Funding Opportunities

Call for Pilot Project Applications Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID), an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence at Kansas State University

Applications due: March 1, 2024

Anticipated Decision Date: April 12, 2024

Anticipated Start Date: May 1, 2024

The KSU NIH CEZID COBRE: ( will provide investigators with support for research activities, mentoring, and access to Core Lab Services. Two pilot projects with funding of up to $50,000 total direct costs starting on May 1, 2024, are anticipated. Each pilot project is for one year of initial funding and is potentially renewable for a second year, pending scientific progress and available funds.

The CEZID pilot grant program is intended to enable junior and senior investigators to generate preliminary data for submission of competitive grant applications, develop new technologies, and/or achieve other goals that will better position the applicant and institution to conduct biomedical research.

Applications must describe a pilot research project that fits well with the scientific theme of CEZID and must incorporate substantial use of one or more associated core labs at KSU (see: The competition is open to all full-time faculty at any State of Kansas Regents University. Tenure-track is not required. K99/R00 holders are not eligible to lead a Pilot Project. A Pilot Project recipient cannot hold any IDeA award concurrently with a CEZID Pilot Project. Applications must be prepared in general accord with the NIH PHS 398 application guidelines (see Application process). Criteria for evaluation of Pilot Project applications are as follows:

  1. The basic criteria for NIH grant review are found at:
  1. Additional CEZID Pilot Project specific review criteria include:
  • Strength of the science, and the quality and clarity of its presentation
  • Likelihood of the project becoming competitive for independent R21/R01 funding
  • Likelihood of getting a publishable result within the one-year time frame
  • Relevance to the CEZID theme of emerging and/or zoonotic infectious diseases
  • Clear, detailed plan for utilization of one or more CEZID Core Labs
  • Background, experience, and career status of the applicant
  • Track record of past research, research grant applications, and research funding

Questions about eligibility, program details, or the appropriate inclusion within the CEZID scientific theme should be directed to Catherine Hickman ( Submit applications via email to no later than 5 pm CDT, Friday, March 1, 2024. Applications received after this time will not be opened or reviewed. Contact Christine Huncovsky ( if you have questions about the submission process.

CEZID Core Facilities and Director Information

Animal Model/Pathology (AMP) Core Facility. Director: Dr. Igor Morozov ( Project support is provided for animal experimental designs, training, and technical support, coordination of animal experiments, gross pathology and histology of tissue samples, and development of specific reagents such as hybridomas and hyperimmune sera. A laser capture microscope is also available.

Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Core Facility. Director: Dr. Juergen A. Richt ( Associate Director: Dr. Waithaka Mwangi ( The MCB Core provides imaging and flow cytometry services to COBRE users. MCB Core services include DNA sequencing, CRISPR technology, and cell sorting capabilities. The MCB Core offers new equipment including a NextSeq, a BD FACSMelody Cell Sorter, a Chromium 10x and a GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler. The goal of the MCB Core is to assist CEZID researchers in obtaining research results, which allows them to effectively compete for extramural funding.

General Terms and Conditions of CEZID Pilot Project Awards

  1. Projects must make significant use of at least one Core Lab. Prospective applicants should consult with the appropriate Core Lab Director(s)/Associate Directors before applying. A letter of support from the Core Director/Associate Director reflecting the feasibility of the proposed project is recommended.
  2. Funds may be used for consumable supplies, services, or small laboratory hardware, but not for equipment (i.e., items costing > $5,000). Personnel costs are allowed, with preference given to applications that name specific individuals who are eligible to work and ready to begin no later than May 1, 2024. Summer salary is limited to a maximum of one person-month. Personnel costs may not be used to support first-year graduate students. Travel costs are limited to essential research-related travel and must be pre-approved by the CEZID Director Dr. Juergen A. Richt. Tuition costs are allowable as per standard institutional policies.
  3. Investigators who receive CEZID pilot project support are REQUIRED to participate as fully as possible in the Annual/Semi-Annual meetings of the CEZID Center, as well as in seminars, workshops, and other special activities organized or sponsored by the Center.
  4. A standard NIH progress report is required from each CEZID Pilot Project Leader by February 1, 2025, for inclusion in the COBRE annual report to the NIH.
  5. Junior faculty recipients must have a CEZID-approved Senior Faculty Mentor.
    • While the term Junior Faculty is not specifically defined in the RFA, the intent is that Junior Faculty members would meet the NIH Early Stage Investigator (ESI) criteria. An ESI is an individual who has not served as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award, such as an R01 or U01 and has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training within the past 10 years. See here for the ESI definition:
  6. The CEZID Director Dr. Juergen A Richt may make term and budget adjustments in accordance with the intent of CEZID’s Pilot Project program and NIH policies concerning scientific overlap of projects.
  7. By accepting CEZID funds, awardees agree to comply with any and all requirements not already mentioned that may be imposed on CEZID by NIH or other institutional authorities.

Application process

Applications must be prepared in general accordance with the NIH PHS 398 application guidelines.
Applications that do not comply with these review guidelines will not be reviewed.
You are encouraged to obtain assistance from the appropriate Grant Services agency at your University (required if a KSU participant). Suggested contacts are listed below:
􀀀 KSU Office of Research and Sponsored Projects 785-532-6195 or your assigned Grant Specialist
􀀀 KU Higuchi Biosciences Center Proposal Preparation Office 785-864-4244 or

􀀀 KUMC Sponsored Programs Administration 913-588-1251

􀀀 WSU Office of Research and Technology Transfer 316-978-3285


Include the following sections, in exactly this order, compiled into a single PDF:

  1. Face page
  2. Project Summary
  3. Project Narrative
  4. Detailed budget (Budget dates are May 1, 2024- April 30, 2025)
  5. Budget justification (use continuation page)
  6. NIH Biosketch of applicant
  7. NIH Biosketch of a mentor (if applicable)
  8. Other support (for applicant only)
  9. Specific Aims (1 page) – maximum of 2 aims
  10. Research Strategy (6 pages) – include reference to the rigor of prior research and rigor and reproducibility
  11. Vertebrate Animals – include reference to sex as a biological variable
  12. Bibliography – limited to 1 page; use complete citations with PMIDs in NIH style
  13. Letters of support (if applicable)

Do NOT discuss a second year of funding in your application. Additional budget information will be requested at a later date if the project is considered for funding extension.
Use an 11-point Arial font with one-half-inch (1/2") margins on all four sides.
Figure legends in the research strategy may use the 8-point Arial font.
Letters of support from the Directors of Core Labs that you will use are encouraged, but not required.
Junior Investigators must include a letter of support from their Mentor.

Submit applications as a single PDF document labeled “PI LAST NAME” and “INSTITUTION” (e.g. RUFUS.PURINAINSTITUTE.pdf).

Submit applications no later than 5 pm CDT, March 1, 2024.

If selected for funding, applicants must provide copies of all relevant compliance approvals (IACUC, IBC, IRB) prior to the release of award funds. DO NOT submit these items at this time but DO submit them to the compliance offices ahead of time to avoid delays in funding.

Eligible CEZID Pilot Project applications will be reviewed administratively by April 12, 2024, according to the NIH criteria and the COBRE-specific criteria described above.