College of Medicine

Call for Applications



The College of Medicine is accepting applications for support and designation as a COM Academic Alliance in one or more of our key signature areas as defined in the COM strategic/COMMITS plan (addiction sciences; cardiovascular sciences; diabetes/metabolic sciences; neuroscience; oncological sciences) or other emerging areas with a clear justification, while leveraging our Center, Departmental, College, and University structure.

The overriding goal of each Alliance is to develop a selected programmatic theme and structure to be “best in class” from a national perspective, and to achieve this result through well-constructed teams aligned with the COM strategy. Priorities will be given for Alliance teams that clarify priority “sub areas” within the overall strategic plan signature foci noted above (For example epilepsy, vascular dementia, thrombosis, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, complications of diabetes, or behavioral research in opioid addiction, to name only a few). Although most Alliances are expected to be research based, other programs with national impact in education, policy etc. will also be considered. Support may be utilized to develop a new Alliance or strengthen an existing Alliance.

Each Alliance will have a Chairperson(s); a leadership team that will form the steering committee for the COM strategic plan; and defined and meaningful membership of the Alliance. Each application must show leveraging, and how such leveraging will be accomplished. Examples include partnership between a basic science department(s) and a clinical department(s) and a goal to develop each member accordingly.

The proposed development of the Alliance must include defined metrics that will be achieved at 6 month intervals, over an 24 month period of support. Funding will include an initial allocation of $50,000, plus three additional $50,000 allotments at six-month intervals, dependent upon satisfactory performance related to the defined metrics, for a total of $200,000.

Defined metrics may include identification of specific Alliance team members that the Chairperson(s) will help/mentor/advise toward increased grant funding; specific multi-PI grant submissions (RO1, P20, P30, RM1); individual grant submissions by member faculty, including early career or less well-funded faculty; increased grant submissions and funding of Alliance team members as a group; increased publications in the highest impact journals; and improved national ranking including a top 20 national NIH research ranking of a department or selected programmatic area for public universities. Metrics for funded Alliances may be revised following consultation with the COM research leadership team.

The proposal should include a plan for self-sufficiency following the initial award period. For example, if funds are requested for administrative support or core facilities; subsequent grants submitted during the award period should include such support in the budget.

Priority will be given to applications that prioritize the following requirements: 

  • Agreement between at least two departments or units in which investigators primary academic appointments reside and/or Centers, with co-signed letter of support by each, and agreement to partially match award funding.

  • Identification of an Alliance Chair or co-Chairs, who must have R01 or equivalent funding, and will serve as the PI(s) of the application.

  • Identification of Alliance faculty membership, including contributions of each member to the Alliance and plan for Alliance to aid the members toward increased grant funding. Priority will be given to Alliance teams that clearly describe members and “the how” or plan they will engage and develop each member with future grant submissions, team efforts, clinical trials etc.

  • Plans to facilitate the development of Alliance members who are early career faculty and/or faculty with little or no current funding.

  • A detailed budget and budget justification including salary support, startup support (if applicable), supplies, etc. Sufficient justification and detail should be provided to validate the need and cost of each item. The budget will be comprehensively reviewed to ensure that the funds being requested are relevant to the research being proposed.

  • Plans for sustainability at the end of the award period, including ongoing sources of funding and fundraising.

  • Funding distributions will be formulaic, bi-annual, and dependent on metrics related to the success of the Alliance team.

 Applications will be accepted and reviewed according to the following schedule

Call for Applications

Letter of Intent deadline

PI selected for Full Application Notification

Full Application Receipt Deadline

Funding Decision

Feburary 6, 2018

March 22, 2018 (5:00 pm)

April 25, 2018

June 1, 2018 (5:00 pm)

July 6, 2018


An informational session will be held on February 12, 2018, 5-6 pm, N102 **Please note room change**


Within the general guidelines outlined above, the types of projects that will be considered within this mechanism include projects that:

  • Increase grant funding and ranking in key signature areas or justification of emerging areas

  • Enhance the success of faculty with less funding through partnership and leadership of Alliances

  • Increase the number of programmatic/multi-PI grants

  • Increase the number of grants submitted by Alliance members

  • Increase the engagement and partnership of clinical and basic science departments to leverage strengths in our academic medical center

  • Enhance the value of basic science departments

  • Enhance the expertise of our faculty in clinical departments

  • Enhance career development of faculty


  • Eligibility is limited to full-time faculty (all title series including regular, research, clinical and special) at the University of Kentucky

  • Investigators in training including residents, post-doctoral fellows, and clinical fellows are NOT eligible to serve as PIs but may be co-investigators.

  • Volunteer faculty and adjunct faculty are NOT eligible to serve as PIs but may be co-investigators.


Alliance awards be made on a competitive basis. COM support will include an initial award of up to $50,000 in total direct costs over a 12-month period, with additional distributions of up to 50,000 every 6 months depending on clear metrics of team development (Total COM maximum of up to $200,000 over 24 mo). These COM contributions are expected to be partially matched by participating departments and centers.

It is anticipated that one or two Alliance proposals will be funded in 2018, with an additional call for Alliance proposals in 2019.


  • Funds may be used to develop faculty and/or projects, including the recruitment of faculty, in areas critical for the development/success of the thematic focus area

  • Funds are to be used for the conduct of the project, including supplies, subject payments, assays, etc.

  • Travel funds that are needed for study conduct are allowed, if essential.

  • To support collaborations between basic scientists and clinician scientists and to promote clinician- scientist’s involvement in the proposed project, support for effort may be requested for a clinician scientist.


COM funds will be held by the college and the budgets invoiced for a period of 24 months maximum, dependent on the nature and scope of the study. Individual principal investigators will not be allowed to hold more than one Alliance research award at any one time.




Letters of Intent (LOI) and Biosketch (BS) in NIH format will be solicited from faculty. The LOIs will be reviewed by a steering committee and full applications reviewed and subject to a standard NIH-type study section assessment. A subset of meritorious LOIs will be selected and applicants will be invited to submit Full applications.

Full proposals will be subject to a standard NIH-type study section assessment. Each proposal will be reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers.

DEADLINE DATE for LOI: Thursday, March 8 by 5:00 PM (EST). The submission link will be closed after this time.


LOI Instructions (2 page Limit)

The LOI must be within a 2 page limit describing the following elements:

  • Description of the Science/Rationale driving the Alliance effort (approximately 1-2 paragraphs):

  • Qualifications of the Alliance Chair(s) and a list of the Alliance faculty members

  • Identification of Alliance members, including junior faculty

  • Brief outline of the proposed metrics/milestones at six month intervals

  • Brief description as to how the Alliance will facilitate the priorities outlined above

  • Proposed budget, including cost-sharing by participating Departments/Centers

  • Biosketch of the Alliance Chair(s) (not included in the 2 page limit)


Based upon review of the LOI, successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application with a 6 page limit. Incomplete or incorrectly prepared applications will be returned without review.

  • All applications exceeding the requested page limit will be rejected and not reviewed.

  • References- Authors, year, title and journal information are expected for each citation. These are not included in the page limit and can be reported at the end of the body of the proposal.

 Follow the steps below to apply for Alliance support:

  • For the application, margins must be no smaller than 0.5” at all points.

  • Use an Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or Georgia typeface, a black font color, and a font size of 11 points or larger. (A Symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters; the font size requirement still applies).

  • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch.

  • EACH page should provide the applicant’s name in the upper right hand corner. The application should be numbered consecutively in the center bottom.


  1. Cover Page(s)

  1. 1.   Title of the Alliance Project and Total Amount Requested.
  2. 2.   Applicant’s information for Alliance Chairs and Co-Chairs :
    • Name

    • Degree(s)

    • Rank, Title (s)

    • College

    • Department /Division

    • Campus Address,

    • Contact Information including e-mail and telephone number


  1. Detailed budget and budget justification in NIH format, direct cost only**

Please include budgets for the initial COM allotment of $100K and for each subsequent $50K allotment, including department/center cost sharing. The total budget should also be included.

Initial budget: link

Entire Budget Period: link

Letters regarding cost-sharing agreements with departments/centers should also be included in the budget. Include a description of plans for the Alliance to become self-sustaining from a budgetary perspective.

  1. Abstract

Abstract: The abstract should provide a brief (not more than 250 word) summary of the Alliance goals and project(s). Beneath the abstract, each of the Alliance members and their departmental affiliation should be noted. Any additional key personnel should also be included. Each Alliance member and Key personnel listed should provide a letter confirming their role (Include these letters in the Appendix).

Explain how this partnership will provide new opportunities for the investigators, any development activities that will be conducted throughout the project, and how these activities will build a sustainable infrastructure for an ongoing partnership (not more than 250 words). 

  1. Body of the proposal: (limited to 6 pages)

    The format of the application will follow NIH guidelines as outlined below.

Specific Aims (limited to 1 page and included in the 6 pages body proposal)

State concisely the research goals and projects of the proposed Alliance, and outline how the Alliance aligns with one or more priorities for funding. Include a summary of the proposed metrics/milestones by which success of the Alliance will be measured. Describe briefly how the program will achieve “best in class” status in the selected thematic area.

Research Strategy

Organize the Research Strategy in the specified order and using the instructions provided below. Start each section with the appropriate section heading—Significance, Innovation, Approach. Cite published experimental details in the Research Strategy section and provide the full reference in the Bibliography section. Given the length of the application, investigators should strive to provide a relevant, although not exhaustive bibliographic review (described below)

(a) Significance

  • Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed Alliance addresses.

  • Explain how the proposed Alliance will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.

 (b) Innovation

  • Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.

  • Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or intervention(s) to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation or intervention(s).

  • Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions.

(c) Approach

  • Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project.

  • Indicate goals for each phase of the project, along with the milestones to be achieved and/or the metrics by which success will be evaluated.

  • Discuss how the proposed research projects will facilitate the development and enhance the funding of junior and/or underfunded faculty.

  • Clearly describe how each Alliance member will be engaged in the development and/or implementation of the study.

As applicable, also include the following information as part of the Research Strategy, keeping within the three sections listed above: Significance, Innovation, and Approach.

  • Preliminary Studies. Include information on Preliminary Studies. Discuss the PI’s preliminary studies, data, and/or experience pertinent to this application. Preliminary data can be an essential part of a research grant application and help to establish the likelihood of success of the proposed project.

  1. Appendix

  • Biosketch for each Alliance member in NIH format

  • Protection of human subjects section and animal assurances (if applicable)

  • Letters from Department Chairs/ Center Directors that include acknowledgement of their financial support (if applicable) and providing assurance that sufficient protected time to complete the research will be available.



  • Successful applicants will be required to provide semi-annual progress reports. A final written report describing project accomplishments must be submitted within 60 days of the project end date.


  • Funding for successful application will be released upon receipt of applicable IRB/IACUC approval, if applicable.

  • If required IRB/IACUC approval is not provided within a period of 90 days after the announcement of the award, THE FUNDS WILL BE SUBJECT TO CANCELLATION.