Pilot project proposals

Call for Pilot Project Proposals

The Developmental Exposure Alcohol Research Center (DEARC), now in its 11th year of continuous funding, is an NIAAA-supported Specialized Alcohol Research Center housed at Binghamton University.  A major focus of the DEARC is to examine behavioral and neurobiological adaptations to alcohol exposure occurring during development, with a particular emphasis on the fetal and/or adolescent stages.  This DEARC pilot grant program is designed to promote innovative research in the area of developmental ethanol research and to provide funding for preliminary studies to support subsequent applications for additional research funding in this area. Successful applicants are required to become active, engaged members of the DEARC community and to attend our monthly meetings on a regular basis.

Successful applications must address one or more of the following goals of the DEARC Pilot Core:

1) Bringing talented researchers into the DEARC community. Researchers without a formal relationship to the DEARC are eligible under this criterion. Junior researchers working to develop a track-record of funding or established researchers whose proposed projects constitute a significant departure from their ongoing research or pose intriguing new hypotheses are welcome to apply for Pilot Project support.

2) Catalyzing the incorporation of new technical innovations into our current research. Researchers with or without a formal relationship to the DEARC are eligible to apply under this criterion. Projects supporting the implementation of novel, innovative, advanced and/or state-of-the-art approaches into ongoing research are eligible for support.

3) Supporting the formation of new collaborative teams of researchers. Researchers with or without a formal relationship to the DEARC are eligible to apply under this criterion. In recognition of the importance of collaborative, interdisciplinary research, projects involving new collaborative research efforts that will advance the mission of the DEARC are also welcomed.

Eligibility. Investigators at academic research colleges and universities in upstate New York and surrounding locales (defined as ~ 3h drive from Binghamton) are eligible to apply. Candidate projects must address an aspect of the effects of ethanol in development and integrate within the overall themes and research activities of the DEARC. Successful proposals may also benefit from use of DEARC core facilities (see binghamton.edu/dearc/). 

Budget. The maximum request is for annual direct costs of $45,000 for an up to 2-year project period.  Additional guidelines affecting budget planning can be found on our website.

Full Proposal Requirements. Each application should consist of an abstract and a <5-page description of the project (including NIH-formatted Specific Aims and a Research Strategy section). A detailed one-year budget and justification should also be included, along with a NIH-style biographical sketch for key personnel, and other support information (applicants from institutions other than Binghamton University should provide details on institutional support for their research, particularly the availability of Facilities, Resources and Equipment). 

Pilot Core Proposal - Budget Guidelines 

Annual direct costs of up to $45,000 may be requested; up to 2 consecutive years of support are available. Indirect costs will also be provided according to the institution’s negotiated Facilities and Administration cost rate.

 Annual funding is available as soon as September 1, and the budget year ends on August 31. No carry forward of funds from one funding cycle to the next is possible. Any funds that are unspent at the end of the funding year must be returned to Binghamton University.

 Project approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee or Institutional Review Board are not required at the time of application but must be in place before a subaward for a successful application can be established and executed.

In all cases, the budget request must be detailed and fully justified in the application.

Other guidelines. If the total amount of funds requested for salary (for the PI and all other associated staff) is to exceed $15,000/year, please communicate with Dr. Jentsch well before the application is due to discuss the rationale for this.

 If the total amount of funds requested for major equipment purchases is to exceed $10,000/year, please communicate with Dr. Jentsch well before the application is due to discuss the rationale for this. Please note that no funds may be used to purchase major equipment unless the purchase is clearly justified in the submitted proposal.

 Unless scientifically necessary and justified, no more than $2,500/year may be allocated for travel costs.

Application procedure/timeline:

Dec 1 ‘19:    Call for proposals distributed; questions regarding eligibility may be directed to the Pilot Project Core PI, Dr. David Jentsch (jjentsch@binghamton.edu)

Jan 15 ’20:  Letter of intent. A brief letter indicating an intention to apply, listing key personnel and associated institutions and a brief (<1/2 page) statement of project objectives should be emailed to DEARC Administrator Amy Macdonald (amacdon@binghamton.edu)

Mar 1 ‘20:   Deadline for receipt of proposals. Proposals should be sent to Amy Macdonald (amacdon@binghamton.edu). Proposals will be peer-reviewed by experts in the field, including the External Scientific Advisory Board of the DEARC. Funding decisions will be made by the Executive Committee.

June 1 ‘20:  Decision letters with critiques will be provided to all applicants.  Successful applicant(s) will be asked to meet with DEARC directors to review the conditions of the award. 

Sept 1 ‘20:   Projected award start date.

Contact Information

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Center Director (Dr. Terrence Deak, tdeak@binghamton.edu) or other members of the Executive Committee (Dr. Linda Spear, lspear@binghamton.edu; Dr. David Jentsch, jjentsch@binghamton.edu; or Dr. Lisa Savage, lsavage@binghamton.edu), who can provide additional information about the DEARC.