Genome, Environment and Microbiome Pilot Funding

What: Pilot grants for up to $50,000

For: To support innovative projects focused on the genome and/or the microbiome

Who: UB faculty

Due: 5 PM, May 19

Send to:

Grant Information

GEM seeks innovative proposals that will lead to funded research to:

(a) advance our mechanistic understanding of the function and/or regulation of the genome or genomic elements


(b) advance our mechanistic understanding of components of and interactions among microbiome communities or of the role of the microbiome in health outcomes


(c) expand our understanding of functional interactions between microbiome communities and host genomes. This may include interactions with the human genome.

Our goal is to build a vibrant research Community, in part, by funding innovative research from interdisciplinary, collaborative teams. These teams may be established or newly formed. The goal of this funding is to promote new and/or unfunded projects that will ultimately be externally funded.

Hence, we are looking for proposals that will lead to preliminary data, proof-of-concept or other evidence to support external funding application. Power analysis is not necessarily an issue for such proposals. We are particularly interested in hypothesis-driven proposals that focus on the intersection of the genome, the environment and/or the microbiome. It is expected that successful proposals will address at least two of these three components; environment may be broadly operationally defined and does NOT necessarily refer to an ecosystem.

A GEM bioinformatician is available to support these projects and whose effort should be included in the budget request, if necessary. GEM-supported facilities are also available for glycan-based mass spectrometry analysis for those interested in studying the interface with the glycome.

Pilot Funding Details

Award Amount and Size: up to $50,000 (direct costs) for one year or less to support the proposed research. Allowable expenses will be based entirely on the needs of the project and the justification provided; however, these funds cannot cover faculty salary. Any requested salary must be for individuals at UB and no indirect costs will be paid to other institutions. 


All UB faculty whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals through UB Sponsored Programs are eligible to apply. A faculty member may only serve as PI on one proposal for each round of funding.

Review Process

An ad-hoc independent reviewer group will be assembled based on the nature of proposals received. Reviews will be used by the leadership team in the selection process. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development will make the final awards. Award notifications will be issued on or before June 20, 2017.

The proposals will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

a) Scientific merit;

b) Alignment with GEM goals (

c) Innovation and feasibility

d) Investigator team; and

e) Potential for generating external funding.

Budgets will be carefully reviewed and must be well-justified for the proposed research.

Award Terms

  • Applicants can request funding up to $50,000 for 1 year, including up to 10% effort for GEM bioinformatic support. Prior to funding, all regulatory approvals necessary to conduct the research must be in place. 
  • Awardees will be expected to apply for external funding within 12 months of completing the proposed work. 
  • External funding applications will be tracked annually and any external funding resulting from these studies should be reported as soon as award statements are received. 

Submission Deadlines

5:00 pm, May 19, 2017

Application Details

Applications, single spaced, using 11 point font (Arial or Times New Roman), and 0.5-inch margins must include:

  • Page 1 – Title page including Project Title, names/degrees and institutional affiliation of all project investigators, and a 250 word abstract. 
  • Pages 2-5 – Project Description to include:
    • a) Overall goal and specific aims, ~ ½ page. 
    • b) Background and Significance, ~ ½ page. 
    • c) Experimental Approach including experimental design and description of methods to be used. Describe these so that they can be understood by an experienced scientist (avoid minutiae about methods and jargon), ~ 2 pages. Highlight the interdisciplinary and/or collaborative nature of the proposal and the role of each team member. 
    • d) Expected results and how these will be important to advancing understanding of the problem as well as necessary as preliminary data for future findings, ~ 1 page. 

Additional Application Information

Additional Information:

  • Key Personnel – attach an NIH or NSF style Biosketch for each investigator in the project. 5 page limit for each investigator. 
  • Project Budget – Attach a page line item budget and a 1 page budget justification. There are no indirect costs, and faculty salaries and computer hardware (unless justified for specific work) are not allowable costs. 

References: Not included in the page limit.

Note: Appendices are not allowed unless the proposed research has been previously submitted for review to an external funding agency, in which case the review and 1 page response may be submitted to demonstrate a specific need for preliminary data, for example.

Please submit to as a single pdf by 5:00 pm of the due date. 

Please submit to as a single pdf by 5:00 pm of the due date.

Any questions should be sent to