Collaborative Opportunities Funding Request for Applications

Submission Date: Open

Anticipated Start Date: 3 months from proposal submission


Overview: As a part of Collaborative Opportunities, the National Center of Neuromodulation for Rehabilitation (NC NM4R) at the Medical University of South Carolina ( will provide up to $7,500 of short-term (a 6-month period) funding for up to 4 collaborative opportunities proposals per year. Collaborative studies considered for this support mechanism:

  • must aim to address an important question in basic, translational, and/or clinical research that impacts rehabilitation research,
  • must be developed through collaboration with an NM4R investigator,
  • must be to promote rehabilitation research that utilizes NM4R methodologies,
  • must be ready to be executed (including IRB approval) at the time of proposal submission,
  • should yield the data to aid a competitive NIH research grant application or similar extramural grant application, and
  • studies that help the field understand the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of NM4R are especially encouraged.

Objective: The goal of this Collaborative Research Project Program is to help investigators overcome potential barriers in successful pilot data collection for clear, well-designed NM4R studies that have been developed through collaboration between the applicants and the NC NM4R. This program is for providing immediate funding for groups that have established through collaboration with NM4R investigators that they have a scientifically meritorious, innovative research program that needs a small amount of budget for covering operational cost (e.g., subject remuneration, supplies). This opportunity is not designed to provide ongoing support for a long-term project or to provide supplemental support to ongoing funded research projects. It is required that the study outcomes be used by the investigators to develop collaborative research grant applications for NIH or similar extramural funding mechanisms.

Eligibility: Principal Investigator must be eligible to submit an NIH R application or equivalent at his/her institution. MUSC investigators are not eligible to apply.

Inquiries: Interested investigators are encouraged to contact Aiko Thompson prior to proposal submission. All completed proposals should be sent to Cindy Gittinger.

Aiko K. Thompson, Ph.D.
Dept. of Health Sciences and Research
Medical University of South Carolina
77 President Street, MSC 700
Charleston, SC 29425

Cynthia K. Gittinger
Research Administration
Medical University of South Carolina
77 President St., MSC 700
Charleston, SC  29425


Application Materials

  • A study proposal that includes the followings:
    • Descriptive title of proposed research
    • Name, email address, and telephone number of the PI.
    • Complete listing of the investigating team with each individual’s academic title, primary department, institution, and proposed role on the project.
    • Hypotheses and objective of the proposed study (max 250 words)
    • Overview of the study design/methods (max 250 words)
    • Itemized budget and budget justification (max 100 words)
  • PI’s NIH-formatted biosketch
  • Current IRB approval of the proposed study or studies (without the current IRB approval, the proposal will not be accepted)
  • List of facilities and resources that are essential and readily available for the proposed study
  • Letter of support (as appropriate)

Review Process

Each proposal will be reviewed by the NC NM4R Executive Committee (EC) on the following six areas: 1) quality of the research (scientific merit, innovation, and impact); 2) relevancy to the mission of the NC NM4R; 3) qualifications of the research team to execute the proposed study; 4) feasibility and readiness of the proposed study; 5) plans to secure future extramural funding; and 6) clear collaboration with the NC NM4R.PI of a selected proposal may be invited to give a 5-minute presentation to the NC NM4R EC.

Budget Justification

Allowable expenses: Research supplies, animal purchase and per diem, institutional core service fees, research subject compensation and transportation, data analysis/statistical support, and publication costs. All expenses must be directly related to the proposed research.

Unallowable expenses: General office supplies, computers and laptops, tuition, membership dues and fees, subscription costs, mailing costs, and rent. Equipment purchase is not allowed. Salary and fringe benefits are not permitted.

Facilities and administrative costs (indirect costs): Preference will be given to applications from institutions that agree to 8% indirect cost rate. This demonstrates commitment by the institution to the applicant, represents leveraging of federal funds on behalf of rehabilitation community, and is consistent with investment in junior investigators. It will be at the discretion of the receiving institution to execute the option to waive F&A costs so that full funding of $7,500 can be applied towards the project or direct costs will be $6,944.44 with F&A of $555.55.