Start-Up Awards

Page updated October 3, 2022


  • Accepted year-round



The purpose of the KY INBRE Faculty Start-Up Award program is to facilitate the recruitment of qualified junior faculty at Kentucky colleges and universities who have the background, training, and motivation to establish an externally-funded biomedical research program involving undergraduate students. Eligible institutions may request matching funds (up to $25,000) from KY INBRE to create a first-year research start-up package to offer to potential candidates for tenure-track assistant professor positions in research areas consistent with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) priorities. Requests must be made before the potential candidate is hired in a tenure-track position at the recruiting institution. The recruited candidates will become members of the KY INBRE and will receive additional research and proposal development support through the KY INBRE Mentoring Core.


  • Funds must be requested during the recruitment process and included as part of the candidate’s offer of employment. 
  • Current faculty and faculty at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville are not eligible for KY INBRE Start-Up Awards. 
  • All other Kentucky Colleges and Universities in the KY INBRE eligible for NIH R15/R16 funding may apply (see R15: NIH Research Enhancement Award, R16: Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) Program).
  • The recruited position must be a tenure-track position in any discipline or research area that is potentially fundable by the NIH.
  • The recruited candidate must have an active research agenda, evidence of appropriate research training (post-doctoral research preferred, with publications) and be motivated to obtain independent funding from the (NIH).


  • Institutions must provide the newly recruited assistant professor sufficient research space, release time from teaching (at least 25%), and provide at least a one-to-one cash match as cost-share.
  • The recruited candidate must attend the KY INBRE NIH R15 Proposal Development Workshop at the annual Kentucky Academy of Science meeting, and be committed to seeking NIH funding.
  •  The recruited candidate will be expected to submit a proposal for continued support though the KY INBRE Investigator Development Award program during their first academic year.
  • Awardees must submit an NIH-Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA, R15) or Support for Research Excellence (SuRE, R16) grant proposal within two-years of receiving initial support.
  •  Awardees must involve undergraduate students in their research and to publish a minimum of one research manuscript per year.
  • 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 15th.


  • The award may be used to cover typical research expenses including supplies, equipment, use of core facilities, summer salary, and undergraduate research assistants.
  • KY INBRE Faculty Start-Up Awards will be limited to a maximum of $25,000. The institution must provide at least a one-to-one cash match to the start-up package.
  • A facilities and administrative (F&A) cost will be allowable in addition to direct costs.
  • All KY INBRE funds must be expended within the KY INBRE fiscal year between May 1st and the following April 30th. With institutional approval, institutional match funds may be expended after the KY INBRE fiscal year end date of April 30th, but no later than two years after the initial start date.


  • Requests for start-up support may be sent via email at any time to .  However, since  awards decisions  will be based partially upon  the availability of funds, requests for funding early in the academic year (e.g., Fall semester) will have a greater probability of approval . Where possible, KY INBRE Lead Faculty at each of the Network institutions should be alerted to searches in progress and the expected date of potential requests for funding.
  • Requests should be made and approved during the recruitment process.
  • The requests should include: 1) the candidate’s CV; 2) a statement of candidate’s research interests or agenda; and 3) a support letter from the appropriate Chair, Dean, or other authorized university official that must include the institutional commitment to the mandatory cost-share requirements.
  • The request will be reviewed by the KY INBRE Leadership committee and a decision should be available within 3-5 business days.