MEDx Biomechanics of Injury and Injury Repair RFA Instructions

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I. Purpose

Duke MEDx Biomechanics pilot project grants will facilitate the formation of new collaborations or enhance existing collaborations between regular rank faculty in Medicine and Engineering.

To be responsive to this call for proposals, projects should address one of the following:

  • an understanding of the biomechanics of injury
  • the cellular or tissue response to injury or injury repair
  • the development of biomechanical methods to evaluate cellular or tissue injury or regeneration
  • injury treatments that involve a biomechanical modality
  • biomechanical approaches that aid in the clinical evaluation of injury and recovery

Projects may be a new collaboration between regular rank faculty in Engineering and Medicine, a new project for existing collaborators or achieve a new and measurable milestone in an existing research collaboration. All proposals must describe how the successful completion of the research will lead to subsequent support through grants, not-for-profit partnering, new company formation, licensing or other channels. These awards are not meant to provide bridge funding for existing projects. Up to two proposals may be funded.

The awards are up to $50,000 (direct costs only, and no faculty effort may be included).

II. Key Dates 

  • Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 PM, February 3, 2020 
  • Selection of Awardees: Target date is no later than March, 2020 
  • Funding Period: The budget period is for up to 12 months beginning on the date of award.

III. Eligibility 

  • Proposed projects must be jointly submitted by a regular rank faculty member from the Pratt School of Engineering and a regular rank faculty member from the School of Medicine.
  • Proposals are encouraged from new teams of investigators or existing collaborators proposing a new research topic.
  • More than one proposal may be submitted per Pratt and Medicine faculty member acting as PI, but each PI may only receive one grant. 

Interested investigators who need assistance identifying collaborators can contact MEDx for assistance.

IV. Funding

Each award will consist of up to $50,000 (direct costs only) with an expected start date no later than April 6, 2020. Successful applicants will be expected to provide a mid-term progress update and a final report indicating progress towards the stated objectives and achieving follow-up funding, any publications that are in progress, and other achievements. 

V. Proposal Preparation

Consultation is optional. If you wish to consult with a member of the MEDx team, see the calendar for office hours (MEDx Café). You are advised to let Donna Crenshaw know if you are planning to attend or need to meet with someone outside of the scheduled MEDx Café times.

VI. Review process and Criteria 

A Review Committee comprised of biomedical, clinical or engineering researchers will review the applications and select the finalists. The Review Committee will consider the following criteria when reviewing and scoring applications: 

  • Significance – The novelty, uniqueness and impact of the opportunity presented by the proposal; opportunities that provide generalizable solutions to translational research problems are highly encouraged. 
  • Approach – Methods and analyses used are well-reasoned and suitable to complete value recognition studies and proposed specific aims. 
  • Feasibility – Project scope of work is appropriate for the timeframe and level of funding.
  • Collaboration – The collaboration should provide complementary laboratory and/or clinical and engineering skills and expertise, and the team should have access to the required resources to complete the work.

VII. Application Preparation & Submission

Submit your proposal 

Proposal sections will be uploaded as two PDF files. Include the co-PI last names in the file names as follows: 

The first file is the Scientific Abstract (below). Name this file: PI lastname_PI lastname_Abstract

  1. Scientific Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the proposal for use by the review committee and Duke MEDx (1-page limit). Please include the project title, names of the PIs (including collaborator names is optional here) a brief introduction to the problem, the aims, whether this is a new collaboration or an extension of an existing collaboration, and the requested funding amount.  

The second file contains list items 1-5, (below) assembled into one PDF. Name this file: PI lastname_PI lastname_Proposal.

1. Research Proposal (5-page limit, including tables and figures. Use at least 0.5-inch  margins, single line spacing, and font no smaller than Arial 10 pt. Citations do not count towards the 5-page limit.) Research proposal should address the following:

a. Concise explanation of unmet need and/or scientific significance, and how the  proposed research is responsive to the Purpose (see Section I) of this Request for Proposals

b. Research plan and approach to achieving the Aims

i.     Include preliminary data if helpful (not required) 

c. Proposed research timeline/project plan

d. A brief description of the plan for follow-on support or translation if that is the logical next step. Indicate if this research is currently funded and how. 

2. Citations: Citations do not count towards the 5-page limit and should be included at the end of the research proposal.

3. Budget with Budget Justification: Use PHS 398 Form Pages 4 and 5 (Page 5 is for the Budget Justification section only and you may use more pages as needed.)

4. Human and/or Animal Subjects: Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) approval is not required prior to submission but will be required prior to transfer of funds. Briefly describe any human and/or animal subject issues. (For example, if human subjects are involved, provide a description of their involvement and characteristics. 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 the Duke IRB and comply with HIPAA. If vertebrate animals are to be used, provide a description of the proposed use of the animals in the work. Projects involving animal subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Duke IACUC. There is no page limit to this section, but it should be as brief as possible.) 

5. Biographical sketches for all key personnel, including current and pending sources of support. Please use the new (2018) “NIH Biosketch Form”. 

VIII. Budget Guidelines 

The budget period is for 12 months. Up to $50,000 in direct costs may be requested. If Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review or approval is required, funding will not be released until such approval is obtained. 

A. Grant funds may be budgeted for: 

  • Research support personnel or students/trainees
  • Small equipment, research supplies and core lab costs, or 
  • Other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project

B. Grant funds may not be budgeted for: 

  • Salary support for the faculty collaborators
  • Effort for students, post-doctoral trainees or fellows on training grant equivalents 
  • Capital equipment 
  • Office supplies or communication costs, including printing 
  • Meals or travel, including to conferences, except as required to collect data 
  • Professional education or training 
  • Computers or audiovisual equipment 
  • Manuscript preparation and submission 
  • Indirect costs 
  • Subcontracts to other institutions 
  • Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement

C. Awarded funds must be used to conduct the work proposed. MEDx reserves the right to revoke funding in the event it is determined that funds were not spent in accordance with the approved proposal or if progress are not submitted upon request.