Call for Institutional Membership 2018

SC INBRE Competitive Renewal

Application, March 27, 2019


Call for proposals for institutional membership

Proposals due Friday, June 1, 2018, 5 pm EST

Informational Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 2 to 3:30 pm, USC School of Medicine, Room B1 (location and parking maps)

Informational Meeting Materials:

  • SC INBRE Program Director's Presentation (PPT)
  • Dr. Bill Jackson's presentation SC INBRE Impact at USC Aiken (PPT)
  • Meeting notes (PDF)
  • FAQs (PDF)

The Leaders of Biology/Biochemistry/Biomedical Sciences/Health Sciences programs at South Carolina Institutions of Higher Education that train predominantly undergraduate students (four-year undergraduate institutions or community colleges with institutional transfer programs) are invited to submit proposals for participation in the competitive renewal application for the next phase of the South Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE).

The National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) supports the INBRE program with the goals to: 1) build on the established multi-disciplinary research network to strengthen the biomedical research expertise and infrastructure of the network institutions; 2) build and increase the research base and capacity by providing support to faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at the participating institutions; 3) provide research opportunities for students from primarily undergraduate institutions and community colleges and serve as a “pipeline” for these students to continue in health research careers within IDeA states; and 4) enhance science and technology knowledge of the state’s workforce. Additional information about the aims and scope of INBRE can be obtained from the Funding Opportunity Announcement found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-18-262.html. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to read this document before initiating the application process.

SC INBRE brings together mentoring comprehensive research universities (CRU) and mentored predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUI) in a network that supports:

    1. Development of research programs directed by INBRE-supported faculty at both CRUs and PUIs
    2. Establishment or expansion of undergraduate and graduate research training programs, with particular emphasis on the research training of students from underrepresented groups
    3. Core facilities and their accessibility and utilization across the network
    4. Bioinformatics training and support for the application of bioinformatics to research and education at PUIs
    5. Funding for bioinformatics pilot projects awarded annually on a competitive basis
    6. Communication and resource sharing at all levels among institutions.

The current SC INBRE includes thirteen institutions: the three CRUs (USC, the lead institution; MUSC and Clemson University) and the following PUIs: Claflin University; Coastal Carolina University; College of Charleston; Converse College; Francis Marion University; Furman University; Presbyterian College; South Carolina State University; University of South Carolina Aiken and Winthrop University. Since 2015, SC INBRE has supported over 30 faculty at these institutions and those faculty have trained hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. All current SC INBRE PUIs will re-compete for membership in the 2020-2025 SC INBRE which will include 8-10 PUIs in the state-wide network depending upon applications received and funding requests.

Member PUIs in the new SC INBRE will receive recurring support for their undergraduate research training programs: academic year, summer (including summer salaries for participating faculty and student support) or both. In addition, faculty from SC INBRE network institutions will be eligible to compete for direct and substantial support of their own research programs through the Developmental Research Project (DRP) Program that will be established with SC INBRE funds. It is anticipated that 7-8 PUI target faculty slots will be made available each year on a competitive basis by SC INBRE. Faculty will be able to re-compete for a renewal of their INBRE funding for a maximum total of 3 years of support, or until they achieve their own independent funding.

It is an explicit expectation of the program that SC INBRE-supported faculty dedicate 50% of their time to research/career development activities (this can include summer months) and, therefore, receive appropriate teaching release from their institution during the time of INBRE funding. INBRE funding can be used to provide support for up to 50% of the target faculty’s salary. Commitment to provide adequate release from teaching to SC INBRE faculty so that this person can dedicate 50% of his/her time (including the summer months) to research/career development activities must be explicitly stated on the institutional application for membership and is a condition for consideration of an institution’s application.

A focus on biomedical scientific research areas relevant to the mission of NIH is mandatory. Applications that propose research or training in other disciplines (i.e. Chemistry; Field Biology; Botany; Zoology) without any connection with human physiology/biochemistry and/or human disease will be deemed not responsive. All areas of biomedical research will be considered, including disciplines such as Public Health, Community Based Participatory Research, as well as those focusing on basic laboratory sciences. One or more general “themes” for the final SC INBRE application to the NIH will be selected based upon the research interests and strengths of the successful applicant members.

Proposals are due by Friday, June 1, 2018, 5 pm EST and can be sent as email attachments to John.Clarkson@uscmed.sc.edu and Edie.Goldsmith@uscmed.sc.edu.

Interested potential applicants are cordially invited to attend a one-day workshop on SC INBRE that will be held on April 18, 2018 by the SC INBRE leadership to provide more information about the program’s scope, results, and impact on participating institutions. We will also answer any questions interested parties may have about the application process.

All proposals will be reviewed for completeness and merit by a panel of reviewers external to South Carolina and INBRE. The External Advisory Committee and the External Evaluator will rank the applications and assist the PI in the selection of the participating members of the next SC INBRE.

Necessary elements of a PUI proposal

Proposals can 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 Higher Administration (Dean, Provost or equivalent) indicating the level and modes of institutional commitment to research at the applying institution and the goals of SC INBRE.

1) Format

Proposals should be no more than 10 pages total; single space, font Arial or equivalent, font size no smaller than 11, with margins no smaller than 0.6" on all sides. Appendices are allowed, but should not be used to circumvent page limitations. Limit appendix materials to two or three items, including an institutional letter of support.


2) Research training of undergraduate students and building of a pipeline in the Biomedical Sciences. Points to be addressed include:

a) A description of the current research training program including the number of students being trained in Biomedical research each year; number of minority students trained; how many of these students [Under-Represented Minorities (URM) and not] go on to graduate programs (PhD or MS), medical or other professional school in the biomedical disciplines

b) Plans detailing how the new phase of SC INBRE will build (for new institutions) or expand upon and improve current programs (for current institutions) in relation to goals for student training, summer versus academic year research training opportunities, and building a pipeline

c) Specific plans (if any) for interactions with K-12 for pipeline building (some institutions will have this, some will not)

d) Current and planned inter-institutional interactions for research training of students, and if/how these activities will be expanded under SC INBRE


3) Institutional plans for expansion and growth of Biomedical Research. Applicants should:

a) Describe the pool of faculty that can be potential applicants for/recipients of competitive target faculty positions; the description should include qualifications of current faculty, faculty productivity data including current and pending funding, projected goals for faculty development under SC INBRE and how the institution envisions accommodating the new needs of faculty supported by the program (teaching release, T&P guidelines)

b) Indicate areas of current biomedical research strength at their institution, as well as any plans for targeted expansion of these areas or building of new areas that can be facilitated by INBRE support.


4) Institutional commitment to the program, with particular emphasis on faculty development and sustainability of INBRE-supported programs to include:

a) Current institutional investments in support of biomedical research

b) Plans for expansion of such support

c) Any specific commitment to SC INBRE (faculty release time, matching support)


5) Diversity plans

Applicant should describe in detail their plan for the recruitment and retention of URM students and in the recruitment, development and retention of URM faculty. Diversity plan should address

a) Approaches currently in place to increase recruitment and retention of URM students and faculty

b) Plans for expansion of current programs

c) Goals and objectives


6) Research resources and facilities

a) Provide a description of the facilities and equipment currently available to biomedical faculty and students for research and training

b) Describe any plans for expansion of current equipment and facilities

c) Indicate the status of institutional research support infrastructure (i.e. is there accounting and grant management assistance, a sponsored program office, 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. This is not among the criteria for inclusion, as all of these resources can be built at the institutional level if they are not already in place. However, 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.


7) Specific alteration and renovation needs that could be met, at least in part, by a portion of the funds available for Alterations and Renovations (A&R) in year 1 of the new SC INBRE.

These funds are now earmarked exclusively to the PUIs. Not all institutions will make an A&R request and all A&R requests will be evaluated separately, and will not enter in the overall evaluation of the institution as a potential member of the network. 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, but may be included as an outreach site (i.e. a collaborator).


8) Budget

The application should include a budget indicating the funds being requested and a 1-2 page justification for how the funds will be spent. Applicants should use the NIH budget form page (398 forms) which can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html. The budget and budget justification are not included in the 10 page limit.