NPOD PROJECT LEADER Request for applications


The Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules (NPOD) seeks to identify a new cohort of project leaders, effective June 1, 2020. The NPOD is funded by a Center for Biomedical Research Excellence Phase II grant (award number P20GM104320) from the NIH, and builds research infrastructure in obesity research and nutrient signaling at UNL and UNMC.


Both pre-tenure (junior investigators) and established investigators are invited to apply. Established investigators are expected to have a track record of competitive external funding.


Project leader funding is the highest level of support provided by NPOD. Pre-tenure project leaders will be paired with mentors to guide them to success, defined as securing independent external funding. Established investigators will be matched with mentors if so desired.




  • UNL or UNMC faculty at all ranks are eligible to apply
  • The proposed research must focus on obesity-related metabolic diseases, or signaling by nutrients or bioactive food compounds
  • Project leaders will devote six person-months for junior investigators and three person-months for established investigators to their NPOD project
  • Previous project leaders are not eligible to apply


Time line:


  • Letters of intent must be received by NPOD no later than September 15, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CDST (see Instructions, below)
  • Select applicants will be invited in late September to submit a full proposal
  • Full proposals (NIH R01 style) will be due no later than November 15 2019, 5:00 p.m. CST
  • NPOD reviewers will review applications throughout November using NIH review criteria and make recommendations for funding to the center’s external advisory committee (EAC)
  • NPOD’s EAC will review and approve/disapprove proposals (December of 2019)
  • NIH will review for compliance and approve/disapprove proposals for funding in January or February of 2020
  • Funding will start June 1, 2020



 Letters of Intent

  • Letters of intent must be received by NPOD no later than September 15, 2019, 5:00 p.m. CDST
  • Letters must provide the following information:

~        Cover letter with contact information (no more than one page)

~        Brief outline of the proposed (one page, Arial 11, 0.5” margins): at a minimum state the central hypothesis, specific aims, a short description of methods, and plans for future funding. Note that NPOD will provide funding of up to $150,000 per year for up to three years (no F&A, no equipment); the proposed research must be appropriate for the level of funding.

~        NIH-style biosketch (no more than five pages)

  • Submit letters of intent to Dr. Janos Zempleni or Ms. Murray Gilbertsen (see below for contact information)

Project Leader Full Application

NIH PHS 398 (PDF, Word).

Please complete the PHS 398 form with appropriate NIH templates and formatting. Note, there is currently not page space for many of the required ancilliary documents (Vertebrate Animals, etc.) so they will need to be inserted into the form in the order shown on the Table of Contents. Normal NIH page limits apply.

Completed forms should be emailed to Janos Zempleni and Spencer Hall (contact information below).


Next steps:


  • NPOD will contact select applicants with additional information


Additional information:


  • NPOD project leaders will become members of the center (see for benefits)
  • Project leaders are expected to participate in monthly NPOD meeting, spring retreats, fall research symposia, and provide written progress reports in preparation for annual renewals with NIH (typically in February/March), and oral reports to the EAC (typically in September)


Contact information: