The IBEST Pilot Project Grant Program fosters research at the University of Idaho by funding pilot studies on evolutionary and computational biology that are pertinent to human health. All tenure track and non-tenure track faculty of any rank at the University of Idaho are eligible to apply for the Pilot Project Grant. The maximum amount of each award will be $75,000 (direct costs) for one year. This funding will be restricted to new initiatives and used to collect preliminary data needed to support a competitive extramural proposal. This year, funding is limited to a single year.

Proposals will be accepted until February 17, 2017 with an expected award of funding by mid-May 2017.


  1. All applications should be accompanied by a cover letter that contains:
  • A brief statement of how their research is relevant to the thematic focus of the COBRE;
  • A description of the projected use of COBRE subsidized Core Facilities;
  • A statement of the plan for developing and submitting a proposal for external funding; and
  • A statement that explains compliance with the necessary university and NIH regulations concerning research on Human Subjects, Animal Care and Use, Biohazard and Select Agents, if these are relevant.  For details on how to comply at the University of Idaho, see the Office of Research Assurances website. Investigators must comply with all assurances and certifications listed in the PHS Supplemental Grant Application Instructions to be found online at

The letter should be not more than 1.5 pages in length and will be included with the proposal for external review. 

  1. Grant proposals submitted to the IBEST Pilot Grant Program must be prepared using the following forms from PHS 398 (Revised 8/2012).  Forms and instructions for completing these forms are available online at  Page limits for the project description are indicated below in (3).
  • Form Page 1:  Face Page
  • Form Page 2:  Summary, Relevance, Project/Performance Sites, Senior/Key Personnel, Other Significant Contributors
  • Form Page 3:  Research Grant Table of Contents
  • Form Page 4:  Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period
  • Form Page 5:  Budget for Entire Proposed Project Period (and budget justification)
  • Biographical Sketch Format Page
  • Resources Format Page
  • Continuation Format Page (for Specific Aims and Research Strategy)
  1. The project description should include the following elements within the indicate page limits:
  • Specific Aims (1 page; see section 5.5.2 in PHS 398)
  • Research Strategy (3 pages; see section 5.5.3 in PHS 398)
    • Significance
    • Innovation
    • Approach
  1. Budgets should be prepared and justified following PHS 398 guidelines. 

Allowable costs include personnel (PI, postdoctoral fellow, technician or graduate student); supplies; core facility costs; small equipment; publication costs; and research-related travel (e.g., field work, collaborative travel, but not conferences).

Special guidelines for the project budget:

The person(s) who will do the research must be UI employees by the time funds are awarded; this should be addressed in the budget justification.  If necessary the start date will be delayed until hiring is complete.

In accordance with university guidelines, PIs are required to budget for and cover at least 2% of their academic year salary for the period of the grant.

  1. Proposals should be submitted via email as a single PDF file that includes the cover letter and all forms in the appropriate order.  Send to IBEST via email by February 17, 2017.  The subject line should be ‘IBEST Pilot Research Proposal.’  
  1. Pilot grant recipients are obligated to acknowledge this support in presentations and publications that emanate from this funding.  They must agree to provide IBEST with information about their publications, presentations, and grant submissions during and after the funding period.  Recipients are also expected to attend IBEST sponsored seminars and will be asked to present their research findings and their plans for submission of a grant proposal in an oral presentation to the IBEST group around 9 months into the first funding year.
  1. A final report that describes their research findings (2 pgs) and a list of publications and manuscripts submitted, presentations, proposals submitted and grants funded is due within one month after funding concludes.


The Strategic Planning Committee will identify potential reviewers for the applications based on the subject matter of the proposals. Two referees from outside the University of Idaho will review each application, and each reviewer will be asked to evaluate multiple proposals. The reviewers will be asked to prepare an anonymous written review that will subsequently be provided to the applicant. The proposals will be scored based on NIH guidelines (see section 6 in PHS 398):

  • Overall impact based on:
    • Significance
    • Investigator(s)
    • Innovation
    • Approach
      • Environment 
  • Reviewers will also be asked to comment on:
    • Consistency with the scientific theme of the COBRE – processes of evolution – and clear relevance to human health.
    • Appropriateness of the budget
    • Plans to comply with policies for research on Human Subjects, Animal Care and Use, Biohazard and Select Agent policies and procedures, if applicable
    • Potential to lead to extramural funding from NIH or other agencies or foundations
      • Use of the COBRE Core Facilities

After receipt of the written reviews, the IBEST Strategic Planning Committee and Dr. Forney (COBRE PI) will discuss the reviews and choose the most meritorious proposal.