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2022 John S. Dunn Collaborative Research Limited Award

Mar 1, 2022, 07:00 AM by Melodi Moore

The Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) is pleased to announce the RFA for the 2022 John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program. Launched in 2009 with generous support from the John S. Dunn Foundation, this seed grant program continues to build the collaborative environment of the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) and fund projects with high potential for impacting human health.

The purpose of this program is to foster new, exemplary inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional engagement in the quantitative biomedical sciences by providing research seed grants of up to $100,000 total to support research/preliminary work for 2 years.

The goal of this program is to fund exploratory projects with high potential for future competitive research funding within 2.5 years of project start and a “best case scenario” plan for transitioning to clinical studies within 5 years. 

Funds will be awarded to new collaborative teams in which the PI and co-PI are from different GCC member institutions: Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Medical Branch at Galveston, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and The Institute of Biosciences and Technology of Texas A&M. Scientific disciplines covered by submissions to this program range across a spectrum within the quantitative biomedical sciences.

Team Eligibility Requirements include:

Eligible teams must satisfy all the following criteria:

  1. Faculty:
    • The PI and Co-PI must be PhD(tenured or tenure-track), MD, or MD/PhD.
    • Co-I: a third team member is optional and must be PhD(tenured or tenure-track),MD, or MD/PhD.
  2. Institutional Affiliation:
    • PI and co-PI must be faculty at different GCC member institutions.
    • Co-I may be from any GCC member institution or from a GCC affiliate institution (Houston Methodist Research Institute, Texas Southern University) 
  3. New Collaborations:
    • None of the investigators on the proposing team, including co-PIs and   Co- Is, should have worked together previously, since the goal of this program is to initiate new research collaborations. An exception is if the Co-I is providing services from a core facility.
    • Previous collaborative activity is defined as collaborations that have resulted in measurable outcomes, including but not limited to abstracts, publications, grants, patents, etc.
  4. One-proposal Limit:
    • Faculty can be PI or a member of the collaborative team on only one pre-proposal.
    • The pre-proposal may be submitted only once, to the PI institution.
  5. Previous Recipients:
    • There is a 3-year moratorium for all previous award recipients. Members of any research team that received an award between 2019-2021are ineligible for the 2022 research grant program.
    • A listing of past recipients can be found here.

UTMB will select three teams from pre-proposals to move to the final proposal stage. The GCC staff will then manage the full proposal process with the expectation of 21 full proposals to be reviewed and three teams will be selected for final award of funding.

Each team of faculty wishing to compete for a Dunn Collaborative Research Award must first submit a pre-proposal (as a single PDF) to Melodi Moore by April 1, 2022.  All complete pre-proposals will be reviewed by the UTMB Research Grants Review & Oversight Committee.  Teams will be notified around April 28 of the selection or not of their proposals. 

Pre-Proposal guidelines are below:

The pre-proposal should utilize 11-point Arial font with at least one-inch margins. Additional requirements and guidelines are below. Note that timeline, biosketches, references, and suggested reviewers will not be included in the 2-page limit. The pre-proposal should be a single, combined PDF in the following order:

  1. PI name, title, department, institution, email
  2. Co-PI name, title, department, institution, email
  3. If applicable: Co-I name, title, department, institution, email
  4. Statement attesting to this being a new collaboration among team members (i.e., no joint papers, abstracts, grant of any kind)
  5. Statement that the collaborative team leadership (PI and co-PI) is submitting the proposal only once and only to the PI institution.
  6. Title of project
  7. Abstract of up to 450 words

Separate items also required as part of the pre-proposal submission:

  1. Timeline including milestones for the 2-year funding period as well as a best-case scenario plan for transition to clinical studies within 5 years of project start.  The timeline (not included in 2-page limit), should be succinct, limited to no more than one page in table format, and should not be used for further description of the proposal.
  2. Biosketches for the PI and co-PI (2-page limit). Note: If a Co-I is included, a 2-page biosketch must also be submitted. 2-page biosketch should only reflect information (e.g. publications) pertinent to the proposal.
  3. References
  4. List of suggested reviewers –name, institution and email; 3 internal to GCC community and 3 external –in the event the team is invited to submit a full proposal. These reviewers will be able to provide an unbiased, knowledgeable review of your team’s inter-disciplinary proposal. Please avoid suggesting reviewers with whom you have conflicts of interest (i.e. joint authorship or grants, frequent interaction, collegial affiliations, etc.) Each team is strongly encouraged to review the COI form for further information

Virtual Informational Sessions, March 10, 9 am CST and March 24, 9 am CST

All pre-proposals will be reviewed internally by the Grants Research and Oversight Committee at UTMB. Based on their review, the committee will select three pre-proposals and notify the GCC of the committee selection. GCC will invite the PI of each to submit a full proposal directly to the GCC by April 28, 2022.  Full proposals will be due to GCC by June 1, 2022

Those not invited to submit full proposals will be notified by the PI institution. 

UTMB pre-proposal questions should be directed to Melodi Moore email: or phone:  406-266-9428