Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

2022 FOA Links

  • Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program (BIPP)

  • Developmental Research Project Program (DRP)

  • Student-Initiated Research Project Program (SIRP)

  • Funding Programs Overview (videos)


CLICK HERE to submit Letter of Intent. The LOI needs to be submitted in order for your application to be qualified for review.

The South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE), SC INBRE IV solicits applications for the Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program. This program is designed to stimulate the application of genomics and bioinformatics methods by supporting research and student training through the SC INBRE and South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) networks, networks as well as at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) across South Carolina. BIPP proposals must focus on Biomedical Science and fit within the broad scientific focus areas of SC INBRE: Biochemistry/Cell and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Bio/Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, and Neuroscience. In addition, proposed BIPP projects must provide opportunities for students (undergraduate or graduate) to gain research experience.

Up to five new BIPP awards will be made throughout the state. BIPP awards support independent, faculty-driven research and provide research training to students and/or postdoctoral fellows in Bioinformatics.

Important Dates

  • Release Date: January 25, 2022

  • Deadline for Letter of Intent: March 4, 2022, 5 pm ET

  • Deadline for submission: April 4, 2022, 5 pm ET

  • Period of performance: Sept 1, 2022 through Aug 31, 2023

Award amounts and number of anticipated awards:

Up to 5 awards of $10,000 each will be awarded.

Forms and Links

LOI and Application Submission Instructions and Contact Information

To submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), please click on the link above. The LOI must be completed by 5 pm ET on March 4, 2022.

Completed LOIs will include the title and short description of your project. This short description is limited to 4 sentences total and should accurately describe the biomedical relevance of your project.

Completed applications, including required signatures on the Face page, must be submitted to the link above by 5 pm ET on April 4, 2022.

Applications submitted without a Letter of Intent submission will not be accepted.

Applications with missing components will not be accepted.

If you have any questions relating to this FOA please contact

Utilization of Core Facilities

If core facility support is required, projects should propose to work with one of the following INBRE-supported facilities:

    • 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. Arezue Boroujerdi, Director (Email, 803-535-5536)

    • Microarray Facility at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Michael Shtutman, (Email, 803-777-8988)

    • 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)

If utilizing the services of a core facility, 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.

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 involve the use of other resources, it is acceptable to use other service providers, in or outside South Carolina, but a justification must be provided.


BIPP proposals are solicited from institutions of higher education in the SC INBRE network, affiliated members of SCTR, and interested faculty at PUIs across South Carolina. Applications will be accepted from faculty at any rank in tenured, non-tenured, or non-tenure track positions. Current IDeA program-funded faculty are not eligible.

**Only one proposal per funding period will be accepted from any faculty. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Prior BIPP award recipients are not eligible to apply.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

The application package can be downloaded from the SC INBRE website in a fillable, pdf format. All forms must be completed according to the NIH guidelines for “R” series awards. Each package includes the following:

    • Face Page: This page must be filled out in its entirety and signed by an authorized institutional representative.

    • Project Summary/Performance site/Key personnel: Fill out all components and indicate whether or not the project uses human embryonic stem cells.

    • Biographical Sketch of PI (NIH-format)

    • Biographical Sketch(es) of other Key Personnel (NIH format)

    • Budget Page: Enter direct costs only; total cannot exceed $10,000

    • Budget Justification: Allowable costs include personnel; supplies; travel; equipment; and other costs as allowed on NIH research project grant budgets. Indirect costs are not allowed.

    • Project Description: Proposals must be prepared with 0.5” margins all around, using Arial (or similar sans serif font; font size no smaller than 11pt) and subdivided into sections indicated below (page limits are noted):

        • Specific Aims: one page

        • Research Plan (up to 5 pages) must include Significance, Innovation, and Approach. All applicants need to address scientific premise (part of Significance), rigor and reproducibility, and relevant biological variables (both under Approach)

        • Literature cited: one page

    • Plans for training of students/postdoctoral fellows under the award (1 page). Make sure to include opportunities for training in lab safety and responsible conduct of research in the plans for student training. Also explain what role the students will have in the project and how participation in the project will help develop the students’ research and intellectual skills and help them mature as scientists

    • Human Subjects. Projects involving human subjects must already have IRB approval at the time of proposal application. This includes projects that are deemed to be exempt by their institutions.

        • Please include the IRB Letter in your proposal application.

        • Please include a certificate of training in HS research (CITI) for all study personnel in your proposal application.

        • Human subject research must complete the appropriate required forms (see links to forms at bottom of page).

No activities involving human subjects can be initiated without appropriate IRB approval of the protocol. Applications with human subjects that do not have prior IRB approval will not be reviewed.

    • Vertebrate Animals (1 page). If the project involves vertebrate animals, provide the following in your proposal: 1) a description of procedures; 2) justification for model used; 3) address minimization of pain and distress; and 4) method of euthanasia according to NIH guidelines (see for additional information). Note: Submit your animal protocol for approval while you are preparing your DRP application.

Research involving vertebrate animals must be approved by the IACUC before work on the project can begin.

Applications involving vertebrate animals that do not include an IACUC Approval Letter will not be reviewed.

    • Biosafety (if applicable). Discuss the biosafety aspects of the proposed work and, if necessary, file for approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee as you prepare your proposal to SC INBRE. If there are no biohazards, please state so.

    • Data Sharing Plan (1 page). Describe the plan, consistent with NIH data/resource sharing policies (, for sharing of research data/resources generated.

    • Plans for Further Development of the Work (1 page). Describe plans for publication and how you plan to use the data in grant proposals; if possible, mention specific opportunities for funding; new collaborations.

    • Checklist: This is the page where the indirect costs associated with the project are calculated and shown.


Applications will be reviewed by the SC INBRE Administrative Core personnel to determine responsiveness to the FOA, eligibility of the applicant, completeness of the application, and information regarding human subjects and vertebrate animals. Applications deemed incomplete, ineligible, or not responsive will be returned to the applicants.

All proposals that meet the eligibility requirements and guidelines will be independently evaluated by SC INBRE’s Scientific Review Committee. 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 considerations during the review. Reviewers will apply the following review criteria:

    • Scientific merit of the proposed project as evidenced in the significance, innovation, and approach section of the proposal. The project must be relevant to Biomedical Sciences.

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

    • Qualifications of project personnel

    • 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.

    • Qualifications of project personnel

    • Quality of proposed training plans for students

Final decisions on funding will be made by the SC INBRE External Advisory Committee and NIGMS.

Awards and Reporting Requirements

All applicants will receive a notice of award/declination and copies of the reviewers’ comments via email. Award recipients are required to provide the SC INBRE Administrative Core with project data for evaluation and reporting purposes, as follows:

    1. BIPP award recipients are expected to present their results at the annual SC INBRE Scientific Symposium.

    2. Award recipients will be contacted quarterly to request updates on the supported activity, summary of expenditures, and any project achievements to date (students trained, publications, presentations, proposals submitted/funded). BIPP award recipients are expected to publish their results and present them at regional and/or national conferences. Awardees are also expected to apply for extramural support as soon as possible during or after the completion of their BIPP award work.

    3. A comprehensive final report is due 30 days after the end date of the award.

    4. All publications, resulting even in part from work supported by SC INBRE, must acknowledge SC INBRE support and a PMCID must be obtained for each publication in a timely fashion. PMCID information must be provided to the SC INBRE administrative staff as soon as available.

    5. BIPP award recipients are expected to obtain an NIH Commons ID for all student and postdoctoral participants.

After the expiration date of each award, SC INBRE will continue to contact awardees 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 BIPP recipient from further SC INBRE support.

Human Subjects Information

  • All applicants must read and complete the PHS HS and CTI Instructions and Fillable Form form.

  • All applicants need to complete the required attachments (see chart below).

  • Only applicants that have an Exemption Number need to complete the form in PHS HS and CTI Exempt Form.

  • Only applicants that have clinical trials will need to complete third column of forms.

Human Subjects Forms