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RFA: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Trainee Research Awards

Thursday, October 7, 2021
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The Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce a request for proposals for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) Pediatric Trainee Research Awards. The goal of this program is to support research activities of residents, subspecialty fellows, and postdoctoral researchers within the Department of Pediatrics.

Applications are due Tuesday, December 14, 2021.  

I. Purpose and Overview

The intent of this RFP is to support research activities of Department of Pediatrics trainees, including residents, fellows, and postdocs.  Funding provided by this award is intended to directly support research activities, and may not be used for salary support for the trainee.


  • Residents and fellows must have a current appointment in a residency or fellowship program within the Department of Pediatrics, including the Medicine-Pediatrics residency program. Residents/Fellows in their final year of training may apply if they are able to spend the funds by the end of their training time at Duke.
  • Postdoctoral fellows must have a mentor with a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics.

Proposals will be chosen to receive funding of up to $15,000 (direct costs, inclusive of 15% G&A). The funds must be used within 12 months of award or by the end of the awardee’s training time at Duke, whichever comes first. Preference will be given to applicants who do not currently hold a career development award of other significant means of research support.

Proposals should describe:

  • A clearly articulated research question and specific aims
  • The clinical and/or study population of interest and any relevant model systems
  • Data required to answer the research question
  • A description of the experimental design, including brief descriptions of proposed methods
  • The impact and translational potential of the proposed work

Awarded projects will each have with a total budget of up to $15,000 (direct costs, inclusive of 15% G&A) and a project duration of 1 year, based on the following criteria:

  • Overall impact
  • Significance
  • Approach
  • Feasibility

Proposals will include the following components (see Application Procedure for more details):

  • Cover page that includes the title of the proposal, the names and affiliations of the PIs, and any collaborators, including faculty members and centers/institutes
  • Scientific Abstract (250 words max)
  • Research Proposal: 2 pages or less, formatted according to the accompanying template
  • Budget and budget justification
  • Biosketch or CV for the PI(s)

II. Details and Proposal Preparation

  • If applicants have questions regarding their eligibity, they should email prior to preparing their applications.
  • Application Submission Deadline: December 14, 2021 via the Qualtrics application portal (see below).
  • Proposals must conform to the page limits and formatting requirements indicated. All components listed are required.
  • Funding: Each award will consist of up to $15,000 (direct costs, inclusive of G&A) with an expected start date of March 1, 2022 and ending on February 28, 2023.

III. Selection Process and Review Criteria

  • Application Review: A Review Committee comprised of researchers from the Department of Pediatrics and other Duke faculty members will perform a detailed review of the applications.
  • Applications will receive scores for:
    • Overall impact
    • Significance
    • Approach
    • Feasibility

IV. Application Procedure

The Department of Pediatrics uses a Qualtrics online application portal to submit applications:

Proposal sections will be uploaded as individual PDF files. The application sections are:

  • Application Form (Use the template provided in the attachments at the bottom of the page; use half inch margins, single line spacing, and Arial 11-point font).
    • Cover Page (1-page):  The title of the proposal, the names and affiliations of the PIs, and any collaborators, including faculty members and centers/institutes.
    • Scientific Abstract (250 words maximum): The abstract is a summary of the proposal for use by review committee members. Please include the project title, a brief introduction, the aims, and the expected outcomes. 
    • Research Proposal (2-page limit, including tables and figures) formatted according to the accompanying template. This includes (see template for details):
      • Background and Significance
      • Goals
      • Specific Aims
      • Impact and Translational Potential
      • Benefit of this support to the applicant’s career path
    • References (Please note that references do not count towards the 2-page limit and should be included at the end of the Application PDF).
  • Budget with Budget Justification (Use the template provided in the attachments at the bottom of the page; combine all pages into a single PDF with no page limit).
  • NIH Biosketches or CVs for the PI(s) (Compiled as a single PDF with no page limit).
  • Letter of Support from the applicant's primary mentor.

V. Budget Guidelines

Please note the following during budget preparation:

  • Total budget must not exceed $15,000.
  • All funds are subject to G&A of 15%  - this should be included in the budget.
  • Grant funds may be budgeted for:
    • salary support for research support personnel. (Salary for research staff must reflect actual institutional based rates supplied to you by your grants managers or business office.)

    • travel necessary to perform the research (please note that approval for travel is subject to institutional criteria)

    • small equipment, subcontracts, research supplies and core lab costs, or

    • other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project

    Grant funds may not be budgeted for:

    • salary support for PIs, trainees, or faculty

    • foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement

    • capital equipment

    • office supplies

    • meals or travel, including to conferences, except as required to collect data

    • professional education or training

    • computers or audiovisual equipment

Awarded funds must be used to conduct the proposed research. The Department of Pediatrics reserves the right to revoke funding in the event it is determined that funds were not spent in accordance with the approved proposal without prior notification and approval.

VI. Terms of the Award

  • Approvals Required Prior to Funding Start Date
    Prior to receiving funds, research involving human subjects must have appropriate approvals from the Duke IRB. If the research includes animals, the appropriate IACUC animal research forms must also be approved before the project’s start date. Failure to pursue approval and notify the Department of the outcome in the requested timeframe may result in cancellation of funding.
  • Project Execution
    Investigators agree to submit a brief interim report (6-months after project start), a brief report at the end of the funding period, and a detailed written report 12 months after the conclusion of the funding period that includes applications for or acquisition of additional funding, submitted or published manuscripts, presentations, invention disclosures, and other outcomes. The Department may terminate and reallocate residual funds for any team failing to submit required written reports in a timely manner. Proposed aims of funded projects may be changed, added, or deleted during the funding period, pending Investigator and Department of Pediatrics review and agreement. Projects should be completed in the 12-month period; no-cost extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests for no-costs extensions must be emailed to 90 days prior to the end of the funding period.
  • Post-Award Reporting and Requirements
    The Department of Pediatrics tracks significant events resulting from the funding—information will be requested annually, starting at the completion of the funding period, until the awardees notify the department that no additional research products or significant events associated with the award are expected. Examples of significant events include:
    • Abstracts/presentations, manuscripts, published guidelines
    • Additional funding
    • Regulatory meetings and filings
    • Initiation of clinical studies
    • Improved diagnosis or treatment of disease
    • Implementation in clinical practice and community
    • Translation of models to other geographical areas
    • Translation of models to other therapeutic areas
    • Clinical outcomes in practice and communities
    • Agreements with partners and strategic collaborators to translate the research
    • Commercialization (e.g. new intellectual property, license, commercial partnerships, or start-up company)
    • Direct-to-consumer interactions (e.g. apps) 

When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates of publications and other successes that originated from the award and will also be required to assist in the development of a report to the CMNH organization. Additionally, awardees may be invited to present at the Department Research Retreat, and other venues. All manuscripts and other research products supported by these funds must include a note acknowledging the funder as the CMNH (awardees will be provided with an acknowledgment statement that should be used for all research products).