Developmental Research 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 Developmental Research Project (DRP) Program designed to foster faculty research programs at SC INBRE network institutions. DRP 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 DRP projects must provide opportunities for students (undergraduate or graduate) to gain research experience.

Up to FOUR new Awards will be made: TWO to faculty at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) and TWO to faculty at the Comprehensive Research University (CRU) Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). DRP Awards support independent research and career development for selected faculty. It is expected that DRP awardees will utilize SC INBRE support to establish their independent research programs and, in the process, provide research training to students and/or postdoctoral fellows in the Biomedical Sciences.

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 TWO awards of $50,000 each will be awarded to faculty at PUIs and up to TWO awards of $50,000 each will be made to faculty at MUSC. CRU awards may be supplemented per institutional agreement with SC INBRE.


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:

    • NMR facility at Claflin University, Dr. Arezue Boroujerdi, Director (Email, 803-535-5536)

    • Microarray Core 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.

The computational and data storage resources of SC INBRE’s Bioinformatics Core are also available to SC INBRE DRP applicants. To access these resources, contact the Bioinformatics Core Director, Dr. Homayoun Valafar (Email, 803-777-2404).


DRP Proposals are solicited from faculty at all institutions of higher education that participate in the SC INBRE network, including CRUs, Network PUIs and Outreach/Alumni PUIs. Eligible applicants include:

    1. Tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professors at participating SC INBRE network member/outreach/alumni PUIs.

    2. Tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professors at network CRUs.

    3. Non-tenure track or research faculty, at CRUs or PUIs, who will attain tenure-track status with the successful completion of a DRP are also welcome to apply but must provide a letter from their Department Chair committing to this change of status.

    4. PUI or CRU faculty at later stages of their career who lack current NIH funding and intend to utilize SC INBRE support to re-tool or change fields of interest and re-gain competitiveness for independent funding can also apply, provided that they abide by all requirements of this FOA (including working with a scientific advisor).

    5. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for, but not have current substantial NIH funding as PIs or as contact PIs in multiple PI grants. Faculty who are PI’s of R01, R21, R15, or are current COBRE target faculty are not eligible to apply. R03-funded investigators, or faculty with other sources of funding, can apply if the proposed project extends upon or is unrelated to the currently funded studies.

    6. Competitive renewal applications from current DRP recipients who are completing their second year of funding are eligible to apply for one additional year of support.

**Only one proposal per funding period will be accepted from any faculty. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Prior DRP recipients having received 3 years of funding are not eligible to apply.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

The application forms 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 $50,000

    • Budget Justification:

        • Allowable costs include personnel; supplies; travel; equipment; and other costs as allowed on NIH research project grant budgets, including indirect costs.

    • 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):

        • Introduction/Response to Reviewers’ Comments (for resubmissions only): 1 page

        • Progress report (for DRP competitive renewals only): 1 pages

        • Specific Aims: 1 page

        • Significance, Innovation, and Approach: up to 6 pages. All applicants need to address scientific premise (part of Significance), rigor and reproducibility, and relevant biological variables (both under Approach)

        • Literature cited: 1 page

    • 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 DRP application.

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

        • a description of procedures;

        • justification for model used;

        • address minimization of pain and distress; and

        • 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 DRP application.

    • Biosafety (1 page; if necessary). 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. A sample plan is available on this website.

    • Authentication of Key Biological/Chemical Resources (1 page). Describe methods/procedures for validating the identity of significant biological/chemical agents used.

    • 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. For current DRP awardees seeking a 3rd year of funding, indicate how the additional funding will be crucial for a proposal submission within this 3rd year or how funds will be used to address reviews from a previous proposal submission.

    • Plans for training of students/postdoctoral fellows under the award (1 page). Formal training plans are not allowed but activities designed to improve student research capabilities can be described. Make sure to include opportunities for training in lab safety and responsible conduct of research.

        • CRU applicants: 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.

        • PUI applicants: Include a description of how the proposed research will be accomplished with an undergraduate research team. How will the students be trained and supervised in conducting research (involvement in experimental design, execution, and data analysis)?

    • Faculty Career Development Plan (2 pages). Each applicant will select two advisors: a career advisor from the applicant’s institution and a scientific advisor who should be an established investigator in the applicant’s scientific area (i.e. senior collaborator). A written plan describing the contribution each advisor will make to the scientific and career advancement of the applicant, along with any planned activities the applicant will take part in to foster his/her career development, must accompany each application. The plan should indicate the frequency of meetings between the applicant and their advisors, contributions advisors played in proposal preparation, and indicate goals and milestones for the applicant’s career progression. Financial support can be requested if the scientific advisor is devoting significant time commitment to guiding the DRP applicant.

    • Letter of support from Advisors. Each individual listed as an advisor must provide a letter of support

    • Biographical sketches of Advisors (NIH format)

    • 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. 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 advisors and quality/appropriateness of career development plan

    • 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). DRP 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 DRP 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. DRP award recipients are expected to obtain an NIH Commons ID for all student and postdoctoral fellow 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 DRP recipient from further SC INBRE support.

Application Submission Instructions and Contact Information

Completed DRP 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.