Pepper Center Requests for Proposals to Support Innovative Pilot Projects and Junior Investigators

Mount Sinai’s Claude D. Pepper Older American’s Independence Center (“Pepper Center”) innovative mission is to stimulate, develop, and fund research to improve quality of life and independence of older adults with serious illness and their caregivers. This multiyear program project grant from the National Institute of Aging has helped to create a foundation of pioneering research in aging and palliative care at Mount Sinai, and has helped to improve care for our nation’s sickest patients.

The goals of Mount Sinai’s Pepper Center are to identify, recruit and train leaders in aging and palliative care research as well as provide funds to support pilot and exploratory projects related to aging and palliative care.  TWO REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS TO DIRECTLY SUPPORT PILOT AND EXPLORATORY PROJECTS AS WELL AS SUPPORT ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR JUNIOR CLINICIANS:

  • The Pilot and Exploratory Core provides support for investigators at all levels to propose innovative projects aimed at improving the care of older adults with serious illness.
  • The Research and Education Component provides support for salary and coursework for talented junior investigators interested in pursuing a career in research (basic, translation, and health services) related to the care of older adults with serious illness.

For additional information, please review the requests for proposals (linked above), which include information about funding opportunities as well as timelines. Please contact Ashleigh Manning ( for additional information.

The Mount Sinai OAIC (Older American’s Independence Center) is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Aging (2P30AG028741; Albert Siu, PI).


Retirement of Rebecca Balentine, GCO Associate Director and Promotion of Amanda Amescua, GCO Assistant Director Announced

Rebecca Balentine and Her Team

Rebecca Balentine and Her Team
(from left to right Mary Mbabazi, Amanda Amescua, Rebecca Balentine, Olga Carr, Michelle Yoon, Edwin Berrios)

We are both saddened and delighted (for her!) to announce the retirement of Rebecca Balentine from the position of Associate Director, Grants and Contracts Office (GCO) effective Friday, April 28, 2017. She has  been an outstanding member of the GCO family, and her three year term at Mount Sinai has been a wonderful capstone to an exciting 35-year career in research administration! Her hard work, dedication, and sense of humor have been central to the success of her team, and she will be greatly missed. Please join the GCO in thanking Rebecca for her valuable years of service and wishing her well in her future travels!

While we are sad to see Rebecca go, we are also pleased to announce Amanda Amescua will be taking over her role as Assistant Director, effective May 1, 2017.  Amanda Amescua has received a well-deserved promotion from GCO Senior Grants Specialist to Assistant Director.  Amanda has approximately 10 years of experience in sponsored project administration including positions at Columbia University Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, and the University of Texas at Austin.  We are confident that Amanda will make a fine edition to the leadership team.  Please join us in congratulating Amanda in her new role.

Reminders for Upcoming May 25 Competitive NIH Grant Application Deadline and Beyond

The Grants and Contracts Office (GCO) offers the following reminders about guidelines, updates, and policies pertaining to National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and their administration.

Option to Report Preprints and Other Interim Research Products Effective 5/25/17 (NOT-OD-17-050)
(excerpted from NIH Notice)
Interim Research Products are complete, public research products that are not final.  A common form is the preprint, which is a complete and public draft of a scientific document. Preprints are typically unreviewed manuscripts written in the style of a peer-reviewed journal article. Scientists issue preprints to speed dissemination, establish priority, obtain feedback, and offset publication bias. Another common type of interim product is a preregistered protocol, where a scientist publicly declares key elements of their research protocol in advance. Preregistration can help scientists enhance the rigor of their work.

For applications submitted for the May 25, 2017 due date and thereafter, awardees can claim these products on their progress report publication list.  They can also report them on their RPPR as of May 25, 2017, and link them to their award in their My Bibliography account.

For complete information, please read NOT-OD-17-050.

Appendix Policy Change for NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Applications Submitted for Due Dates On or After 1/25/17 (NOT-OD-17-035)

Updated Font Guidelines for Applications to Due Dates On or After 1/25/17 (NOT-OD-17-030)

Coming Down the Pike – Form Changes Affecting 1/25/18 Competitive Grant Applications and Beyond (NOT-OD-17-062)
The  NIH is announcing application form changes planned for competitive applications due 1/25/18 and beyond. The form changes center on consolidating human subject and clinical trial information.   Please read NOT-OD-17-062 for more information about the move form the current FORMS-D to a FORMS-E version.

Please contact Allison Gottlieb, Director, Sponsored Programs Education, GCO, if you have any questions or need additional information.

Department of Corporate and Foundation Relations Announces Funding Opportunities

The Department of Corporate and Foundation Relations of the Mount Sinai Development Office provides this curated list of funding opportunities to find faculty who may be interested and to provide assistance with the application process. Please see below for some of their upcoming deadlines, and contact them at, if you would like to find out more.

Melanoma Research Foundation:
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is committed to advancing research across the spectrum of melanoma – from prevention through diagnosis, staging and treatment. The MRF proactively partners with the NCI, Congress, the Department of Defense and other foundations to develop and collaborate on a broad agenda for melanoma research that takes full advantage of all opportunities, while also sharing challenges. Since 1998, the MRF has funded over 130 innovative, high impact, basic, translational and clinical research projects. Further, in 2016, the MRF awarded over $1.2 million dollars in new melanoma research.

  • Established Investigator Awards: up to $100K/year for two years
  • Career Development Awards: up to $50K/year for two years
  • The deadline for applications is March 1, 2017 at 5 pm ET.
  • Please see website for additional details and eligibility information.

American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
The primary purpose of the ASRM and SREI Research Grant Programs is to provide funds for new investigators to establish independent research programs. New investigators are those who have completed their training within the past three years and have independent faculty appointments at the commencement of the research. In special cases applications for bridge funding (i.e., between grant funding periods) for projects that are of benefit to other members of the Society, or for funding of new, highly innovative research projects by established investigators will be considered.

  • Grants in amounts of $10K to $50K will be considered on an annual basis; a total of $200K is available for 2017. The SREI Board will fund one grant of up to $40K.
  • Funds are available for project expenses, technical assistance, patient expenses, research supplies and durable laboratory equipment.
  • Up to ten percent (10%) of funds may be used for indirect costs or institutional overhead in circumstances deemed to be rare and extraordinary that are explained to the Research Committee.
  • Research grant funds may be expended over a 2-year time interval.
  • Please see website for eligibility information.

Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program:
The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, formerly known as the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, was created to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine, dentistry, or nursing and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians, dentists, and nurse-scientists.

  • The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program supports basic/biomedical, clinical, dental, nursing, and health services/epidemiology research.  The purpose of the AMFDP award is to facilitate the transition of the newly-trained clinician who wishes to develop into an independent investigator.
  • The Award includes an annual $75K stipend + $30K for research support/year, for four years (up to $420K total).
  • The deadline for submission is March 15, 2017, 3pm EST for the online portion and March 16, 2017 for the postmark of the hard copy.


The STTEP-UP Initiative in Science and Medicine – Apply by March 31

The STTEP-UP Initiative in Science and Medicine, an NCATS funded training program, is delighted to announce the solicitation of applications from highly motivated URM trainees in residency, subspecialty fellowship training or postdoctoral laboratory positions within our health care system, for the academic year starting July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018. This award provides salary support and tuition dollars for four postdoctoral trainees.

Application deadline: March 31, 2017.

Please visit our article in the previous issue of Research Digest for application details or contact Christine Acevedo ( at 212-824-7014.


GCO Helpful Hints – A Heartfelt Reminder

From the Desk of Allison Gottlieb, Director of Sponsored Programs Education:

This edition of the Grants and Contracts Office (GCO) Helpful Hints will be short and sweet, just like some of the people we know and love, who perhaps additionally (but no pressure), might have been the recipients of flowers, chocolates, and other heart felt gifts from you this past Valentine’s Day. image001

Please let this article serve as a reminder that if any related persons, regardless of height or temperament, are participating on your sponsored project, certain rules and regulations must be followed.  You’ll find them here in GCO’s policy entitled, “Supervision of a Related Party on a Sponsored Program.”

The document includes a definition of related parties and what exactly you need to do.


Joint ISMMS-RPI Oncology Projects Request for Proposals Released – Deadline 12/15/16

The academic affiliation between the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) fosters educational and research collaborations and stimulates the development of new technologies to radically improve the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

The ISMMS-RPI Steering Committee has issued a request for proposals for collaborative projects in the area of oncology. This RFP builds on themes (listed below) developed during the recent symposium “New Connections in Cancer Research: Bridging Basic Science, Clinical Science, Engineering and New Technologies.” Other topics related to cancer may also be proposed.

Imaging, mechanical and biophysical approaches

  • Effects of mechanical and physical forces on tumor growth and metastasis
  • Biochemical and biophysical makeup of the tumor microenvironment: implications for cancer progression and therapy
  • Development of analytic tools to monitor cell populations and individual cells in vitro and in vivo
  • Development or refinement of advanced imaging methods for cancer detection and monitoring

Systematic identification of personalized cancer therapies

  • Cost-effective target/drug discovery platforms
  • Development/implementation of personalized immunotherapeutic approaches
  • Optimization of individualized chemotherapy regimen (combination, order, dose, schedule,…)
  • Strategies/tools for clinical testing of experimental personalized therapies
  • Strategies for managing and reducing treatment side effects

Systematic identification of cancer biomarkers

  • Prediction of tumor progression (e.g., survival rather than objective response)
  • Improved prediction of immunotherapy/drug response

Proposals should be submitted with the expectation that data generated will lead to submission(s) for extramural funding from the NIH and/or other external funding sources. If possible, the intended extramural grant program should be specified.

Applications should include at least one investigator each from ISMMS and RPI. All investigators with full-time academic appointments within the Mount Sinai Health System and at Rensselaer are invited to apply. Applications from participants of the recent Cancer symposium at Mount Sinai are particularly encouraged to form teams that can respond to this RFP.

The ISMMS-RPI Steering Committee will review the seed grant proposals and funding will commence in January 2017.

For further details, interested researchers can click here for the Request for Proposals.

Please contact Louise Lammers or Jack Huang with any questions.

STTEP-UP for Research – Sinai Team-based Translational Education Program URM Propeller Launched

ConduITS, the Institutes for Translational Sciences is delighted to announce the start of a new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) funded program called the STTEP-UP Initiative in Science and Medicine.

This program is designed to enable highly motivated under-represented minority (URM) trainees in residency, subspecialty fellowship training, or postdoctoral laboratory positions within our healthcare system to become innovative leaders and entrepreneurs in clinical and translational research. It is designed to provide candidates with the critical thinking skills to evaluate the validity and implications of the published literature and plethora of available information through digital and internet resources; formulate testable hypotheses; design informative, effective and efficient studies; analyze data correctly; and interpret quantitative and qualitative findings and their potential impact on the health of individuals across the life cycle.

The components of the program include:

  • Academic Skills:
    • Time management & work/life balance
    • Mentorship
    • Communication Styles
    • Leadership
    • Team Science
    • Practical Tips for Negotiating your Career
    • Must Know Financial Concepts
  • INCHOIR Learning Lab, which will entail participation in hands-on training in clinical and translational science, utilizing an established data repository for secondary data analysis, and monthly didactics on fundamentals in interventional studies culminating in a two day virtual clinical trial development workshop.
  • Opportunities for Multidisciplinary Teamwork with other trainees throughout the education process.
  • Individual Career Development with Primary Mentor & Interdisciplinary Mentor Team
  • Career Development Seminars in the following topics:
    • Loan Repayment Program
    • Diversity Supplements
    • Mentored Awards Roadmap
  • T32 Networking Seminar Series
  • “Meet the Expert” Mentored Investigator “K Club Series”
  • Annual Next Steps Symposium, which will highlight nationally-renowned URM Clinical and Translational Investigators

The Clinical Research Education Program currently seeks nominations for the academic year starting July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018. This competitive program utilizes an NCATS funded NRSA TL1 mechanism and provides salary support and tuition dollars for four postdoctoral trainees per year. Applicants will be asked to provide a brief overview (not less than one paragraph and not more than one page) concerning their prior, current and/or upcoming involvement in a research project as well as their motivation for embracing a career in clinical translational research,* and a current curriculum vitae including bibliography. Applicants must also submit a letter of recommendation from their Training Program Director and Division Chief or Department/Institute/Center Chairperson. These respective letters should indicate that the training program director, division chief or department/institute/center chairperson is committed to make time available for the trainee to participate in the required academic programs. Please send required documents and information by March 13, 2017 to the attention of Christine Acevedo (, administrative assistant for the Clinical Research Education Program. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email or contact the Clinical Research Education Program office at 212-824-7014.

*If an applicant has recently developed or submitted a research proposal or protocol, the specific aim page or synopsis respectively can be used instead.


Joint Pilot Funding Available for Stony Brook/ ISMMS Collaborative Projects – Application Deadline 12/9/2016

Stony Brook Medicine and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have announced a Seed Grant program designed to support highly meritorious and innovative research focusing on biomedical discovery, health, and the community. Several $20,000-100,000 awards will be funded over one or two years. Awardees will utilize these funds to support interdisciplinary, basic and applied research, and/or community-based research with the potential to advance health, add value to clinically-relevant diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, or to facilitate development of commercially-promising biomedical intellectual property. Requests to support joint faculty meetings and small group retreats will also be considered.

Application deadline for the first cycle is by the close of the business day on Friday December 9, 2016 with funding to commence in February 2017.

There will be a second cycle within 6 months or 1 year as the program team gauges demand.

Click here for announcement and application details and new dates.


Department of Corporate and Foundation Relations Announces Funding Opportunities

The Department of Corporate and Foundation Relations of the Mount Sinai Development Office provides this curated list of funding opportunities to find faculty who may be interested and to offer assistance with the application process. Please see below for some of their upcoming deadlines, and contact them at, if you would like to find out more.

American Society of Nephrology Funding for New Investigators:
The ASN Foundation for Kidney Research awards these grants to advance the independent careers of young investigators in biomedical research.

  • Career Development Grants for New Investigators
  • Next deadline cycle will open on October 19 and close on December 14, 2016 at 2 PM
  • Please see website for additional funding opportunities and schedules

American Federation for Aging Research 2017 Grants:
Since 1981, AFAR has provided over $160 million to nearly 3,200 talented investigators and students. AFAR offers grants at all different levels of investigation, from student to senior investigator.

  • Deadlines and amounts are varied, please see website for details regarding specific grants

Pancreatic Action Network 2017 Research Funding Opportunities:
Five funding mechanisms are now accepting applications from postdoctoral fellows, junior independent researchers and senior investigators. We are also announcing our two new targeted grants (in early detection and precision medicine) that will open in December.

  • Projects are normally funded for a period of four years, in the range of $750,000 over the term of the project.
  • Deadlines: Various, please see website