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CBAM Center Development Grants

Deadline for proposals: Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 11:59pm PDT

The Center for Brain Activity Mapping (CBAM) solicits proposals from interdisciplinary teams of scientists to lay the groundwork for future applications for large center grants aimed at developing and implementing new technology for brain recording. In addition to team-building, support may be requested for pilot studies which would demonstrate the capability of the team to pursue novel lines of inquiry, and thus enhance the likelihood of future center funding by NIH, NSF, DoD, and other agencies.

The proposal should articulate an overarching vision appropriate for a major research center. The nature of the unifying theme is open, but in most cases it will be built around a solution or solutions to a key need in brain monitoring. More than one pilot study may be proposed in a given application. Multiple technologies can be included in a single proposal provided that they are combined coherently. Demonstrations of technology, including limited applications to clinical or basic problems, are allowed but the focus should be on thematic and technology development. Not all of the technologies represented in a proposal need to be the subject of a pilot study. Technologies may be invasive or non-invasive, directed toward humans or animals, and sensitive to electromagnetic, chemical, optical or other signals.

The proposal must include at least three faculty, and preferably more. Preference will be given to proposals that rely on collaboration between the engineering, physical, biological, social and/or clinical sciences. Proposals will be accepted from any of the participating institutions in the CBAM organizing meetings, although having attended those meetings or having previously received a CBAM Innovative Seed Grant is not a prerequisite for applying. At least one member of the scientific team should be from UCSD. PIs may be associated with more than one proposal submission.


Requests for a total amount of $100,000 - $400,000 will be considered; we retain the discretion to adjust the amount either down or up as deemed appropriate, along with the number of awards. The budget period will be from 8/1/2015 until completion (one or two years). There is no IDC associated with this grant program. Funds may be spent to purchase equipment or supplies, support salaries, and use facilities. Reasonable expenses for group planning sessions are encouraged.

Proposal Format

Proposals should be submitted in pdf format, single-spaced, Arial 11 pt, 0.5” margins.

A. Project Overview. This section should be no longer than 1 page.

Précis: This section should contain a title and a 60 word executive summary of the proposed research. If funded, this abstract will be used in a press release announcing the CBAM awards. The abstract should therefore be written in a language that is clear, accessible to the educated layperson, and avoids unnecessary technical terms.

Scientific Abstract: This section should be understandable by the multidisciplinary reviewing team, with a maximum of 200 words.

Scientific Team and Laboratories: This section should describe the research team and laboratories, and their respective roles. The lead/contact PI with email and telephone should be identified.

B. Center Description. This section should be no longer than 3 pages. This section should motivate the center by describing how the center will solve a major unfilled need in brain recording. It will describe the proposed technologies in the context of current research and technological development, and suggest how the novel recording methods will help enable the solution of important basic and clinical research questions that are fundamental for the proposed center. This section will also describe how the preparation for a center grant would be organized and structured, and the plans for the eventual fully funded center. It will list the existing or expected programs that would be target for the future grant application with links to the BAA, RFA or other announcement, and the timeline for future grant preparation and submittal.  (Some of these programs are ongoing, others have yet to be announced.)

Proposed centers may be purely aimed at technology development, or may aim that approach at answering a fundamental basic research question.  Funding sources vary in whether their interest extends beyond technology per se, so we leave it up to the proposers to choose according to where they see potential funding coming from.  In all cases, however, development of new technology must be a major effort of the proposed center.

C. Pilot Project Description (s). This section should be no longer than 2 pages text and 1 page figures for each project, .For each proposed pilot study, this section should briefly describe the proposed research and address: (a) the potential of the new technology; (b) the principle and mechanism it is based on; (c) the research steps envisioned; and (d) the role of investigators from different disciplines.

D. References. Provide complete citations.

E. Detailed Budget and Budget Justification. This section should include the information that would typically be included in a proposal to NSF or NIH. Address the impact that funding would have for the project. If the budget is split between UCSD departments or two institutions, please indicate the breakdown and PI of each budget. In addition to the total budget, separate budgets for each proposed pilot study should be included.

F. Biosketches. An NIH or NSF style biosketch and a letter of intent to collaborate for each listed team member should be included. The biosketch should include other support and a brief statement regarding overlap with the current application.

G. Intent to Collaborate. A letter of intent to collaborate for each listed team member should be included. A brief letter or email to the Lead/Contact PI stating the following is sufficient: I write to express my enthusiastic support of the proposal entitled “[REPLACE WITH PROPOSAL TITLE]” to the CBAM Center Development Grant Program. I look forward to this collaboration.

Instructions for Proposal Submission

Proposals should be submitted as a single pdf file to jshin@ucsd.edu no later than 11:59pm PDT, Wednesday July 15, 2015.

Award Conditions

If applicable, valid animal and/or human subject protocols must be approved by the appropriate institution prior to the issuing of award funds.

A one-page summary at the end of the funding year must be submitted when requested, to include a listing of any publications, presentations, press releases, and follow-on grants that may have resulted from the research. Grant recipients will be asked to present their research at a future CBAM meeting.

Announcements regarding awards will be made in August 2015, with an immediate start date. For more information or questions, please contact Ralph Greenspan (rgreenspan@ucsd.edu).