Investigator Development Award (IDeA)

Page updated October 3, 2022

Please note additional application information under Application Guidelines


  • Letter of Intent due Friday, December 2, 2022
  • Completed proposal due Friday, December 23, 2022


The objective of the KY INBRE-IDeA grant program is to provide support to promising junior investigators at Kentucky colleges and universities to establish a research program involving undergraduate students that is competitive for NIH funding. In addition to providing funds for research support, the program requires release time from teaching, training and mentoring in NIH proposal development, and the development of collaborative relationship with a senior scientist (mentor).


  • Faculty at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville are not eligible for KY INBRE IDeA Awards.
  • Tenure-track and tenured faculty at any other Kentucky Colleges and Universities eligible for NIH R15/R16 funding may apply (see R15: NIH Research Enhancement Award, R16: Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) Program).
  • Applicants must have an active research agenda and be motivated to obtain independent funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Applicants must contact an NIH institute Program Officer and provide a statement confirming that the research topic area is potentially fundable by an NIH institute or center.
  • First time applicants must have attended a KY INBRE-sponsored NIH R15 grant writing workshop. If impossible, then applicants must commit to attend the workshop within the first year of the KY INBRE award.
  • Applicants must identify a senior investigator to serve as mentor/collaborator. In addition to research expertise in the appropriate field, the mentor should have successful NIH granting writing experience and be willing to review and critique grant proposals, manuscripts, etc., prior to submission. While in-state collaborations (UofL, UK) are encouraged, out-of-state mentors are acceptable when justified by research expertise and training. A biosketch and letter of support from the identified mentor are required. It is highly recommended that you have your selected mentor and institutional KY INBRE “Lead” faculty member review your KY INBRE IDeA proposal prior to submission.
  • Applicants planning to use human or animal subjects in their research must submit an official institutional IRB or IACUC protocol approval along with their research proposal.
  • Beyond the initial two-year award, renewal applications for an additional year of funding will be considered from individuals who have met the conditions of the grant and can demonstrate substantial progress toward the goal of obtaining independent NIH funding.
  • A letter of Intent to apply with the anticipated proposal title should be submitted by the annually announced due date.


  • Institutions must grant the PI 50% release time from teaching for KY INBRE funded research per academic year (assuming the normal teaching load is 12 credit hours per semester). In all cases, the PI must not teach more than 2 courses or 6 credit hours per semester.
  • PIs must involve undergraduate students in their research, monitor student progress, and provide tracking information to the KY INBRE office for a period of five years after the project period ends.
  • Awardees are expected to submit an NIH-Academic Research Enhancement Award grant proposal prior to the conclusion of each grant period (annually for a two-year grant) until successful.
  • Awardees are expected to publish one research manuscript per year in a peer-reviewed PubMed journal. At a minimum, awardees should have at least one manuscript submitted, or ready to submit, for publication by the due date of the Annual Progress Report.
  • All publications must acknowledge support from NIGMS grant #  P20GM103436
  • Awardees must submit an annual progress report to the KY INBRE office no later than January 15. If the Awardee has not published during the funding period, then manuscripts submitted, or ready for submission, must be submitted along with the annual progress report form.


  • Requests for funding may include expenses for supplies, equipment, use of core facilities, travel (max. $2500), summer salary, and undergraduate research assistants. Funds (up to $6000 annually of the $40,000 max) may also be requested to partially cover the cost of faculty release time.
  • Initial awards will be limited to a maximum of $40,000 per year in direct costs for up to two years ($80,000 total). The second year of funding is contingent upon research progress and continued NIH funding of the parent grant.
  • Facilities and administrative (F&A) costs will be provided in addition to direct costs. The F&A rate used to calculate indirect costs should be the institutional rate in effect on February 2018.