Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

2021 FOA Links

  • Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program (BIPP)

  • Developmental Research Project Program (DRP)

  • Student-Initiated Research Project Program (SIRP)

The South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE), SC INBRE IV solicits applications for the Bioinformatics Pilot Project Program (BIPP). This program is designed to stimulate the application of genomics and bioinformatics methods by supporting research and student training through the SC INBRE and and South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) 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 28, 2021

  • Deadline for submission: April 5, 2021, 11:59 pm EDT

  • Period of performance: Sept 1, 2021 through Aug 31, 2022

Award amounts and number of anticipated awards:

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


Grant Application: Word | PDF

Biosketch (Word)

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. Diego Altomare, Lab Manager (Email, 803-777-6682)

    • 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.

**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:

        1. 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):

        1. Specific Aims: 1 page

        2. 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)

        3. Literature cited: 1 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. If research involves human subjects, discuss the use of human subjects as required in NIH grant applications. Provide PHS Inclusion Enrollment report, a certificate of training in HS research for the PI, and proof of IRB approval for the project. No activities involving human subjects can be initiated without appropriate IRB approval of the protocol. Note: File for IRB approval, if needed, when you begin preparation of your BIPP application.

    • Vertebrate Animals (1 page). If the project involves vertebrate animals, provide the following:

        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 (click here for additional information).

Research involving vertebrate animals must be approved by the IACUC before work on the project can begin. Note: Submit your animal protocol for approval while you are preparing your BIPP application.

    • 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 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

    • 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. 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.

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

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

Application Submission Instructions and Contact Information

Completed BIPP applications, including required signatures on the Face page, must be submitted as a single pdf file no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline by email to John Clarkson.

If you have any questions relating to this FOA, please contact John Clarkson.