Synopsis and Objective

The Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases (NPOD) invites applications for its multiple PI pilot grant competition. The primary objective of this pilot grant program is to stimulate collaborative, multidisciplinary research in the area of obesity research and/or signaling by nutrients or bioactive food compounds, and to enhance competitiveness in securing major external, preferably federal support.

Support: Funding is available to support one award. The winning team will be supported with up to $100,000 direct costs per year for a maximum of two years.
Letter of Intent: September 1st, 2020 (5 p.m. CST)
Application Due Date: October 1st, 2020 (5 p.m. CST)



Applications from NPOD members and non-members will receive equal consideration. The PI must be in a tenured or tenure-leading position in Nebraska and have a strong record of securing external funding and peer-reviewed applications. The winning team will have three to five faculty from at least two different departments or schools. It is expected that applicants lay out a clear path to securing a P01 award. Applications leading to a multiple PI award with an annual budget close to $500,000 on direct costs will also be considered.



The submission of a letter of intent is required by September 1st, 2020 (5 p.m. CST). The letter will state the tentative project title, contact information of the PI, names, rank and affiliation of team members and specific aims of the proposal within a single page. Submission of a full proposal will be by invitation only.

The application form for pilot grant awards is available at the bottom of the page. Application forms can also be obtained from Verona Skomski, Administrative Coordinator NPOD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 316D Leverton Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0806, e-mail: The application of a full proposal is in the general format of an NIH R01 proposal, with different page limitations. 

The face page needs to include name of PI(s) and team members, contact information, project title, and Year 1 & 2 budget request. The face page needs to be followed by a budget and justification (1 page), biographical sketches (NIH style, 5 page limit including other support), research plan (specific aims, background, preliminary results, experimental plan and a description of plans for future external funding applications not to exceed 5 single-spaced pages including figures and tables), and bibliography. The bibliography does not count toward the page limit. The margins must be 0.5 inches on all sides and use of Arial font with a font size of 11 is required.

A statement regarding authentication of key reagents (1 page) and documentation of biostatistical consultation are also required. Consultation is to be documented by a signature of NPOD’s bioinformatics and biostatistics coordinators, Drs. Kathy Hanford or Steve Kachman on the application’s face page (see

The maximum budget will be up to $100,000 direct costs per year for a maximum of two years; F&A costs are not allowed. Year 2 funding will be contingent upon satisfactory progress in the first year, a continuation request by the investigator, and availability of funds. Equipment requests should not constitute the major portion of the budget. All budgeted items must be justified and relate directly to the research project. Salaries for faculty are not allowed. However, salaries for other personnel are permitted.

Applications in pdf format must be received via email at and/or no later than 5 PM CST on October 1st, 2020.

All required approvals (e.g., IRB, IACUC, IBC) must be obtained before funds are released.



Faculty of the winning team will become NPOD members and will be expected to attend monthly meetings and participate in NPOD events.  PIs will present their research progress at a monthly work-in-progress seminar of the NPOD, and to the external advisory committee during NPOD’s annual review meeting (typically in September). In addition, PIs are required to submit a report to NPOD in time for submission of the center’s annual report to NIH (typically in February). A final report documenting progress, publications, and grant proposals submitted and awarded, will be due to NPOD within 30 days after the end date of the pilot grant. Team members will acknowledge NPOD support (NIH P20GM104320) in publications and presentations resulting from their P01/MPI pilot grant. PIs are expected to submit a P01 proposal or a large multiple PI grant proposal (~$500,000 direct costs per year) to NIH by the end of the funding period.



The scientific merit of each proposal will be assessed by a panel of experts with no conflict of interest, appointed by the NPOD director. Awards will require approval by NPOD’s external advisory board.  The review criteria will follow NIH guidelines with the overall scientific merit of the proposal based on overall impact, significance, innovation, approach, investigators and environment. In addition, relevance of the proposal to the mission of NPOD and the likelihood of the project leading to a P01 or an MPI award will be assessed. The review will use the NIH scoring scale of 10-90. Decisions by NPOD are final. Successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible. 



Pilot grants are intended to start no later than January 1st, 2021, with Year 1 of the grant terminating 12 months after the start date.