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Call for Proposals

The OIR is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the FY 2009-2010 NIH Director's Challenge Awards. The program aims to encourage trans-institute collaboration among intramural investigators, and to provide seed money for innovative and high-impact research.

The project must include intramural Principal Investigators from at least two different ICs.

Proposals can request funding for either 1 or 2 years. Funds can be used for personnel, equipment, and supplies. Applicants can request amounts from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $250,000 per year.

A total of $1.5 million will be awarded.

We welcome proposals that are high-risk, as well as those that are more likely to succeed but still offer the promise of high impact.

Based on the response from our intramural investigators, we especially welcome projects related to the following research areas: Stem Cells; Biomarkers and Personalized Medicine; Epigenetics and Regulation of Gene Expression.

Letters of intent and full applications will be submitted online at Additional instructions for using the online submission site are included below.

Letter of Intent (LOI)

The investigator who serves as the project leader must submit a letter of intent no later than Friday, December 5, 2008. The LOI should be a succinct summary of the project and its significance, not to exceed 1 page. The LOI will be reviewed by the Scientific Directors of the appropriate institutes. The project leader will be notified by email whether the Scientific Directors have approved the project for submission of a full application.

Full Proposal

Project leaders who receive LOI approval can submit a full application, to be completed no later than Friday, January 16, 2009. The proposal (maximum of four pages) should include the following components:

  • Innovation and significance of project
  • Research plan
  • Potential risks, and strategies to optimize the chance for success

The OIR will recruit a group of reviewers, who will evaluate the applications in each of these categories. The goal of the program is to identify and fund innovative projects that if successful will have a high impact.

Additional instructions for submission of the Letter of Intent and the Full Proposal are included in the following pages. For questions concerning the program, please contact Dr. Chuck Dearolf, Assistant Director for Intramural Research (301-402-1225).

Instructions for FY 2009 Director's Challenge Proposals

Letter of Intent (LOI) (Deadline is Friday, December 5, 2008)

The project leader should submit a short LOI, which will be reviewed by the Scientific Directors of the relevant ICs. Use the online submission site, The following information should be included:

  1. Project title
  2. Contact information and IC of project leader
  3. Contact information and IC of collaborating principal investigators
  4. Project summary (no more than 1 page)
  5. Estimated budget

The project leader can enable collaborators to access the LOI online during development. However, the project leader must submit the completed LOI.

Full Proposal (Deadline is Friday, January 16, 2009)

To submit a full proposal, principal investigators will use the same online site, Once endorsement from the Scientific Directors has been received, the system can be accessed for submission of the full proposal. The following information should be included:

  1. Complete name, IC or institution and contact information for all principal investigators
  2. Abstract
  3. Proposal (no more than 4 pages) that includes a discussion of the innovation and significance; the research plan; and potential risks, with strategies to optimize the chance for success
  4. CV and bibliography for all doctoral-level personnel
  5. Budget requested (use the online budget template)
  6. Reprints and preprints (optional, up to 3)

The page was last updated on Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 10:55am