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CBST Call for Proposals 2008

Requesting proposals for both new and continuing projects for the 2008-2009 period

August 4, 2008

The current 2-year CBST project portfolio expires on Sep. 1, 2008. We are therefore requesting proposals for both new and continuing projects for the 2008-2009 period.

The coming 2 years will be our last years of full funding from NSF. We therefore are very interested in using the new project portfolio to make strategic investments that will begin to transition the Center towards self-sustainability. Examples of these investments might include projects that: 1) complete CBST legacies, 2) increase the post-doc and permanent research staff in the Oak Park Research Building (OPRB), 3) rapidly lead to new extra-mural funding for CBST through grants, industry licenses, and contracts, 4) produce new funding opportunities that perpetuate CBST’s relationships with its UCD Campus connections and with other partner institutions, 5) enable equipment grants to increase the OPRB and other CBST lab capabilities, 6) lead to training grants or fellowships for graduate students, and 7) explore new exciting ideas that could develop into larger productive CBST programs and/or could be targeted to specific industry or foundation needs.  

CBST has been very efficient at using seed funded projects to produce preliminary results, which in turn act as the basis for extra-mural grants. By one accounting, CBST funded research results have been associated with $130M of additional funding at UCD in the first 5-years of our operation. Our aim in the next 4 years is to continue this excellent fund raising record but to try to focus more of the extra-mural grants on activities that would perpetuate the Center. To the extent possible, these new grants also need to be managed by the CBST administration or CBST needs to clearly receive credit for raising the funds since it is necessary to continually remind our institution of the value added of our combined research efforts.
Maintaining the CBST grant program after the NSF funding may be difficult. A high priority will be to keep the OPRB labs space open and fully staffed as this is CBST’s face to the world. We also need to maintain strong research relationships with the UCD Medical Center and the UCD Colleges as well as with many of our partnering institutions. These S&T components along with the education program will comprise IBEST (Institute for Biophotonics Education, Science, and Technology) the contemplated successor organization to CBST. At some point in the future, we hope to raise a sufficient endowment to re-establish the internal project grant program similar to the present NSF funded program. 

Please give Steve Lane or Dennis Matthews a call or send an email for further clarification.

Further details:

•    Proposals should be 1-4 pages and emailed to Steve Lane ( before August 25th, 2008. Please contact Steve via email if you have questions.

•    Funding requests should be for a period of no longer than 2-years.

•    Proposals should briefly describe the goal of the project, the ultimate impact, and relevance to biophotonics and to CBST themes. Applicants should include descriptions of project innovativeness, a research plan, project milestones, exit plan, and the strategic benefit to CBST. Projects should be collaborative (multiple senior PIs), and multidisciplinary in nature. Multi-institutional proposals are encouraged.

•    Project funding should primarily be used to pay for graduate students, post-docs, project scientists, and junior specialists. Projects that request funding to help bring new staff members into CBST are also encouraged. Funding for equipment and supplies is acceptable but we discourage funding for senior staff.

•    If requested funds are for a graduate student, a strong case must made that the student can complete their thesis work within the next two years or that alternate funds will be available after these two years.

•    We would like to bring our CBST legacy projects to successful conclusions in the next two years. These projects include diffraction imaging, advanced microscopy (structured illumination and non-linear microscopy), single cell Raman spectroscopy, phytochrome engineering, viral imaging, bioluminescent protease assays, and point-of-care testing technologies.  Proposals should include an exit plan that brings at least a portion of the research to a point where the value of the foregoing work is well established either through landmark publications, industry licenses or contracts, or significant extra-mural grant funding.

•    Existing feasibility (non-legacy) projects may request continued funding but a strong argument must be given explaining why additional support beyond the initial 2-year award is merited and will support CBST’s sustainability.

•    Partnering institutions should consider applying for funding that will best position themselves to obtain joint extra-mural grants with CBST researchers thus maintaining these relationships post-NSF. For instance, CBST, the UCD Cancer Center, Fisk, and AAMU have already applied for a 5-year NIH/NCI P20 feasibility grant.

•    Continuing projects which have been funding graduate student thesis projects may apply for further funding in the coming cycle but a plan for obtaining near-term alternate funding for the student must be included in the proposal.

•    Funding for new projects will begin when CBST resources become available. There will not be a single start date for all of the new projects as we have had in the past.

•    New proposed projects must be able to be easily completed during the coming 2-year term.

•    Continuing projects should plan to use preliminary data already generated to immediately apply for additional extra-mural grant funding. New projects, likewise, are urged to quickly generate preliminary data so that they too can promptly apply for additional grant funding.

•    Grant recipients must agree to attend and provide a current poster present for the annual site visit, the spring science workshop, and the annual retreat. Recipients are also expected to produce a minimum of one peer reviewed publication per year describing recent results of their CBST project.

•    Prior to receiving funding, the milestones and timeline of a project are negotiated and agreed to in a memo of understanding.

•    All CBST members who have a Ph.D., M.D., or M.S. plus 5 years research experience are eligible to submit a proposal.