Seed Grant Application – Directions & FAQ’s

InCHIP Seed Grants and Awards

List of Principle Investigators

You are required to list all of the principle investigators involved with your project proposal along with their institution/organization and contact information. You do not need to list Co-investigators.

Description of Roles and functions of Project Personnel

In addition, you will need to upload a document describing the roles and functions of the project personnel as well as the individual responsibilities of the PI(s)(maximum 1 page). See the template below for how to write your Project Personnel Description.

Biosketch(s)

Then you will need to upload a biosketch in NIH or NSF format for each UConn PI. A biosketch is optional for those PIs who work at another institution/organization and are not employed by UConn, but you still may choose to include one if you’d like. If needed, you can download an NIH biosketch template here, and an NSF biosketch template here.

Faculty/Researcher Seed Grant

  • The principle investigator must have an advanced degree (e.g., PhD, MD, PharmD), have an eligible faculty appointment at UConn Storrs, UConn Health, or one of the regional campuses, and be eligible to submit external grants through InCHIP. Eligible faculty appointments are tenured or tenure-track faculty, in-residence research faculty, clinical faculty, other research faculty, and research scientists/scholars.
  • Ineligible faculty appointments are post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, research assistants and research associates, visiting titles, and adjunct faculty.
  • Graduate students are not eligible for this opportunity.
  • The applicant is required to be an approved InCHIP Faculty Affiliate by the time the final proposal is submitted. If the applicant is not currently an Affiliate, s/he must submit an application to become an one by 11:59pm EST on Monday, March 22, 2019. The InCHIP Affiliation application form and instructions are available here. Please allow at least two weeks for approval

Community-Engaged Health Research Seed Grant

  • The UConn PI and the community partner (who may be a PI) are expected to make appropriate and significant
    contributions to the proposed research, and to perform new research that could not be achieved without the
    collaboration and seed grant funding.
  • A UConn PI is required and must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • The UConn PI must have an eligible faculty appointment at UConn, and s/he must be eligible to submit grants through InCHIP. Eligible faculty appointments are tenured or tenure-track faculty, in-residence research faculty, clinical faculty, other research faculty, and research scientists/scholars.
    • Ineligible faculty appointments are post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, research assistants and research associates, visiting titles, and adjunct faculty.
    • Graduate students are not eligible.
    • The UConn PI must be an approved InCHIP Affiliate by the time the final proposal is submitted. The InCHIP Affiliate application form and instructions are available here. Please allow at least two weeks for approval.
  • Seed grant proposals must be predominantly the work of the PIs and for the benefit of the PIs’ research programs. Proposals written primarily by graduate students or others in the PIs’ names are not permitted.
  • Two PIs are permitted on the seed grant, if and only if, one PI is a UConn faculty member and the second PI is from a community organization (dual PIs are strongly encouraged). Other individuals may serve as Co-Is or significant contributors, but not as PIs.

FY19 InCHIP-CHCACT Health Research Seed Grant

  • The UConn PI and the FQHC partner(s) are expected to make appropriate and significant contributions to the proposed research, and to perform new research that could not be achieved without the collaboration and seed grant funding.
  • Two PIs are permitted on the seed grant, if and only if, one PI is a UConn faculty member and the second PI is from a participating FQHC (dual PIs are strongly encouraged and preferred). Other individuals may serve as Co-Is or significant contributors, but not as PIs.
  • All members of the UConn-FQHC study team must agree to adhere to the guiding principles of the CHCACT-UConn Community Practice-Based Research Collaborative, which are based on the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Principles of Partnership.
  • A UConn PI is required and must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • The UConn PI must have an eligible faculty appointment at UConn, and s/he must be eligible to submit grants through InCHIP. Eligible faculty appointments are tenured or tenure-track faculty, in-residence research faculty, clinical faculty, other research faculty, and research scientists/scholars.
    • Ineligible faculty appointments are post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, research assistants and research associates, visiting titles, and adjunct faculty.
    • Graduate students are not eligible.
    • The UConn PI must be an approved InCHIP Affiliate by the time the final proposal is submitted. The InCHIP Affiliate application form and instructions are available here. Please allow at least two weeks for approval.

InCHIP Rolling Seed Grants to Develop Interdisciplinary Research Teams

  • Ineligible faculty appointments are post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, research assistants and research associates, visiting titles, and adjunct faculty. Graduate students are not eligible for this opportunity.
  • The applicant is required to be an approved InCHIP Faculty/Researcher Affiliate, or submit an application to become an InCHIP Faculty/Researcher Affiliate prior to funding. The InCHIP Affiliation application form and instructions are available here. Please allow at least two weeks for approval.
  • The proposed work must be consistent with InCHIP’s mission, which can be found here and be clearly linked to a planned external grant application.
  • If funded, changes to the project’s objectives and budget require approval from InCHIP staff.

In this section of your application you will need to provide the title of your proposed project as well as the project abstract. Your abstract should describe the concept for the future external grant application and explicitly state how the proposed seed grant will help your research team develop a more competitive external grant. Additionally, you will be required to upload a research plan.

The Research Plan should consist of the Specific Aims and the Research Strategy.

Please limit this research plan to four (4) pages with single-spaced, 11pt font, and ½-inch margins. Please do not include any appendices with the research plan.
Specific Aims
The Specific Aims should include information about the proposed pilot project as well as information about the planned future external grant application. The Specific Aims should include an explanation of how the proposed pilot project will lead to a new externally-funded research project.
Research Strategy:
The Research Strategy should provide a brief description of significance, innovation, and approach. The significance and innovation description should focus on the larger research question that will be addressed by the future external grant application. The approach portion of the Research Strategy should focus on the pilot project that is being funded by the seed grant.The terms significance, innovation, and approach have specific criteria assigned by the NIH. Please find the criteria for these terms below:

Significance: Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventive interventions that drive this field?

Innovation: Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Approach: Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (exclusion) of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Additionally you’ll be required to upload your citations for this project.

Budget Justification

Each entry should list the item of expenditure, justification (e.g. what it is for, why it is needed), and cost.

For personnel, justify their time, and for student support, do not include tuition. Costs for equipment should take any educational discounts into account.

At the end of the itemized list, put the grand total. Please refer to current OVPR rates for your calculations. Use exact numbers (do not round). Please see below for a list of allowable expenses.

Acceptable Expenses

Seed grant funds may only be used for direct costs of carrying out approved projects, such as:

  • a. Personnel who are essential for conducting the research project, such as graduate research assistants and student labor. Individuals who are not on the regular state payroll (i.e., consultants and other off-campus assistance) may be hired to perform special research-related tasks as needed.
  • b. Resources that require fee-for-services within UConn.
  • c. Participant incentives for recruitment or study participation.
  • d. Travel that is necessary to conduct the research, NOT travel to present the results of the research, or travel to explore future funding opportunities.
  • e. Equipment necessary for conducting the research (”equipment” is defined as an article of tangible,
    nonexpendable, personal property that costs $5,000 or more).
  • f. Project supplies, including drugs and services.
  • g. Other specifically authorized expenses as may be essential for carrying out the project.

Seed grant funds may not be used for the following:

  • a. Principal Investigator’s, Co-Investigator’s, or any faculty member’s salary.
  • b. Living expenses.
  • c. Laptops or desktop computers, unless used exclusively for the project and not for any other activities.
  • d. Service/maintenance contracts on equipment.
  • e. Laboratory renovations or other infrastructure renovations.
  • f. Institutional and/or individual memberships in professional organizations.v
  • g. Travel to professional meetings to present the results of the research, or any conference attendance.
  • h. Indirect costs, including clerical and administrative personnel salaries.
  • i. Costs associated with the publication of results of the research, such as purchase of reprints.
  • j. Investigator training costs, including tuition.

You are required to provide letters of support from research sites, external collaborators, or consultants. A letter of support is required from any collaborating community organization.

Additionally, there is a section to include any other sources of support for your proposed project. Please describe any other sources of support for the proposed project (e.g., funding, in-kind services, equipment). Other sources of support are not required and if there are no other sources of support to report, please enter “N/A.”

Priority for funding will be based on the following review criteria, in no particular order:

  • Scientific merit of the planned external grant application and the extent to which is it novel or innovative (e.g.,testing a new methodology, theory, or understudied research area).
  • Scientific premise and rigor of the pilot work to be supported by the seed grant.
  • Relevance of the study to InCHIP’s research mission and strategic priorities.
  • Feasibility of plans to submit an external grant proposal to external funders no later than one year following completion of the pilot project.
  • Composition of the research team (preference will be given to interdisciplinary work).

Additionally, there is a section to include any other sources of support for your proposed project. Please describe any other sources of support for the proposed project (e.g., funding, in-kind services, equipment). Other sources of support are not required and if there are no other sources of support to report, please enter “N/A.”

If awarded, the PIs are not required to route their proposal through Sponsored Programs Services (SPS).

The awarded PIs are responsible for obtaining all required approvals for their research from the relevant IRB(s). Please visit the UConn IRB website for more information about the IRB approval process for research conducted at the UConn Storrs Campus, the four regional campuses, and the School of Law. For more information about the IRB approval process for research conducted at UConn Health, please visit the UConn Health IRB website.

Awardees will be required to submit a brief summary report of their progress annually and a final report at the conclusion of the project or award period. Changes to the project’s objectives, PI(s), and budget will require prior approval from relevant InCHIP staff.

Detailed awardee instructions/requirements will be distributed to seed grant winners when they are notified of the award decisions. All awardee requirements described above are subject to change in accordance with updated institutional procedures (e.g., routing requirements).

  • Question 1: If my primary appointment is through Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and am an affiliate of UConn, am I eligible to act as a PI on an InCHIP seed Grant?

    No, PIs must be faculty whose primary appointment is at UConn / UConn Health. Faculty with primary appointments to CCMC or Jackson Labs are not eligible to apply. PIs with a primary appointment at a TIP company are also not eligible. Individuals who are not eligible to apply as a PI may be able to serve as a collaborator/consultant on an eligible PI’s project.

  • Question 2: I am interested in InCHIP’s Seed Grant but I don’t see any listed. When will they be available?

    InCHIP’s Seed Grants generally are announced at the InCHIP Annual Meeting, which is held during the first month of the Fall Semester. Occasionally, more seed grant opportunities will open up during the Spring Semester.

  • Question 3: I have a doctoral student who would like to apply for an InCHIP seed grant. Would she be eligible if she and I were both Co-PI’s on the application?

    PhD Students are only eligible to act as PI’s for the InCHIP Grad Student Seed Grants. However, graduate student assistantships are an acceptable and encouraged use of seed grant funding.