The Developmental/Pilot Projects Program of the USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) aims to support new and innovative research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products by the Food and Drug Administration. We are prioritizing funding support for junior researchers who can use the pilot project process as a capacity building and career enhancing opportunity in tobacco regulatory science (TRS). It is expected that TCORS trainees will submit competitive proposals to this call, as well as other emerging researchers not associated or supported by TCORS. It is expected that up to 3 proposals will be funded in this round depending on number and type of applicants received. Pilot research projects focused on one or more of the following areas are welcome in response to this RFA.
To be eligible, proposed studies must be responsive generally to one or more of the following research interest areas established by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products: (https://www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/publichealthscienceresearch/research/ucm311860.htm)
Eligibility and Restrictions
Applicants at faculty, postdoctoral, and pre-doctoral levels are eligible to apply. Early-career investigators are especially encouraged to apply. A multiple PI structure is encouraged for projects that require equal and complementary research contributions by other TCORS.
Award funds are intended for study-related activities (e.g., supplies, participant incentives, staff salaries) and are NOT intended to serve as primary support of awardees’ salaries. Investigator support will be limited up to 30% of investigator salary for faculty and none for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellows. All regulatory and IRB approvals for study activities must be obtained prior to the disbursement of funds.
Leverage preliminary findings and data to support larger projects appropriate for independent investigator –initiated studies from NIH or other government agencies or private foundations, and to facilitate career development.
Proposals will be reviewed by the USC TCORS Pilot Programs Review Committee, as well as by selected external reviewers. Scoring of proposals will be based on the standard NIH 9-point scoring system. Each proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
The review committee will also consider whether the proposed budget and timeline are appropriate for the scope and pilot nature of the project and whether human subject issues are likely to pose problems for study implementation.
Applications will only be accepted if submitted via the USC TCORS online Grant Application Processing System (GAPS), available at http://gaps.usc.edu/. For first-time applicants, please use this link to register and set up an account. For returning applicants wishing to establish a new user account, please contact Andrew Zaw at firstname.lastname@example.org. All required application materials (including LOI and budget templates) are accessible via GAPS.
Before uploading the Letter of Intent:
1. Read the list of “CTP Interest Areas” that appears on pages 1- 2 of this announcement.
2. Complete the LOI form that appears in this document or complete the fillable LOI form available directly on GAPS. Do not exceed 1 page total. Please note that a letter of intent is required before a full application can be considered.
Letter of Intent Form
Please complete per the above instructions and attach to application site (gaps.usc.edu) or complete the fillable LOI form available directly on gaps.usc.edu.
Instructions for Submission of the Full Proposal
If you are invited to submit a full application, please create one single PDF file that includes the sections listed below.
• Arial font, 11 pt.
• Margins: minimum 0.5 inch.
• No appendices.
• Include page numbers and Table of Contents.
If applicable, additional letters of support from consultants may be necessary and should include consulting charges/rates, quotes, and core facilities. If collaborators from non-TCORS institutions are part of key personnel, a letter of commitment that clearly states their roles and commitment to the project is strongly encouraged.
Reporting Requirements and Timeline
Written progress reports are due on the following: