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REP – UConn Health Overview

The Research Excellence Program at UConn Health consists of two main categories (three funding levels) with complementary funding priorities.

Stimulus Grant Overview:

The primary objective of Stimulus Grants is to provide seed funding to individual or multiple investigators in order to develop or advance existing areas of research to be better positioned for external funding opportunities. These funds can be used to collect pilot data based on new technologies, purchase user time on instruments or university research cores, obtain sequencing or unique software for pre-clinical or clinical data analyses, obtain expert consultation on novel methodological approaches/techniques, pay for technical assistance or key personnel, or to develop key partnerships with industry or foundation partners.  The purpose of the funds must be clearly identified along with a research plan for future funding opportunities.

Stimulus Grants provide up to $25,000 in seed funding to facilitate the initiation, completion, or advancement of research projects. Four to eight awards are expected in this category.

All UCH employed faculty (including “in-Residence” faculty, CCMC faculty and JAX faculty with a joint appointment) are eligible to apply.  An active UConn NetID is required to submit proposals.

Grant Deadline
Proposals are due by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2017

Review Criteria
Priority consideration will be given to the applicant’s potential for external funding, shared commitment from other sources (e.g., PI, Department DCAA, etc.), scientific merit of the proposed project, and feasibility of expected outcomes over a one-year grant period.

Project Report:

PI is required to submit a project report (maximum 1,000 words) at close of grant period.


Convergence Grant Overview

 The primary objective of Convergence Grants is to help facilitate strong interdisciplinary research teams to be better positioned and more competitive in seeking and/or creating new opportunities for extramural funding. Proposals for research projects in all disciplinary areas are encouraged.  Convergence Grants provide funding ranging from $50,000 – $100,000 to facilitate interdisciplinary research initiatives. Number of awards expected in the following ranges:

  • Two awards in the $76,000 to $100,000 range
  • Three to four awards in the $50,000 to $75,000 range

Proposals should be of the highest quality and describe how the project will initiate new areas of research, enhance existing areas of strength at UConn Health, and/or promote health care improvement and new technologies.  Proposals should emphasize and foster interdisciplinary research across multiple colleges/departments, campuses, and disciplinary areas.

Funding Priorities
Prospective PIs should note the following:

  • The overall quality of the proposal as judged through a significant peer review process will be the primary criteria for the award.
  • The review process will be organized by the OVPR and will include significant input from the SOM and SODM.
  • No preference will be given to proposals based on academic rank of the PI or Co-PIs.
  • Proposals with a strong likelihood of obtaining external funding (particularly federal funding) will be given the highest priority.

Grant Parameters
Proposals can be submitted across a wide variety of areas and disciplines but must emphasize interdisciplinary research collaborations. The following criteria apply for all submissions.

  • Proposals seeking funding in the $50,000 to $75,000 range must include collaborations across two different disciplinary areas.
  • Proposals seeking funding in the $76,000 to $100,000 range must include collaborations across three different disciplinary areas that include, but are not limited to, molecular biology, biophysics, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, genetics and genomic sciences, neurosciences, any clinical specialty.
  • Proposals are encouraged to consider collaborations with faculty at Storrs, regional campuses, CCMC and/or Jackson Labs, if applicable. Note that projects with cross-campus Co-PIs must choose to be part of either the Storrs or UCH competitions, unless the proposals are for distinctly different projects.
  • Proposals are encouraged to consider relevant clinical disciplines that would foster greater engagement of translational research as a goal of the convergence.
  • Proposals are encouraged to consider collaborations between SOM and SODM.
  • Proposals must target specific extramural funding opportunities (federal, state, industrial, corporate, foundation sponsors).
  • Proposals that do not meet program requirements will not be reviewed.

All UCH employed faculty (including “in-Residence” faculty, CCMC faculty and JAX faculty with a joint appointment) are eligible to apply.  Community (e.g., non-profits, community organizations, specialty clinics, etc.), and industry partners can be included as collaborators but cannot serve in the role of PI or Co-PI.

Review Criteria

Each proposal will undergo a peer review process overseen by the OVPR with input from the SOM and SODM. The review process will include internal peer reviewers from the university community with ad hoc external reviewers used when needed. Reviewers will be selected based on areas of expertise and successful extramural funding. Each proposal will be evaluated along the following criteria:

  • Potential for future funding: The potential for follow-on funding is high with targeted funding opportunities clearly identified.
  • Integration of multiple colleges and disciplines: Diversity of disciplines contributes to the project objectives. PI and team are qualified and appropriate for the project; roles for team members are clearly defined.
  • Description and feasibility of the project: Goals and objectives are clearly defined and aligned with the specific purposes of the REP; project does not duplicate former efforts or existing funded projects; plan of work is clearly articulated and adequately meets the goals of the project; the project is feasible.
  • Overall merits of the proposals will include evaluation of the following:
    • Significance of problem or need to be addressed
    • Innovativeness of the solution
    • Contributions and strength of the team including current funding
    • Cross-disciplinary approach
    • Expected outcomes from one year (or less) of the work
    • Scientific impact and specific opportunities likely to fund ongoing proposals generated from this effort.


Proposals (one pdf file) are due by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2017.

Project Report:

PI is required to submit a project report (maximum 1,000 words) at close of grant period.