Call for Proposals: Pilot Funding Program

The Center for Neuroengineering (CNE) requests applications for pilot projects designed to build a  neuroengineering community at Georgetown and foster collaborations with CNE partners at Lawrence  Livermore National Labs (LLNL), the Technical University Munich (TUM), and NIH. The pilot program is open  to all full-time faculty at Georgetown University. Our goal is to fund innovative research projects that have significant potential to attract additional funding to further grow neuroengineering at Georgetown University.  

Submissions must be emailed to no later than Thursday, December 1, 2022,  at 5:00 p.m. EST. Notification of awards will occur by January 15, 2023.  


Proposals must meet the following eligibility criteria:  

i. The principal investigator must hold a full-time faculty position at Georgetown University.  ii. The investigative team must have access to adequate resources to perform the proposed research  with the requested budget;  

iii. Multi-PI and multidisciplinary applications are strongly encouraged; applications that involve CNE  partner labs from LLNL, TUM or NIH are particularly welcome;  

iv. A faculty member can only be PI on one application; there is no limitation on the number of awards in  which a faculty member can participate as a co-investigator/collaborator/consultant.  

Application Guidelines:  

Applicants must submit the following materials:  

a. Research Plan (2 pages total)  

Describe the project in no more than 2 pages (one page of Specific Aims and Hypotheses, one page of Background and Preliminary Data).  

b. Current NIH-formatted biosketch for PI and senior personnel  

c. Budget & Justification (1 page)  

Describe how the award money will be spent by December 31, 2023. See the budget guidelines below.  

d. Strategic Alignment (1 page)  

Statement indicating how the proposed project fosters neuroengineering at GU and could lead to new grant applications to external funding agencies.  

e. Letters of Support and/or agreement from any collaborators (1 page each).  

Budget Guidelines:  

We expect to make awards in two project categories: “large” pilots with a maximum budget of  $50,000 and “small” pilots with a maximum budget of $25,000. Note that no IDC is awarded. 

Funds may be requested for supplies, travel, non-capital equipment (< $5,000), and use of shared  resource services at Georgetown University.  

Resources may also be used to offset existing salary effort in support of the research as provided  by research track faculty, tenure-track faculty, laboratory technicians, trainees (e.g., graduate  students, postgraduate fellows, residents, medical students) and undergraduate students.  

Funds for salary support may not be used for bonuses or other incremental increases to faculty, staff,  or student compensation, which must follow current GU guidelines, e.g., as described in the current  faculty compensation plan.  

Funds should not support tenured faculty salaries or relieve existing bridge support.   Funds cannot be used for subcontracts to other institutions outside GU; this restriction includes  services.  

Upon selection, all awardees will acknowledge budget rules and research timelines; progress reports  will be requested at mid-year and year-end.  

CNE Pilot Award funding will be available for spending January 15, 2023, and must be fully  expended on or before December 31, 2023. No funds will carry over beyond December 31,  2023.  

Peer Review:  

A review committee of faculty affiliated with the CNE will review applications according to the criteria listed  below. Where possible, review committee membership will reflect the areas of expertise needed to adequately  evaluate the research proposals submitted by the faculty. Other than institutional affiliation conflicts, NIH  conflict of interest requirements will be followed. All peer review will be fully confidential. Prior to any award,  the budget component will be reviewed by the SAVP/Chief Business Officer. PIs of applications selected for  award will be notified of any recommended modifications to the budget and offered the opportunity to respond  before funding is released.  

Review Criteria:  

  • Innovation (as defined by NIH)  
  • Significance (as defined by NIH)  
  • Approach (as defined by NIH)  
  • Resources and Environment (as defined by NIH)  
  • Likelihood of attracting external funding  
  • Potential of the proposal to foster neuroengineering research at GU  
  • Budget – is the request appropriate for the award? Unlike NIH, this will be a score-driving criterion.  

Questions? Please contact