President’s Research Fund (PRF)

In past years, the President’s Research Fund (PRF) has supported projects that had a strong potential for obtaining external funding for SLU investigators. The funds were used to collect preliminary data for a new or related project, and also supported cross-disciplinary projects to maximize collaborations across departments and schools at SLU.

In order to turn around the current downtrend in NIH funding at SLU, the Research Planning Committee (RPC) plans to implement a more targeted use of existing resources under the Presidential Research Fund (PRF).

Specifically, the RPC would like to:

  1. Incentivize new research of high scientific quality that is likely to secure extramural funding.
  2. Support existing research reviewed favorably by the NIH but not yet funded.

To implement these goals, the RPC again plans to administer a single PRF cycle for the School of Medicine (SOM) during FY17 (Cycle 14), with a deadline of January 25, 2017, and a starting date of April 1, 2017. The amount allocated by the Office of the Vice President of Research for Cycle 14 is $300,000. In addition, a once-only contribution of $250,000 will be available from the Doisy Endowment of the School of Medicine, bringing the total allocation for Cycle 14 to $550,000.

The following three types of applications will be considered for funding:

  • PRF01 – Single PI application describing a NEW project with high likelihood of extramural funding, preferably through the R01 or U01 mechanisms. Up to $50,000 may be requested for this award.
  • PRF02 – Multi-PI application describing a NEW project with high likelihood of extramural funding, preferably through the P01 mechanism. Up to $100,000 may be requested for this award.
  • PRF03 – Existing R01 or U01 application, NEW or RENEWAL, that was scored but not funded by the NIH during 2016. Up to $50,000 may be requested for this award.

Guidelines and Application for Cycle 14:

Applicants should include a cover letter that justifies submission of the PRF01 or PRF02 as a NEW research project. For PRF03 grants, applicants should include a copy of the original R01 or U01 grant proposal reviewed by the NIH, a copy of the summary statement, and a description, not to exceed 5 pages, of how criticisms raised by the NIH Study Section will be addressed in a revised application.

The application deadline is January 25, 2017 and no late applications will be considered. Applications must be submitted online through eRS as an Internal Proposal. Proposals must be electronically signed by the PI’s department-appointed approver by 5:00 p.m. CST.

All applications (PRF01s, PRF02s and PRF03s) will be reviewed by an Internal Study Section appointed by the RPC and chaired by the current chair of the RPC. Recommendations about funding and amounts to be awarded rest entirely with the Internal Study Section and will be based on scientific merit and likelihood of extramural funding. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Vice President of Research for final approval.

Questions about Cycle 14 of the PRF in the SOM should be directed to Denise Johnson (977-8067;

Example of a successful PRF application: Tavis PRF

Award recipients for the 2016 Cycle 13 applications are listed below.

Spring 2016 Cycle 13 President’s Research Fund Awardees



Research Project

Rajeev Aurora, Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology and Immunology “Role of bone marrow-derived effector T-cells in development of atherosclerosis”
Chinnadurai, Govindaswamy, Ph.D. Institute for Molecular Virology “Opposing oncogenic activities of adenovirus E1A”
Robert Fleming, M.D. Pediatrics “Therapeutic potential of lactoferrin in iron-resistant anemias”
Sarah George, M.D. IM-Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology “Answering a key question for dengue vaccine development: Does vaccination induce cellular immunity that mimics natural protection after secondary infection?”
Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D. IM-Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology “Targeting the induction of Th17 cells as a vaccine approach for Chagas disease”
Michael Rauchman, M.D.C.M. IM-Nephrology “Discovery of novel gene mutations causing kidney birth defects”
David Q.H. Wang, M.D., Ph.D. IM-Gastroenterology and Hepatology “ApoA5 and the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)”
Gina Yosten, Ph.D. Pharmacological & Physiological Science “Nesfatin-1 and the regulation of blood pressure following ovarian failure”
Maureen Donlin, Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology “Role of cell wall integrity in echinocandin resistance in C. neoformans”
A list of previous awardees can be viewed here: Previous Awardees.

For the Fall 2014 cycle, 31 applications were received from the School of Medicine and over $1.3 million total in grant money was requested.