2015 Blue Sky Awards

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PURPOSE: The promise of UAB is knowledge that will change our world. The UAB School of Medicine invites applications for high-risk research that tackles big problems in science and medicine that might deliver on that promise. This is a call for your blue sky, big dream idea. Support will provide highly creative faculty with a track record of outstanding success with the opportunity to test the feasibility of their “grand idea” and prepare that idea for an application for extramural funding. The goal is to foster high-payoff work that promises to be transformational but for which other funding sources are limited.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:  Combine the following components into one .pdf file, page numbered in bottom right corner, and the file saved as PI’s last name (i.e., Vickers.pdf):
  • Cover Page – include Title of project, Principal Investigator’s name, title, department, phone number, and e-mail address; Names, titles and department affiliations of any coinvestigators; Focus area(s) represented.
  • Abstract – one (1) page executive summary of the proposal including the unique or distinctive aspects of the project that qualify it as truly innovative, the potential impact and the expertise of the PI.
  • Budget – include the following budget categories: personnel (salary and fringe); materials and supplies; equipment; travel; contractual services; other services.
  • Budget Justtification
  • Proposal – four (4) single-spaced pages, 11 point Arial font, ½ inch margins.
  • Biosketch – the NIH biosketch of the PI.
  • Letter of Support – from an investigator outside of UAB who can speak to the potential impact of the project proposed and to the track record of the PI and his/her recognition within the field.
  • Overview – Provide an overview of this field, a clear and concise description of the goals of the project, and the need for this project. Also include how your project relates to at least one of the three research focus areas.
  • Relevant Efforts – Describe past and current efforts that are relevant to this project.
  • Goals and Methodology – State the major goals of this project and summarize the methodologies and time frame to be used in achieving them.
  • Impact - Describe the potential transformational impact(s) of achieving these goals. How will results, resources, or best practices be disseminated?
  • Expertise – Description of how your research accomplishments and/or personal characteristics provide evidence of innovation or creativity.
  • Potential for Funding – Explanation of how the proposal will lead to successful external funding from the NIH or other funding agency (provide specifics if known RFA’s are available).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can faculty salary support be requested?
Answer: No-only support for non-faculty personnel can be requested.

2. If a co-investigator or a component of the project is from another institution, can support be provided?
Answer: No-support for this RFA must stay at UAB and be used internally. There are complex issues with indirects at other institutions that make it untenable to provide support outside of UAB.

3. If the investigators are proposing a project or experiments that require IRB, IACUC, FDA approval (IND approval) before the project can begin, can they use the JIT "option" and not start the regulatory paperwork unless the project is chosen for funding?
Answer: Yes.

4. Can the investigators request pilot funding for projects that will be submitted to non-NIH entities for funding?
Answer: Yes – the investigators can send applications to other federal agencies (i.e. DOD, DARPA, NSF etc) or foundations, however highly competitive applications that are targeted to NIH are preferred.

5. Can NIH budget forms and NIH biosketch be used for this application?
Answer: Yes.

6. Are the proposals required to go through OSP?
Answer: No.