Important Dates

All applicants are asked to provide a brief Statement of Intent prior to submission of a full proposal. Please provide a 2-3 sentence summary of your proposal, which will be used to assist the BBI in the recruitment of external reviewers with the appropriate expertise. Please send the Statement of Intent to bbiumd@umd.edu by Friday, October 1, 2021. Full proposals are due Friday, October 29, 2021.

 

Changes to 2021 Seed Grant RFP

  • "Priority for funding will be given to proposals that target one of the two BBI research foci identified for growth and expansion: neuro-development or neuro-aging."  –>  Read more about the Brain and Behavior Institute's mission.

  • "Proposals should be high-risk, high-impact exploratory research to collect pilot data necessary to compete for external funding from sources that support innovative and interdisciplinary projects, such as the BRAIN Initiative and ARPA-H, or for funding by agencies such as NIH, DARPA, IARPA, NSF, etc."  –>  In 2021, proposals should fit the parameters of what was previously labeled "Track 1."

  • "Proposals have a maximum budget of $150,000 for 12 months."  –>   The dollar amount per proposal has increased. 

  • "Awardees are expected to participate in the BBI as Member Faculty as outlined on the BBI website."  –>  Read more about Brain and Behavior Institute faculty categories.

  • "Meet with the BBI proposal development team at least twice: once at the outset of the award (no later than four months after the award begins) and once in the middle of the award period (no later than 10 months after the award begins)."

  • "Allowable expenses...tuition"  –>  In 2021, proposals should budget for tuition.

You can find the annotated 2021 BBI Seed Grant RFP here.

 

Full text of BBI 2021 Seed Grant RFP

OVERVIEW

The Brain and Behavior Institute (BBI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) advances neuroscience by fostering collaboration with diverse partner disciplines, developing cutting-edge tools and promoting the translation of basic science.

The BBI seed grant program promotes this mission by cultivating new collaborations among neuroscientists, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, physical scientists, cognitive scientists and humanities scholars. The program funds innovative collaborative work focused on solving the most pressing problems related to nervous system function in development and aging, and it enables the generation of pilot data to increase competitiveness for external awards. To date, BBI seed grant investments have yielded an over 700% return in funding from government and private organizations, including the NIH BRAIN Initiative, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institute for Mental Health, National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, AT&T, and Lieber Institute for Brain Development.

GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSALS

Priority for funding will be given to proposals that target one of the two BBI research foci identified for growth and expansion: neuro-development or neuro-aging. Neuro-development and neuro-aging are the two temporal epochs most critical to the acquisition and maintenance of sensation, perception, cognition, mental health and physical health as well as most vulnerable to disruption by changes in the internal or external environment.

Proposals should be high-risk, high-impact exploratory research to collect pilot data necessary to compete for external funding from sources that support innovative and interdisciplinary projects, such as the BRAIN Initiative and ARPA-H, or for funding by agencies such as NIH, DARPA, IARPA, NSF, etc. Proposals have a maximum budget of $150,000 for 12 months.

PI Eligibility

All proposals must be multidisciplinary with at least two Principal Investigators (PI), both of whom are tenured, tenure-track or professional track faculty at UMD. Having multiple PIs from the same department on the same application is discouraged. Individuals with postdoctoral titles are not eligible to be PIs but can be included in the proposal team. Outside collaborations (UMB, NIH, etc.) are allowed (as co-investigator, collaborator, etc.), but non-UMD investigators cannot be PIs, and no money will be awarded to support non-UMD investigators. Individual investigators may participate in up to two proposals, and if two proposals are awarded to one PI, the funding for each proposal will be administered separately.

STATEMENT OF INTENT

All applicants are asked to provide a brief Statement of Intent prior to submission of a full proposal. Please provide a 2-3 sentence summary of your proposal, which will be used to assist the BBI in the recruitment of external reviewers with the appropriate expertise. Please send the Statement of Intent to bbiumd@umd.edu by Friday, October 1, 2021. Full proposals are due Friday, October 29, 2021.

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Final proposals should contain the following sections (in order):

1. Signed Proposal Cover Sheet (see template)
2. Proposal (not to exceed four pages total)

  • Description of the project, including specific subsections for Significance, Innovation and Approach (no more than two pages). The impact of the proposed work must be clear to individuals both within and outside of your discipline.

Describe the following in no more than two pages:

  • How the work fits within the one of the two BBI research foci targeted for growth and expansion, neuro-development or neuro-aging.
  • The necessity of the collaboration to achieve your goals, what each individual brings to the collaborative effort, and the history of collaboration between the PIs, if any.
  • The specific target (funding mechanism and submission date) for a forthcoming proposal to an external funding agency. The proposal must describe how the BBI seed grant will enable the submission of your externally-funded proposal.

3. Detailed budget and justification (see template)
4. Short bios of the PIs (two pages max per PI; any format)

FORMATTING

All text should be in single-spaced Arial 11-point font. Please merge all documents into a single pdf named PIsLastName_BBI2021SeedProposal, and submit via the InfoReady portal. Late or incomplete submissions cannot be accepted. Questions regarding this call for proposals should be directed to bbiumd@umd.edu.

SELECTION CRITERIA AND DEADLINES

Seed Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Each proposal will be externally reviewed. Review criteria include: the significance and impact of the proposed experiments, the relevance of the proposed experiments to the BBI research foci of neuro-development or neuro-aging, the necessity of the collaboration to achieve the proposal goal, and the likelihood of subsequent funding from external sources. Applications from new collaborators and first-time PIs will receive priority over applicants who have received funding before, especially if no external funding has resulted from prior support.

Statement of Intent: Friday, October 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Proposal Deadline: Friday, October 29, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Selection Notification Date: December 1, 2021


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