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There are several sources of research funding within Tufts. Additional sources and special opportunities arise from time to time and announcements are made accordingly. Some of these opportunities apply only to specific groups while some are more general. Click each section below the list to reveal more information.

  • Technology Access Grants
  • Summer Scholars
  • Natalie V. Zucker Research Center for Women Scholars
  • Tufts Collaborates!
  • Tufts Innovates!
  • Center for Humanities at Tufts – Faculty Fellowships
  • TUSM Summer Research Fellowship
  • Tufts CTSI Pilot Studies Program
  • Faculty Research Awards Committee (FRAC)
  • Russo Family Charitable Foundation Trust Dual Principal Investigator Funding
  • Charlton Grant Research Program
  • Center for Neuroscience Research Pilot Project Grant
  • Center for Neuroscience Research Core Award Program
  • The Innovations in Education Intramural Grant Program
Technology Access Grants

Purpose

To fund pilot experiments that allow Tufts faculty members to develop new experimental approaches to address a specific scientific question by using instrumentation available in a Tufts core facility or another lab in a novel way. The goal is to support the creation of new expertise at Tufts, through significant expansion and dissemination of existing technologies and technological expertise, while encouraging scientists to share their specialized technologies.

Background

The cost of reagents and the time commitment required may be barriers to the incorporation of new techniques and technologies into ongoing research projects. With limited funds and pressure to publish, an investigator might not want to take the risk of relinquishing an older method to develop a new technique even if the new method would ultimately generate data of higher quality in terms of depth, breadth or quantitation. In many cases, these new technologies are available within the Tufts community, but are not readily accessible.  For example, such new technologies could be developed in collaboration with a core facility.
Example:

  1. An investigator has imagined a new way of analyzing protein structure by using an instrument available in another lab or core facility and would like to test his/her novel idea. If successful, the investigator will continue to use the technique in his/her own lab and teach the technique to others.
  2. An investigator has read about a novel use of deep sequencing technologies and would like to try to apply that approach to his/her research project. If successful, the investigator will teach the technique to others.
  3. An investigator will travel to another research facility to learn a new technique that s/he would be prepared to teach to other research groups.
  4. An investigator has performed whole genome DNA methylation analysis and microarray analysis at a Tufts core facility. However, there is no existing capability at Tufts to perform the computational analysis required to compare these two analyses. If the needed computational analysis would be useful to multiple labs, a TAGs award could provide funding to an investigator to develop this analytical capacity in collaboration with a core facility. This expertise would then be made available to future users of the core.

Mechanism

Technology Access Grants (TAGs) would cover the cost of reagents, instrument use and core staff labor (if appropriate) to allow an investigator to use an experimental system that s/he can ultimately adopt to advance research in ways that would not otherwise be possible. Awards will range from $500 to $2,000.

Criteria for Selection

  1. Highest priority will be given to proposals that introduce new technology into the university and for which successful application will lead to the broader dissemination and future use of the technology by multiple research groups.
  2. Priority will also be given to proposals that bring technology from one campus of the University to another, if multiple labs will benefit from learning or sharing the technology. For instance, a TAGs award would allow a scientist on campus A to learn a technique developed or perfected by a scientist on campus B and then share that expertise with other scientists on campus A.
  3. Priority will be given to new technologies or novel applications of an existing technology that would allow new questions to be addressed or would be more efficient or rigorous than currently used technologies or would generate data of higher quality.
  4. For technologies that already exist at Tufts but have not been widely used, the expectation is that researchers learning such technologies from other Tufts labs will incorporate these new methods into their own labs and become sources of advice and expertise for other labs.

Proposals that would not fit the guidelines:

  1. Scientist A proposes to collaborate with Scientist B, who has developed a specialized technology. The work would be done in the lab of Scientist B. Scientist A would not become expert in the technology and would not implement the technology in his/her own lab.
  2. An investigator who has never made use of the genome sequencing capabilities of the Tufts Nucleic Acid and Protein Core Facility seeks funds to prepare DNA for analysis by existing technologies.
  3. An investigator proposes to go to another university to learn a specialized method for use in his/her lab but has no plan to instruct other Tufts investigators in the use of the technique.
  4. An investigator proposes to use a technology in a core or another laboratory to investigate molecule X. The only modifications in technique that would be needed would be those necessary to study molecule X and X is not studied in other labs. In other words, there would be no widely applicable technical advance.

Process of Application

  1. The investigator should draft a two-part application for submission, consisting of a project narrative and a detailed budget. The narrative should describe the current and proposed techniques and the supplies needed, and should include a clear statement of the perceived advantages over currently available techniques. The narrative part of the proposal is limited to 1,000 words and should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. The second part should be a detailed budget listing the material/service costs related to the proposal.
  2. One of the line items for the detailed budget may be the cost of using a core facility/lab at Tufts. Personnel from the laboratory/facility/core providing the technique should estimate the cost of supplies and the labor required. This cost should be included in the detailed budget and will be one of the criteria for determining the amount of the award.
  3. If the proposal involves two labs rather than a lab and a core facility, a statement is needed explaining whether the two labs are current or recent collaborators or creating a new collaboration. Labor costs of the applicant lab(s) are not allowable expenses.
  4. The applicant must propose a plan to provide intellectual and technical support to other Tufts investigators interested in the use of the technique or technology.
  5. The finalized two-part application should be sent to thuy.nguyen@tufts.edu no later than 5 pm on the date of the deadline.

Selection Process

A panel of investigators and core/facility leaders will decide whether to fund applications according to the criteria described above. If a project is approved for funding, an award notice will be sent to the applicant indicating that the project has been approved and stating the amount of the award. At that time, a modified budget may be requested, but will be reviewed by the selection panel. Applicants whose proposals are not funded will receive feedback to help them design future proposals.

Funding Cycles

There will be a new funding cycle every four months. Each funding cycle will have a maximum amount of $6,000 available to distribute among the awardees. Announcements of application due dates will be made no less than four weeks before the deadline. Awards will be announced no later than four weeks after the due date.

Assessing Impact

The recipient laboratory must agree to provide an impact statement that indicates how the award affected their ongoing research. Publications, presentations, grant applications and awards resulting from the TAGs award should be reported. Importantly, ways that the technology has been shared with the Tufts community, or a plan to disseminate the technology to other users should be reported. These reports are due six months post-award; the Vice Provost for Research’s Office will contact you regarding the details needed for your impact statement.

Please submit all applications and questions to Thuy Nguyen at thuy.nguyen@tufts.edu or phone (617) 636-2725 with any immediate concerns.

Recent Awardees


Quantum Efficiency Testing for Thermophotovoltaics and Beyond

Nicole Pfiester Latham, Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering


Generation of MicroRNA-mRNA Interaction Maps

Dr. John Iacomini, Pathology, School of Medicine


New Strategy for Facile Purification of Peptides

Dr.Vittorio Montanari, Dr. Vijay M.K. Murthy, Michael Berne, Dr. Krishna Kumar

Chemistry, School of Arts and Sciences
Molecular Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine


Establishment of a High Throughput Membrane Potential Assay for Cross Disciplinary Use in Drug Discovery

Dr. Sami F. Noujaim & Dr. Alan Kopin, Medicine, School of Medicine


Dancing the Reproductive Tango: Characterizing Female Genes that Mediate Postmating Sexual Interactions

Dr. Sara Lewis & Dr. Erik Dopman, Biology, School of Arts and Sciences


Determining Kinetic Parameters of Necrostatin/RIP1 Interaction Using Biacore

Dr. Alexei Degterev, Biochemistry, School of Medicine


RNAi Screening Using Pooled shRNA Libraries with Next Gen Sequencing

Dr. Brent Cochran, Molecular Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine


Establishing NMR-based Metabolomics at Tufts:
Application to Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

Dr. Amy Yee & Dr. James Baleja, Biochemistry, School of Medicine


Using A New Micro-Punching Machine to Generate a Cartilage Matrix Scaffold to Study the Interaction of Matrix And Seeded Chrondrocytes

Dr. Li Zeng, Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine

Summer Scholars

The Summer Scholars Program offer research apprenticeships with faculty/clinical mentors to motivated Tufts undergraduates. Summer Scholars is open to students and faculty representing all disciplines: arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as the STEM fields. Information on the program is available here. If you are interested in mentoring an undergraduate researcher this summer, send a brief description of the project and your preferred method of being contacted, to Laura Doane at Laura.Doane@tufts.edu. Laura will post your project on the website so that students can browse these opportunities and contact you directly to discuss working on a joint application.

Natalie V. Zucker Research Center for Women Scholars

Established through the generosity of Mrs. Natalie V. Zucker, the Center is devoted to furthering the research careers of women scientists at Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. Women who are junior faculty at TUSM/Sackler or the major affiliated hospitals (up to and inclusive of the rank of Assistant Professor) or postgraduate fellows at TUSM/Sackler engaged in basic science or clinical research are eligible. The applicant’s mentor or Department Chair must support her request. Please see the School of Medicine’s website for details.

Tufts Collaborates!

Tufts University fosters collaborations and innovation in scholarship, research, teaching and learning. In support of this effort, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research is pleased to offer two seed grant programs: Tufts Collaborates!, which encourages the essential first steps in interdisciplinary collaboration by supporting new faculty projects, and Tufts Innovates!, which seeks to spark imaginative ideas to enhance learning and teaching.

The Tufts Collaborates! seed grant program seeks to encourage the essential first steps in interdisciplinary collaboration by supporting new faculty pilot projects that engage at least two disciplines and cross institutional lines. The goal of this program is to establish collaborative research efforts that will likely result in competitive research proposals to federal and foundation granting agencies.

Any Tufts faculty active in scholarship, research, and/or creative works with a primary appointment at a University school or unit is eligible to apply to the Tufts Collaborates! seed grant program. Seed grant awards are expected to range from $500 to $50,000. Funding decisions are through a peer review process including faculty and administrative staff, and based on several criteria, including degree of innovation and collaboration, potential for external funding, likelihood for sustainability and impact, and viability within departmental, school and/or programmatic frameworks.

For more information about the program, including past awards, click here. For questions about and submission of a Tufts Collaborates! proposal, please email Dr. Kirby Johnson at collaborates@tufts.edu.

Tufts Innovates!

In recognition of the importance of learning, the Tufts Innovates! seed grant program offered by the Office of the Provost is designed to spark imaginative proposals that catalyze innovative ideas for student learning. Proposals must demonstrate innovative and creative ideas for enhancing student learning at Tufts. This may include an educational idea created and implemented by faculty, undergraduate students and/or graduate students. Proposals that incorporate educational technology are highly encouraged. Proposals that leverage external and/or continued funding are encouraged but not required.

For more information about the program, including past awards, click here. For questions about and submission of a Tufts Innovates! proposal, please email innovates@tufts.edu.

 

Center for Humanities at Tufts – Faculty Fellowships

Each year the Center for the Humanities offers three year long Faculty Fellowships. Each Fellow receives $5000  for use in travel and research, occupies an office at the Center, participates in events and receives full office support at the Center. Those interested in finding out more information or applying may contact Jonathan Wilson.

TUSM Summer Research Fellowship

Tufts University School of Medicine offers students the opportunity to apply for a summer research fellowship. During the summer between first and second year of medical school, the fellowship supports a project for a minimum of eight weeks on a full time basis. If you have an interesting project and would like to provide an opportunity to expose our medical students to research, please fill out a research form for EACH project and return it to Jeanne Fahey. For more information, click here.

Tufts CTSI Pilot Studies Program

The program seeks to bring together new multidisciplinary teams by providing seed money for the development of new collaborations or for pursuit of more mature ideas. The goal of the program is to position investigators to successfully compete for new extramural funding. Please click here for more information.

Faculty Research Awards Committee (FRAC)

For the Schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering only. These may include summer stipends, awards for excellence in research and scholarship, and funding in amounts of $5000 or less. For more information, please call (617) 627-3106 or see http://ase.tufts.edu/frac.

Russo Family Charitable Foundation Trust – Dual Principal Investigator Funding

This funding opportunity is made possible through a grant from the Russo Family Charitable Foundation Trust to Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM). TUSM received a commitment of $250,000 from the Russo Foundation to support interdisciplinary collaborative research. The grant is being made in approximately equal installments over a five-year period. This internal funding opportunity is intended to stimulate collaboration which can later seek NIH funding through the new co-PI grant mechanism. Information about the new NIH funding mechanism can be found athttp://grants.nih.gov/grants/multi_pi/index.htm. Support of research assistants, purchase of equipment and supplies, and sponsorship of working retreats are eligible for such funding on a competitive basis by completing the application form. In most circumstances, salary for new personnel is not supported and PI salary cannot be supported from these funds. Historically, individual awards have ranged between $15,000 and $20,000. All TUSM faculty may apply provided that the collaboration involves at least one faculty member based in the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

Russo grant applications are typically solicited twice a year. Exact dates for submission are announced by the Dean’s Office. Those interested in finding out more information or applying may contact Sara Abbott in the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Dean’s Office at (617) 636-6767.

Charlton Grant Research Program

This internal funding opportunity (up to five grants, each approximately $10,000 for 1 year with a single, one-year no-cost extension available upon request) is intended to support projects which are likely to lead to extramural funding from public or private sources of support. Where proposals are of equal merit, priority will be given to new investigators at the beginning of their career. Eligibility is restricted to all Tufts University School of Medicine faculty whose total extramural support (direct costs excluding PI salary and fringe benefits) does not exceed $100,000/yr. Previous recipients are not eligible. Funds may not be used to support the salary of the PI. Charlton grant applications are typically solicited once a year. Exact date for submission is determined by the Academic Research Awards Committee and is announced by the Dean's Office.

Center for Neuroscience Research Pilot Project Grant

This proposal must be a collaborative research project involving two or more Neuroscience faculty members from Tufts or its affiliated hospitals and must utilize CNR core facilities. The intent of these pilot awards is to stimulate collaborative research among CNR investigators and other neuroscientists at Tufts and its affiliated hospitals that leads to new NIH grant funding (e.g., R01 or program project grants). Click here for more information.

Center for Neuroscience Research Core Award Program

Applications may be submitted at any time. The proposal must be a research project that utilizes CNRcore facilities or the Tufts Molecular Facility. The budget for proposed research is limited to $3,000 and funds may be used only for core services and related supplies expenses (up to 20% of the budget). Clickhere for more information.

The Innovations in Education Intramural Grant Program

This program is designed to promote and support teaching innovations developed by our faculty that will enhance the core educational programs and overall mission of Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM), including the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. All current TUSM faculty, including those based at Sackler and affiliated hospitals, are eligible. Junior faculty and faculty seeking promotion are strongly encouraged to apply. Click here for more information.