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The goal of the Trainee Research Grant Program is to provide CBBRe trainees with experience in writing NIH-style grants and in the review and revision process. This program also provides a mechanism for trainees to obtain funding to support their research and to collect data to support an external fellowship or grant application.

Applicant Eligibility

Graduate students (including medical students) and postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply to the CBBRe Trainee Grant Program, but the trainee must be a member of the CBBRe.

Budget Considerations

The total budget may not exceed $5,000. The budget period may run up to 12 months from the beginning of the project, with Jan. 1, 2021 as the earliest start date. Typical project costs can be budgeted, with the exception of salary and meeting/conference/training travel. Travel directly associated with conducting the project is allowable (e.g. conducting assessment or experiments at another facility or field work).

Application Process

Proposals should be sent as one complete PDF file (with the exception of the faculty sponsor letter) to on or before Oct. 18, 2021. The faculty sponsor's letter should be sent directly to CBBRe by the due date.

Review results will be available by late-November. Start of award date is Jan. 1, 2022.

Proposals should consist of the following (in order):

  • Cover page
  • NIH Biographical sketch for trainee, faculty sponsor and any other key collaborators (five pages maximum)
  • Budget page
  • Budget justification
  • Introduction to revisions (one page maximum) if a revised proposal
  • Research plan (six pages maximum)
  • References cited
  • Project milestones and future funding plans (one page maximum)
  • Statement of relevance (one page maximum)
  • Letter from the trainee's faculty sponsor (sent directly to CBBRe)

Biographical Sketches (five page limit each):Follow the NIH format for all biosketches.

Budget Justification (one page limit): Justify the need for each major item. Also explain what other funding is available to support this project (and if none, state so).

Introduction to revisions (one page limit): Trainees resubmitting a proposal already reviewed by this CBBRe program should include a response to the previous reviews, a list of revisions made in response to the previous reviews, and detail where in the proposal these changes can be found.

Research plan (six page limit): This section should conform to the standard NIH style, including significance, innovation and research approach sections. Research goals/hypotheses/specific aims should be clearly stated in the significance section. The research plan should be written at a general neuroscientist or behavioral science level. View NIH guidelines for grant applications (Application Guide SF424 (R&R) - Adobe Forms Version C Series). Use one-inch margins and no less than 11-point font. Please contact CBBRe if you need assistance in preparing an NIH-style grant or would like to see examples of this format.

Project milestones and future funding plans (one page limit): A timeline for completion of project milestones should be provided. Also include plans and a timeline for presentation of this work, publication of the research and any external funding applications.

Statement of relevance (one page limit): Applicants should explicitly state how the proposed research aligns with the goals of the CBBRe, and how the proposed research relates to the applicant’s career goals. This section should also be used to explain the involvement of the trainee in the CBBRe.

Letter from Faculty sponsor: The trainee's faculty sponsor should comment on the applicant's potential for a research career, the applicant's ability to conduct the proposed research, the resources and available to the trainee to conduct the study, and the willingness of the sponsor to mentor the student during the course of the project and in dissemination of the results.

Review of Applications

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of neuroscientist and behavioral scientists from the different departments represented within the CBBRe. Therefore, grants should be written for a general scientific audience. Review criteria will include:

  • Quality and feasibility of the research
  • Research potential of the applicant
  • Relevance of the project to the trainee's career goals
  • Relevance of the project to the CBBRe
  • Evidence of faculty involvement and mentorship

Applicants will be notified of review outcomes by late-November 2020.

Conditions of Award

  • Funds will not be released until documentation regarding IACUC or IRB approval has been provided to CBBRe, if applicable.
  • Funds are to be expended during the approved budget period. A final progress report is required within 30 days of the end of the budget period.
  • All resultant publications and presentations should acknowledge funding from the CBBRe.
  • All successful applicants will be required to present the findings of their research project at the CBBRe annual research symposium.
  • All resultant applications to external funding agencies must be routed through the University of South Dakota. This is necessary to ensure that indirect costs are directed back to the CBBRe to support the center's activities, including this pilot grant program.


Name Department & Office Contact
Lee Baugh
  • Associate Professor
Lee Medicine & Science Hall 258
Jamie Scholl
  • Researcher III (Center for Genetics and Behavioral Health)
Lee Medicine & Science Hall 241