University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Preproposals sought for COBRE Program


The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has issued a solicitation for proposals for “Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE).” This program provides support for the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program to foster health related research and increase the competitiveness of investigators at institutions located in states with historically low aggregate success rates for grant awards from the NIH. The University of North Dakota is eligible for these grants.

The purpose of the COBRE program is to 1) enhance the ability of investigators to compete independently for complementary NIH individual research grants or other external peer-review support and 2) augment and enhance an institution’s biomedical research infrastructure through establishment of a thematic multi disciplinary center, led by a peer reviewed, funded investiga¬tor with expertise central to the research theme of the proposal. The application must have a thematic scientific focus in a specific research area, such as neuroscience, cancer, structural biology, immunology, or bioengineering, and may use basic, clinical, transitional or any combination of research approaches to attain the goals of the proposed center. The center is intended to support investigators from several complementary disciplines. The research focus of COBRE encompasses the full spectrum of the basic and clinical sciences and includes cellular and molecular biology, biophysics and biotechnology, genetics and developmental biology, pharmacology and others.

The PI must have an active biomedical or behavioral research program that receives NIH, NSF or other peer reviewed support in the scientific area of the center. Each COBRE program should include three to five research projects that stand alone, but share a common thematic scientific focus. Each research project should be supervised by a single junior investigator who is responsible for insuring that the specific aims of that project are met.

Applicants must request project periods of five years and may request a budget for direct costs of up to and no more than $1.5 million per year, excluding facilities and administrative (F&A) costs on consortium arrangements. The applicant may request additional direct costs in year one only of up to $500,000 as a one time expenditure for alteration and renovation of laboratory or animal facilities.

COBRE Preproposals Page 2 September 2011

Because UND may submit only one application to the Program at this time, preproposals will be reviewed and ranked. Preproposals should address the following points:

• Cover page listing the project name, collaborators, contact person, total budget amount.

• Biographical sketches (no more than 2 pages) of the principal investigator and junior investigators who will be participating in the proposal.

• An overall research plan to justify support of a multi-disciplinary COBRE program for five years.

• Succinct descriptions of three to five proposed projects.

• Detailed budget (including expected cost share amounts and sources).

• A clear definition of the nature and extent of research collaboration, including a brief explanation of the necessary administrative, fiscal, and scientific aspects of the pro¬posed COBRE.

• A description of the research and research training or career development goals and capabilities of the proposed COBRE.

• A description of the infrastructure for conducting studies aimed at developing a nation¬ally competitive biomedical research program.

Preproposals (an original plus five copies) should be no more than 7-10 pages in length (excluding cover page, biographical sketches and budget pages) using a reasonable format (one-inch margins, font size 11, single-spaced). Preproposals are due in Research Development and Compliance by 4:30 p.m., October 3, 2011. Criteria used for reviewing prepropos¬als will conform to the guidelines included in the program announcement which can be found at:

If you would like to receive a hard copy of the announcement, please contract Julie Solheim at 7-4278 or

Letters of Intent are due to NCRR on January 20, 2012. The application receipt date is February 21, 2012.