Research & Training Development Grant Program Guidelines

Proposal Content and Format

The application should generally follow the outline used for presentation of the Specific Aims and Research Strategy sections in NIH research grant proposals (see below). If the application is leading to submission of grant proposals to another type of sponsor, you may follow the format typically used for that application. The RTDG application also needs to include additional sections that explain how the RTDG funding will lead to an external funding award and that discuss previous MSASS research development awards, if any, received by the applicant. Sections I – VI of the application should not exceed 5 single-spaced pages (five 8.5” X 11” sides with 1/2” margins all-around, no smaller than 11-point font). Sections VII – IX are in addition to these 5 pages. The complete application should be electronically converted into a single PDF file.

The application must include:

  1. Project Title
  2. Principal Investigator Name
  3. Research Plan (These sections below are similar to the PHS 398 Research Plan)
    For further information:
    1. Specific Aims
    2. Research Strategy—Significance, Innovation, and Approach
    3. Preliminary Studies
      • Type A: This section should include reference to publications (published, in press or under review) stemming from the applicant’s previous pilot work).
      • Type B: This section should explain why the proposed pilot studies are necessary.
    4. Human Subjects
  4. Budget and Budget Justification  Allowable costs include: supplies, student or research assistant help, planning, consultants, travel directly associated with carrying out the research or preparing the proposal, editorial assistance or other expenses normally associated with a pilot project or proposal preparation. Funds can also be used for pilot data collection and analysis, or the purchase of a secondary dataset. The budget review will consider the RTDG Type (A or B).Unallowable costs include: salary support for the PI or other faculty. RTDG funding cannot be used as “bridge funding” between grants or for studies that are not directly tied to the submission of a proposal for external funding. The maximum budget request is $10,000. No F&A (overhead) will be included.A detailed budget, with line-item justification, is required.

    If other Non-RTDG funds (e.g., start-up funds) are available to the PI for the proposal preparation/pilot study activities covered by the RTDG application, a clear statement must be provided as to how the RTDG funds will be used and why they are needed.

  5. Plan for Obtaining External Funding
    1. Explain why this RTDG funding is necessary to ensure a competitive proposal. Reasons may include: 1) testing feasibility of measures or procedures, 2) providing evidence that the investigator is knowledgeable and competent in the research area, and 3) collecting pilot data indicating that a larger scale study is feasible and worth funding.
    2. Anticipated funding agency(ies). Provide RFA or other proposal announcement link.
    3. Anticipated submission date(s).
  6. Previous RTDG Awards  The applicant should indicate whether or not they have ever received a prior RTDG award. If yes, indicate whether a subsequent proposal based on that RTDG was submitted to an external sponsor and explain its outcome.
  7. References Cited (not part of 5-page limit)
  8. Introduction for Resubmission (if applicable; not part of 5-page limit)  Summarize substantial additions, deletions, and changes to the application in response to the issues and comments raised in the original review. This section is limited to 1 page (one 8.5” X 11” side with 1/2” margins all-around, no smaller than 11-point font).
  9. PI Biosketch (not part of 5-page limit)  Follow NIH Biosketch guidelines. It is recommended that the biosketch be built using “My NCBI” at Further instructions can be found at the Proposal and Research Resources page of the Mandel School Faculty Resources website.