Research News

College of Medicine (COM)



Office of Research – College of Medicine



A .  Purpose:


The Mini-Grant Program provides seed grants to support faculty and student research and scholarship in the College of Medicine (COM).


This program is designed to,


(1)  Allow students and faculty to generate pilot data that can be incorporated into a grant application to an external funding agency (private, state, federal or foundation), and/or

(2)  Foster activity that will lead to a publication (of a book, monograph, edited collection, article, to name only a few examples), or other tangible outcomes, that advance the student or faculty member’s scholarship.


The Mini-Grant Program is primarily intended to partially support scholarly activity for COM faculty, especially for those supervising students and/or pursuing new lines of inquiry and need to obtain pilot data for competitive applications for future federal funding. The program is not designed to supplement existing funded research or scholarship (e.g., NIH grants). Applicants are strongly advised to discuss their proposed ideas with the Assistant Dean of Research prior to submission.


Funds may be used for any purpose related to the conduct of scholarship or research. Examples of acceptable uses of grant funds include but are not limited to: equipment, supplies, drugs, chemical and biological reagents, and costs associated with attendance and poster presentations at scientific meetings, publications, and oral presentations at meetings and universities. Mini-grants for a total of $60,000 will be awarded this cycle. Each mini-grant is awarded for faculty and students as follows:


For Faculty: An amount up to a maximum of $10,000 (with no students). In this regard, a faculty can obtain $9,000 (with one student), $8,000 (with two students), or $7,000 (with three students).


For each student (maximum: three students per project): An amount up to a maximum of $1,000.


Applicants may not apply to more than one project with substantially the same objectives. The grant is for one year only (from January 2nd to December 30st).  If funds are not used by December 31st, it will not roll over or be transferred to the next year. Awarded applicants may re-apply next year to continue the scholarly project. Due to the limited number of available awards, it is anticipated to be extremely competitive. All competitive applications will require a carefully planned budget and justification as the proposed project and budget will be reviewed together.


B . Eligibility :


All regular faculty members and students in good academic standing may apply. If a proposal is multi-authored, the status of the designated “principal investigator (PI)” will be used to determine funding allocation. The relative amount for Co-Investigators will be defined between the PI and Co-investigators. Students may apply as a limited group, consisting of not more than three students per project. 


If funded, the Principal Investigator should be prepared to serve as an ad hoc member of the Research Committee to help review applications.


C . Application:


Applications are accepted only by electronic submission: An electronic copy of the proposal should be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Research, with a visible copy (cc) to any other participant. The proposal should be written in a clear language where persons not familiar with the research area can understand it.


Proposal Format: Proposals should be single-spaced in 12 pt font with 1-inch margins. Applicants must write a formal application using the following format (sections 2-5 cannot exceed 4 pages):

  1. Title Page. Please use the attached Title Page. The title page must include names of the applicant(s) and the applicant’s advisor or immediate supervisor(s). Application is considered signed by the PI when it is submitted from the PI’s email address and visible cc to the Assistant Dean of Research.
  2. Abstract. This should be a succinct distillation of the entire proposal.
  3. Background and Significance. Highlight what scholarly or scientific background and literature led you to this project: What is known already? What is not known yet? Why is it important to answer the questions you are posing here? What is the goal of this project and why is it significant?
  4. Experimental Design and Data Analyses. A narrative that should answer these sorts of questions:
  5. What specific question(s) or hypothesis will you address with this project?
  6. b. How do you propose to fulfill them?
  7. What is your critical approach or methodology?
  8. d. What is the design of your project?
  9. e. What data analysis will you use?
  10. f. What is the time frame of your project?
  11. Future plans based on this project. Either:
  12. a. Future Funding. Discuss how the funds requested in this Mini-grant will lead to future external funding support for this project (primarily scientific disciplines).
  13. Future scholarship. Discuss how the funds requested in this Mini-grant will enhance your scholarly productivity.
  14. Budget. Show your budget in detail on the budget form
  15. Budget Justification. Explain each component of the budget request. Please break out fund requests for scientific meetings and poster/oral presentations at scientific meetings and universities


  1. Prior Funding. What funding have you received and what was the outcome of those funds? Please, list any grant you have received from any source. While there is no page limit on this section, please keep outcomes to one paragraph each.
  2. Literature Cited. No more than one page.
  3. Letters from Collaborators. Letters should indicate their role on the project.
  4. Curriculum Vitae. Provide an abbreviated CV for each professional who is significantly involved in the project. Each CV should be limited to 2 pages, and contain the following sections:
  5. a. Professional Position b.   • Relevant Publications
  6. c. Relevant Funding (intramural and extramural)
  7. • Synergistic Activities (e.g., previous student involvement and presentations)


D . A pplication S c h e d u le


  1. August 25th, 2017: Invitation to faculty and students for the submission of mini-grant proposals
  2. November 3rd, 2017: Proposals submission due (submitted to the Assistant Dean of Research)
  3. December 4st, 2017: Research Committee provides recommendations to the Assistant Dean of Research
  4. December 18th, 2017: The Assistant Dean of Research announces grant-funding decisions
  5. January 2nd, 2018: Grant fund accounts will be available.


E . Proposal Review:


The COM Research Committee will review all Mini-Grant proposals. In special cases, the Chair of the Research Committee may appoint additional ad hoc reviewers with appropriate expertise among COM faculty members. Any members with direct interest in a proposal will recuse themselves from consideration of that proposal to avoid a real or perceived conflict. Any applicant may submit name(s) of Research Committee member(s) who may be in conflict and request that they be excluded from the review of their proposal. Although applications requiring Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Review Board (IRB), or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) will be reviewed without prior approval, funding will not be awarded without a written approval (or exemption) from the appropriate oversight committees. The Research Committee will group applications into three main areas: (1) clinical sciences, (2) basic sciences, and (3) education sciences. Then, the Research Committee will score applications within those groupings based on a Review Criteria sheet using a 1-9 scale as follows:

























Very Good





Awards will be based on the Research Committee’s ranking of the proposals. The Research Committee will assess proposal budgets and determine the amount of funding accordingly for each project meeting the criteria. The total amount will depend on whether the proposal involves laboratory experiments or not, and whether the project involves students and how many students. The Research Committee will forward a ranked list of all proposals to the Assistant Dean of Research.


  1. F. Fi n a l Report a n d P res en t a t i on :


Grantees must submit a written report to the Chair of the Research Committee by September of the following fiscal year. This report will include:

  1. Overview. What was the project about and how much money was awarded?
  2. Budget. A detailed summary of how the money was spent
  3. Goals. Whether and how the objectives stated in the proposal were met
  4. Dissemination. How results will be disseminated. Results will be shared with the faculty and students from our University through a seminar (e.g., on a Research Day) or similar presentations at scientific meetings or Universities.
  5. Future Funding. If appropriate, provide faculty member’s plans for external funding.


G . Application Checklist:


Please be sure all of the following are included in your application:


  • Fully completed Facepage (please use attached format)
  • Narrative (Sections 2-5 cannot exceed 4 pages)
  • Fully completed budget sheet
  • Budget Justification (cannot exceed 1 page)
  • Prior funding (one paragraph each; as applicable)
  • Literature Cited (cannot exceed one page)
  • Letters from collaborators (if applicable)
  • Curriculum Vitae (limited to 2 pages each)


Mini-Grants FACEPAGE



Title of Project:

Principal Investigator Information:

Co-Investigator(s) Information

(if applicable):

Student(s) Information

(if applicable):


Name of First Co-Investigator

Name of First Student



Name of Second Student


Department and College:

Name of Third Student


Name of Second Co-Investigator:






Department and College:







Please select one area under which you are applying:

o Clinical Sciences

o       Basic Sciences

o Education Sciences



Application will be considered signed when it is submitted from the PI’s CNU email address.

Supervisor MUST be copied (cc:ed) on submission to serve as notification in lieu of signature.

Please submit application to the Assistant Dean of Research




Title of Project:

Principal Investigator


Mini-Grant Request














Supplies, drugs, reagents, etc. (please identify each line)






























Local and international travel









Hotels, food, etc.



Conferences/registration fees









Contractual costs



















Put the dollar amount requested under the mini-grant in that column. For contractual costs, please identify the type of study and the name of the person or organization involved. On a separate sheet, please justify all costs identified here. Include also details about travel (where, for what, how long, etc.), and other details explaining any other requested portion of the budget.


Congratulations to the students that obtained awards for the best poster (Matthew Craddock) and best oral presentation (Kayla Sheehan) at the CNU Research Day, January 20th, 2017.


Participation of Students and Faculty from COM at the CNU Research Day, January 20th, 2017


Oral presentations

Mohammad Wiese, George Stratigopolous, and Rudolph Leibel. Neurostructural morphology in CNS-specific RPGRIP1L deficient mice.

Vikas Shahi and William Mower. Use of Serial Hemoglobin in Blunt Trauma Patients to Detect Occult Blood Loss.

Kayla Sheehan and Guy DiSibio. Novel Methods of Medical Education - Clinical Cases as Preparation for the Wards and Beyond.

Ishwarlal Jialal. Circulating and Cellular Biomarkers of Inflammation in Metabolic Syndrome.



Congratulations to Dr. Nena Mason and Dr. Jose Puglisi and the COM students Alexandra Mullen and Brendan Kim for the acceptance of the poster entitled “Evaluation of a New Temporally and Fiscally Economical Ultrasound Training Program for First-Year Medical Students” to be presented at the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) poster session, Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2017, Chicago, IL, April 22-25.

Nayson Fernandes,
Katarzyna Targowska-Duda, Dirk Montag, Barbara Budzynska, Krzysztof Jozwiak, Grazyna Biala, and Hugo R. Arias. PAM-2, a selective positive allosteric modulator of α7 nicotinic receptors, reduces anxiety-like behavior in mice.


Matthew Craddock, Katarzyna Targowska-Duda, Barbara Budzynska, Agnieszka Michalak, Claus J. Løland, Krzysztof Jozwiak, Grazyna Biala, and Hugo R. Arias. Selective positive allosteric modulators of α7 nicotinic receptors have antidepressant-like activity.


Kenneth Hui, Kayla Sheehan, and Guy DiSibio. Horizontal EMR Integration Into Medical Education – A Novel Approach.


Marissa Chinn, Heather Cohen, Amram Averick, Zohra Ismail, and Xiadong Feng. Cancer Biosimilars: Regulation Challenges and Clinical Impact.


Trevor Tsay, Arion Lochner, Tyler Ellis, and Jose Puglisi. Epidemiology and Characteristics of Mental Health Related Ambulance Calls in 2013/14 in the United States.


Daniella Lent-Schochet, Anusha Jayaraman, and Christian J. Pike. The effects of low testosterone and high-fat diet on nuroinflammation in the central and peripheral nervous systems.


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