Pilot Projects

*This call is currently closed.  Please check back again for future opportunites.

Call for Applications

The Center for Evolutionary and Theoretical Immunology (CETI), an NIH-sponsored Center of Biomedical Research Excellence located on UNM’s main campus, supports researchers from the University of New Mexico with interests in immunology, infectious diseases, and a broad range of other biomedically-oriented disciplines through direct funding of projects and by providing a variety of research resources and academic opportunities. CETI’s Pilot Project Program (PPP) provides grants to investigators with the intention that they will use the funds to generate data to apply for external funding (preferably through a variety of NIH mechanisms, but also through other funding sources). The CETI PPP is currently accepting grant applications for the 2018 funding period.  Proposals must be received by 5:00PM MST on November 30, 2017. For information about CETI in general, including past funded PPP grants, please visit our website, http://ceti.unm.edu.  

One of CETI’s goals is to increase the size of the biomedical research community both at UNM and in our state in general. CETI supports core facilities in molecular biology including Illumina and conventional Sanger sequencing, cell biology including confocal microscopy and flow cytometry, and controlled environments facilities for rearing of specialized non-traditional model organisms including fish and vectors and intermediate hosts of parasites. Use of CETI’s core facilities is encouraged but not required for PPPs.


It is anticipated that at least two PPP awards will be made this funding cycle (contingent on anticipated availability of funds), with an award date of January 1, 2018.  Awards will be made initially for one year of support up to $50,000 per year, with an optional second year conditional on progress attained.  Budgets may include lab supplies, travel directly related to the proposed project, and support of graduate students or other personnel needed to complete the proposed work.

Depending on the quality of applications, partial funding may be granted to awardees to allow for additional awards to be made.


We welcome applicants from the University of New Mexico’s Main Campus and UNM’s Health Sciences Center. To be eligible for funding, applicants must be PI-eligible employees of the University of New Mexico. As one of CETI’s goals is to mentor and support junior investigators, funding priority will be given to researchers who have not received research funding as a PI on a federally funded grant.  Senior investigators will be considered if they can demonstrate their application is a change in scope of their current research program.


Deadline for this submission cycle is 5:00PM Thursday, November 30, 2017.  Deadlines for future years will be announced at a later date. 


An important part of CETI is the provision of mentoring services to junior, unfunded investigators, and to more senior investigators who feel they need mentoring advice.  As part of the PPP application process, each applicant is expected to name a formal mentor with whom regular mentoring interactions are expected to occur, and to create a mentoring plan.  The mentor may be a senior investigator in the CETI program, or may be another senior tenure track faculty member with whom the applicant feels comfortable.


Applications should be prepared in general accord with the NIH PHS 398 application guidelines (3/2016 revisions) available from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html. Applications must be submitted electronically as a singe pdf document to ceti@unm.edu by 5:00PM on the deadline date. Applications received after this time will not be reviewed.

Please include the following sections in your application:

  1. Form page 1: Face Page (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/fp1.pdf). YOU DO NOT NEED TO OBTAIN OSP SIGNATURE;
  2. Form page 2: Project Summary/Abstract (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/fp2.pdf). FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS CALL, YOU MAY LEAVE THE “RELEVANCE” SECTION BLANK;
  3. Form page 4: Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period    (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/fp4.pdf). Provide an itemized budget between $25,000 - $50,000 per year for up to two years;
  4. Form page 5: Budget for Entire Proposed Project (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/fp5.pdf);
  5. A detailed budget justification
  6. A research proposal of no more than five pages that contains the following sections. Each section must be addressed separately with its own heading:

A. Specific Aims
B. Research Strategy
        i. Significance
        ii. Innovation
        iii. Approach
C. A statement to indicate how the project will use CETI core facilities (if core facilities are not relevant to the project, please state and explain)
D. A mentoring plan that lists a formal mentor
E. Grant submission plan to include a description of planned NIH or other funding agency submissions
F. Literature cited (not included in the five page limit)

Please use 11-point Arial font with one (1)-inch margins on all four sides. (Write concisely and limit the amount of general background to the essentials that reviewers will need to be aware of to appreciate the proposed research.)

7. A list of current and pending support. Provide a listing of all current research support from all sources. For each source listed, please provide the following information: Name of funding source, title of project, project start/end dates, and amount of direct costs available (or available to you if a multi-PI grant), and percent effort. If you are a junior faculty member, please include the following details of your startup package in this list: amount initially provided, current unspent balance, and expiration date or other restrictions if any;

8. An NIH style biosketch (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm). 


Given that an important goal of the CETI PPP is to enhance the chances of investigators obtaining NIH funding for their project(s), NIH review criteria and procedures will be used.  Each proposal will be scored according to the five NIH criteria: significance, investigator, innovation, approach and environment. For information on these criteria and procedures see NIH notices NOT-OD-09-024 and NOT-OD-09-025.

It is anticipated that three reviewers who will be selected to avoid conflict of interest will review each proposal.  To the extent possible, all proposals will be reviewed by the same three reviewers so that direct comparison can be made.

Final decisions regarding awards will be made by the COBRE PI based on the reviews provided in consultation with CETI’s Steering Committee and External Advisory Committee.

Conditions of Award

IACUC or IRB approval is not necessary to apply for funding, but must be received before an award can be made.  Awardees will be required to sign a memorandum of agreement as a condition of project funding.  This memorandum will serve to indicate the recipient’s willingness to attend CETI functions, take advantage of CETI’s mentoring and support activities, participate in annual External Advisory Committee (EAC) meetings and program review, cite CETI and NIGMS in the proper format in any publications stemming from their pilot project, present their work at IDeA or other national meetings, and submit an annual progress report.


All questions on CETI’s PPP or related to this announcement should be directed to the CETI program office, 505-277-5508, or ceti@unm.edu.