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Pilot Program Grant Submission Procedures and Review Criteria


Grant Application and Letter of Intent 

Applications will be solicited for two deadlines each year, on November 1st and May 1st, with a scientific review in January and July. Awards will be announced in February and August. Projects will be funded in March and September. An investigator can apply for one proposal per funding cycle and receive up to one pilot project award every 2 years. All applications should be preceded by a one-page letter of intent. The letter may contain the application’s abstract, describing the background, significance, specific aims, and experimental design. The deadlines for submitting letters of intent are August 1st and February 15th, before application submission deadlines. Responses to these letters will be issued within four weeks and are final. Applications must have an initial letter of intent to be considered.  After approval of a letter of intent, the corresponding grant proposal must be submitted at the following submission date. Please include the biosketch(es) of the investigators involved with your submission.  Only complete letters of intent and applications will be considered.  Incomplete letters of intent and applications will not be considered. Letters of intent with biosketch(es), and applications should be submitted as two originals and an electronic copy to: 

Pyone Pyone Aye, DVM, PhD 
Email: paye@tulane.edu 

Angel Newman, Administrator 
Email: anewman4@tulane.edu 

Unit of Collaborative Research 
Tulane National Primate Research Center 
18703 Three Rivers Road 
Covington, LA 70433 
Phone:  (985) 871-6486 

Proposal Review

All applications will be reviewed for scientific merit by the TNPRC - Pilot Research Review Committee, appointed by the Center Director and composed of one member from each TNPRC Division and two reviewers from outside the TNPRC and Tulane University. TNPRC reviewers are assigned to the Committee for five years, and their appointment may be renewed. The outside reviewers may be affiliate scientists and are appointed for a three-year period, which may be renewed for an additional three years. Committee members will be permitted to seek confidential verbal or written reports from colleagues not belonging to the Committee if they need further assessment. All additional outside assessments received, whether verbal or written, will be reported to the committee. Ad-hoc members with particular areas of expertise may be appointed as needed. The recommendations of the Committee will be forwarded to the Center Director. It will be the Director’s responsibility to make the final decision as to which proposals are funded and at what budgetary level. If overlapping funding is received at any time after a pilot study award is made, funding for the pilot study project will terminate. An application that is not funded may be resubmitted as a revised application one time only.  

Progress Report

It is expected that one or more manuscripts and a NIH-grant application or equivalent will be submitted while the pilot project is in progress or shortly after its conclusion. Suppose manuscripts or grant applications are not submitted within one year of the conclusion of the pilot project. In that case, a written statement must be provided to the Center Director explaining why this omission occurred. A report of progress on each pilot research project, including manuscripts and grants submitted, must be provided to the Center Director in January for inclusion in the Center's annual progress report. Failure to do so will result in the termination of funding. 

Review Criteria

The following are the proposal review criteria: 

  1. Scientific merit (Significance, Approach, Innovation) 
  2. Complementarity between project goals and TNPRC’s scientific program 
  3. Likelihood of moving from the pilot study to a NIH-grant application or equivalent 
  4. Feasibility of the project within the time allotted to the project 
  5. Budget 
  6. Availability of an approved IACUC protocol (To prevent delays an IACUC protocol may be submitted at the same time as the application. An approved IACUC protocol is required before starting the project.) 

Pilot Research Grant Application

I. Title Page 
The title page will include the title of the project, the name and title of the investigator, institutional and departmental affiliation, the period of the proposed project, and the amount requested.   

Download the Pilot Research Grant application (pdf) here.  

II. Abstract, Performance Sites, and List of Personnel (Use PHS398 application form page 2 format) 

III. Budget Page (Use PHS398 application form page 4 and 5 format) 

IV. Biographical Sketch (OMB No. 0925-001 and 0925-002 Rev. 10/2021 Approved through 09/30/2024) 

V. Research Plan 
Page limit for the Research Plan (NIH format) is eight pages excluding references. Attachments that are essential to the review of application are permitted but should be kept to a minimum. The Research Plan should include the following: 

  1. Specific Aims 
  2. Background and Significance 
  3. Preliminary Studies 
  4. Research Design and Methods 
  5. Literature Cited 
  6. Appendix (if necessary) 

Vertebrate Animals Section 

VI. Abstract of Funded or Submitted Proposals 

This section should contain the abstract page or a summary of each grant and contract currently funded or submitted, including those funded or submitted elsewhere for pilot research support.  

VII. Statement About Relationship of Proposed Pilot Study to Funded or Submitted Proposals 

This statement should explain the relationship, if any, to funded or submitted proposals. If there is no relationship, a single sentence will suffice. 

VIII. List of Previously Awarded Internal Grants 

This list should include all internal grants previously awarded at TNPRC during last five years. For each previously awarded grant, state what external grant or contract applications resulted from the internal grant, and for each application, whether it was funded.  

IX. Feasibility of moving from a Pilot Study to a NIH-grant application or equivalent 

Discuss the likelihood that funding of this pilot project will result in a more extensive, externally funded research program.  

Pilot Programs Funded

  • Rhesus Papillomavirus Infectivity and Persistence in Experimentally Infected Female Rhesus Macaques 
  • A Nonhuman Primate Model of Tick Immunity 
  • Identification of Cytotoxic and T Helper Epitopes in Rotavirus VP6 Surface Protein 
  • Evaluation of a Prototype Mucosal Chlamydia Trachomatis Vaccine in Pigtailed Macaques 
  • Nonhuman Primate Pilot Study of a Therapeutic DNA Vaccine against Chaga Disease 
  • T Cell Activities in a Rhesus Monkey (Macaca mulatta) Model of Ricketsial Infection 
  • T Regulatory Cells in Rhesus Macaques and African Green Monkeys 
  • A Rhesus Macaque Model for GB Virus Type C (GBV-C) and SIV Coinfection 
  • Experimental Viral Myocarditis: Characterization in a Nonhuman Primate Model 
  • Statins as Potential Agents for NeuroAIDS 
  • Primate Model of MHCII Contribution to HIV Pathogenesis 
  • HSV-2/HIV Vaginal Infection Model for Microbicides 
  • Stereotaxic Gene Transfer to the Rhesus CNS 
  • Repopulation of Macaque Lungs with Macaque Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
  • Comparative Pathogenesis of SIVsm Viruses Belonging to Different Genetic Lineages 
  • Targeting an SIV nef Core Vaccine to Dendritic Cells 
  • HIV and the Mucosal Immune System: New Vaccine Strategies 
  • Development of Strategies for Vector-Mediated Gene Transfer into Rhesus Monkeys 
  • Primate Model for Novel Immunization Strategies against Anthrax 
  • Targeting an SIV nef Core Vaccine to Dendritic Cells 
  • Induction of multiple broadly neutralizing antibody lineages with a multivalent HIV nanoparticle vaccine 
  • IVCM and ‘Deep Nerve’ Analysis of ZIKV-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in NHPs 
  • The role of defective HIV proviral DNA in promoting viral escape 
  • An animal model to study pathology associated with the novel tick-borne pathogen Borrelia mayonii 
  • A Tick-Targeted Vaccine for Preventing the Transmission of Tick-borne Pathogens 
  • Eradication of SIV Reservoirs by Targeting the Autophagy and Survival Mechanisms of SIV-infected Cells Harboring Replication-Competent Viruses