SC INBRE Cycle V Competitive Renewal Application
Call for Proposals for Network Membership
SC INBRE is a statewide network of 14 colleges and universities, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), with the goal of increasing biomedical research capacity within South Carolina. This goal is achieved by providing research project funding to faculty as they build independent research programs and to primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) to increase research training opportunities available to students. SC INBRE IV is funded through August 2025 and we are planning a renewal application to be submitted May 2024. This call for proposals invites applications from institutions of higher education across South Carolina that would like to be considered for membership in SC INBRE V.
Institutions eligible to apply for inclusion in the SC INBRE V network include PUIs, defined as four-year colleges/universities, two-year colleges, and minority-serving institutions that award Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees in biomedical sciences and have awarded fewer than 20 Ph.D./D.Sc. in the previous two academic years.
Institutional Commitment to SC INBRE V: To build and enhance research capacity at network institutions, faculty who receive funding from SC INBRE V's Developmental Research Project (DRP) Program must have sufficient time to devote to research activities. The DRP program will offer two types of awards, research project (RP) and pilot project (PP), both of which require release time for funded investigators. Applicant institutions must clearly indicate their commitment to providing release time through a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU). The MOU must indicate that faculty receiving a RP award are guaranteed six person months effort to devote to their research program while faculty receiving a PP award must be granted three months effort. Release time can include summer months and faculty can request salary on their project (up to 50% salary on RP). Applications not explicitly guaranteeing this support will not be considered.
A virtual meeting will be held at 11 am ET on Tuesday, May 30 to answer questions about the application process. Individuals interested in submitting a network membership proposal should contact Cyndy Buckhaults so they can be sent the virtual meeting link.
Application review will be conducted by SC INBRE’s External Advisory Committee with final selection expected before the end of the year.
Required elements of a Network Membership Proposal
Proposals may be submitted by Deans, Department Chairs or Senior Faculty members (Tenured Professors or equivalent) and must contain a letter of support from the institution’s administration (Dean, Provost, President) indicating their commitment to enhancing biomedical research on their campus. Each PUI may only submit one network membership proposal.
PLAN FOR DEVELOPMENT of Biomedical Research Capacity and Student Training. This section should describe the current biomedical research training environment and how participation in SC INBRE V will strengthen/enhance the current research culture. The description should address the following
a. Indicate the departments/programs that will participate in INBRE funded research, the pool of faculty that will participate in student training and number of potential faculty who could apply for SC INBRE DRP program grants. Provide information on faculty productivity as well as plans for faculty development as part of SC INBRE which should include facilitating faculty applications to DRP program grants and mentoring through the T&P process
b. Number of students enrolled in these departments/programs, student demographics, number of current students participating in research activities, and outcomes for recent graduates
c. Detailed plan describing how the new phase of SC INBRE will build (for new institutions) or expand upon/improve current programs (for current institutions) in relation to goals for student training. Indicate current biomedical research focus areas at the institution and any plans to expand into new research areas using SC INBRE support.
d. Indicate planned inter-institutional interactions for research training of students, and if/how these activities will be expanded under SC INBRE
e. Indicate the status of institutional research support infrastructure (i.e. is there accounting and grant management assistance, an Office of Sponsored Programs, IRB, IACUC, Biosafety committees in place) and how necessary infrastructure would be built or expanded to manage and serve the needs of an expanded biomedical research program. Applicants can allocate up to 15% of their requested budget (direct costs) for administrative costs, including support to develop/strengthen their Office of Sponsored Programs. The reviewers of the proposals will need assurance that the institutions are committed to put in place the necessary infrastructure, if it is not already there, so the research program will be successful.
PLAN FOR ENHANCING DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES. Including diverse perspectives and experiences in the research training environment allows individuals from different communities to participate in and derive benefit from scientific advances. In this section, indicate how your institution plans to promotes diverse perspectives in biomedical research. Include a timeline for achieving your goals for this area and milestones for determining progress. Examples may include, but are not limited to:
a. Collaborations among network institutions or engagement of different organizations in the state
b. Participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical workforce
c. Outreach and activities designed to recruit women and underrepresented groups, both at the student and faculty level
ALTERATION AND RENOVATION (optional; up to 2 pages). As part of the renewal, SC INBRE V can make a one-time request (up to $250,000) for funds to support alterations and/or renovations of research space. Requested funds must be expended in the first year of SC INBRE V. Only PUIs are eligible to request A&R funds. A&R requests will be evaluated separately from institutional proposals and will not be part of the overall evaluation of an institution as a potential network member. In other words, a proposal may be accepted but the A&R request denied, and in exceptional cases, funds may be devoted to A&R at an institution that may not become a full member. Should a project be selected for funding, applicants will be required to provide line drawings of the proposed renovations. Funds cannot be requested for new construction (including outfitting of shell space) or purchase of movable equipment. This section must address the following:
a. Describe the proposed renovation project and provide simple drawings/diagrams so the scope of the project can be discerned
b. Indicate how the proposed renovations will improve research infrastructure/capacity and support student training
c. If renovations to animal facilities are proposed, include how the renovation will comply with relevant laws/policies/guidelines. The role and composition of the IACUC must be provided as well as reporting lines and administrative authority and oversight of the institutional animal program
INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT to participating in SC INBRE. Evidence of commitment to enhance biomedical research, promote faculty development and build a sustainable biomedical research program should include plans to leverage support provided by SC INBRE to enhance the overall campus research culture. Information provided should include:
a. Indicate the senior institutional leader (President/Vice President for Research or equivalent) who will serve on the Steering Committee
b. Indicate the institutional lead who will serve on the Executive Committee
c. Description of current institutional investment in biomedical research
d. Plans for increasing biomedical research capacity on campus which may include, but is not limited to, new faculty hires, renovation of research space, equipment purchases, or initiatives to enhance biomedical research
e. Letter of institutional support from a senior official indicating the institution’s commitment to support student and faculty participation in SC INBRE activities. This letter must include the required faculty release time noted above, as well as other plans to support the local INBRE program (i.e. Return of IDCs, dedicated funds to support additional students, travel support for students/faculty to attend scientific meetings, space, equipment, etc.)
Our Office has received some questions regarding the application process.