to work with one of the following SC INBRE-supported facilities with resources necessary to complete the research. These facilities include

    • Microarray Facility at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Kim Creek, Director (Email, 803-777-0952)

    • Proteogenomics Core Facility at the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. Jeremy Barth, Director (Email, 843-792-9984)

    • Instrumentation Resource Facility at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Dr. Bob Price, Director (Email, 803-733-3392)

    • Computational, Data Storage and Analysis Facility at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Homayoun Valafar, Director (Email, 803-777-2404)

    • NMR facility at Claflin University, Dr. Muthukrishna Raja (Email, 803-535-5673)

If the technical services required by the project cannot be provided by any of the listed facilities, or the project is based upon existing collaborations that already involve the use of other resources, it is acceptable to use other service providers, in or outside South Carolina.

Applicants must work with facility directors to plan the proposed experiments: a letter of support from the chosen facility’s Director, or a quote (if using a commercial facility) must be included in the proposal.


Proposals are solicited from institutions of higher education in the SC INBRE network; affiliated members of SCTR; and interested students and faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI) across South Carolina.

Projects must be proposed and implemented by faculty and student teams, with a faculty member as PI and all other personnel as co-Investigators.

Only one proposal per funding period will be accepted from any faculty. Women, Minorities and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Page Format and Page Limits

The Project Description section of proposals must not exceed five pages in length. Proposals must be prepared with 1” margins, using Arial (or similar sans-serif font: i.e.: this call for proposals is in Arial, 11pt) and a font size no smaller than 11pt.

Forms available by clicking here. For any questions, please contact Dr. Homayoun Valafar.

Assemble your application in the order listed below, using the NIH form 398 forms, available by clicking here. Please do not use any other forms than the NIH form 398 for the proposal face page, summary, budget and biosketch. Proposals that utilize other forms, including older forms from previous SC INBRE announcements, will be returned without review.

  • Face page (NIH form 398, fp1)

  • Project Summary/Abstract, performance sites, key personnel form (NIH form 398, fp2)

  • Budget (NIH form 398, fp4)

  • Budget justification

  • Biosketch of key personnel (also in NIH format, form 398)

  • Specific Aims (1 page)

  • Research Plan (5 pages, maximum)

  • Literature cited

  • Plans for student training

  • Human subjects (if applicable. IRB approval must be documented before the project can be approved by NIGMS)

  • Vertebrate animals (if applicable. IACUC approval must be documented before the project can be approved by NIGMS)

  • Biohazards (if applicable)

  • Plans for further development of the work: Describe plans for publication and use of the data in grant proposals; specific opportunities for funding; anticipated new collaborations, etc.


A competitive proposal will describe a focused set of experiments that require bioinformatics methods of data analysis. The likelihood that the experiment proposed will yield data suitable for publication and usable as preliminary data for an extramural grant proposal will be one of the most important criteria for review. If the proposed research is translational in nature and/or you can foresee practical applications of the anticipated results, make sure to state that in the Significance and Innovation section.

All proposals that meet the eligibility requirements and guidelines will be independently evaluated by at least two external reviewers selected from a pool of individuals with suitable expertise, with the following review criteria:

    • Scientific merit of the proposed project

    • Potential to lead to a competitive extramural grant proposal, and potential for publication

    • Qualifications of project personnel

    • Appropriateness of budget

    • Broader impact within the INBRE network, including involvement of underrepresented minorities within the research team: African-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics or Latinos, Native Americans, women, and/or persons with disabilities.

Final decisions on funding will be made by a subcommittee of the SC INBRE Steering Committee.

Award and Reporting Requirements

Principal Investigators will receive a notice of Pilot Project award/declination and copies of the reviewers’ comments via e-mail.

Award recipients are required to provide the SC INBRE state office with project data for evaluation and reporting purposes, as follows:

  1. A brief interim progress report, including an abstract summary of the supported activity, summary of expenditures, project plans for the future, and project achievements (publications, presentations, proposals submitted) is due by April 1, 2018.

  2. A comprehensive Pilot Project Progress Report is due by September 30, 2018.

  3. Final invoices for reimbursement must be received by July 31, 2019.

After the expiration of the award, SC INBRE will continue to contact the PI for outcome-related data such as grants, publications, etc.

Failure to provide any requested materials for award or evaluation purposes will constitute default under this program, and disqualify the Pilot Project PI from further SC INBRE support.

Pilot Project Submission Instructions and Contact Information

Pilot project proposals, complete of required signatures on Certification and Budget pages, must be submitted as a single pdf file no later than Monday, February 12, 2018 by 11:59 pm, by email to John Clarkson.

Also direct any inquiries relating to this call for applications to Mr. Clarkson, by email of by phone: 803-216-3469