Seed Grants

BIRC provides seed grants to facilitate the future development of external grant applications. Seed grants are provided in the form of a limited number of allocated hours on MRI, EEG and/or TMS equipment at BIRC. These hours are intended to enable investigators to demonstrate feasibility, develop scientific and technical expertise, establish collaborations, and, secondarily, publish in peer-reviewed journals. Seed grants are intended for investigators with experience in the proposed methods, as well as those with little or no experience who have developed a collaborative plan to acquire such experience. New investigators are encouraged to consult with BIRC leadership early in the development of their project.

Key Dates

Applications are due November 8, 2018 and April 1, 2019.

Eligibility

  1. The principal investigator must be a UConn faculty member, in any department. Teams may also include students, postdocs, and other faculty members, as well as researchers from other institutions.
  2. Research teams must have sufficient expertise in study design, implementation, data acquisition, and data analysis, or must detail specific plans to develop this expertise. Plans to develop expertise may incorporate IBRAiN students, but applicants should review the IBRAiN policy.
  3. Proposed projects must not fit within the scope of funded research programs of any team member. Recipients of prior BIRC seed grants may submit continuation applications, e.g. in response to review requests for additional data.

Award Conditions

  1. Awards support MRI, TMS, and/or EEG usage at BIRC. Awards may not be used to cover any other research costs. Awards will typically support up to 20 hours of MRI time, or 20 sessions of TMS or EEG time, or an additive combination of modalities. Additional time may be granted with appropriate justification (e.g. a study involves unusually long protocols, or multiple visits).
  2. Projects must have IRB approval before awards are released.
  3. Any research products must acknowledge BIRC support. BIRC staff or IBRAIN fellows must be included as authors when they provide substantive theoretical, design, or analysis support.
  4. An annual report is required, describing progress towards funding and any research products.
  5. Awards expire after one year, with a possible 6-month extension.
  6. Recipients must submit a study request form prior to data collection.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed on the following criteria:

  1. Potential for external funding
  2. Scientific merit
  3. Likelihood of success
  4. Qualifications of the research team to complete the proposed work
  5. Outcome of past BIRC seed grants
  6. Availability of funds to support non-BIRC costs, such as participant payments and salary
  7. Financial need
  8. For studies proposing EEG as the sole modality, a justification for the use of high-density EEG at BIRC (as opposed to another lower density EEG system on campus) is required.

Application

Download and complete the application template and requested attachments. Submit your completed application, including all attachments, as a single PDF file using the online form below .

  1. Title of Application
  2. Abstract and Specific Aims (0.5 page maximum)
  3. Research Strategy. Briefly describe the significance and innovation of the proposed project; provide a summary of current literature to motivate the project; describe the approach you will use to address your aims, including experimental design, data acquisition plan, and data analysis plan (1.0 page maximum).
  4. References
  5. Timeline and Funding Strategy. Include a timeline for data acquisition, data analysis and grant submission. Briefly describe appropriate funding opportunities and explain how the proposed seed grant will be used to support your grant submission. Describe your anticipated external total budget and anticipated budget for BIRC resources (0.5 page maximum).
  6. Key Personnel. List all personnel responsible for the design and implementation of the study. When the PI does not have documented expertise in the proposed methods, a plan for developing this expertise in collaboration with other members of the research team should be described.
  7. Budget. Specify and justify the number and duration (in multiples of 30 minutes) of MRI, EEG, and/or TMS sessions requested for seed funding. Requests for more than 20 hours of MRI time require exceptional justification. List other costs needed to complete the proposed pilot project and source of funds.
  8. Attachments:
  • Biosketch: Include an NIH or NSF style biosketch for the PI(s). List all funding active within the last three years.
  • Other Support: For each PI or co-I, list active and pending funding and scope in NIH format. Explain why the proposed project falls outside the scope of current and pending funding.
  • IRB protocol: Include a PDF of your complete pending or approved IRB protocol. If a protocol has not yet been submitted, include time to IRB approval in your timeline. Seed awards will not be released prior to IRB approval. BIRC provides template IRB language to facilitate UConn IRB approval of neuroimaging studies.

BIRC Seed Grant Submission

Submission Page for Seed Grants
  • Principal Investigator Name
  • e.g. Associate Professor
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf.
    Upload a single PDF of your application and all attachments.