President’s Research Fund (PRF)

The President’s Research Fund (PRF) supports projects that have a strong potential for obtaining external funding for SLU investigators. Funds are used to collect preliminary data that will generate new extramural funding.

Specifically, the PRF will:

  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.

The RPC will administer a single PRF cycle for the School of Medicine (SOM) during FY20 (Cycle 17), with a deadline of January 15, 2020, and a start date of May 1, 2020. The maximum award term is 13 months. Grant extensions will not be allowed.

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 2019. Up to $50,000 may be requested for this award.

Guidelines for Cycle 17: PRF Guidelines

Applications will be submitted via the Openwater portal. To access, log in to and click on the Openwater icon in the “Tools” tab. Use your SLU credentials to log in. The first time you log in, you will be asked to set up your profile.

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.

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 17 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 2019 Cycle 16 applications are listed below.

Spring 2019 Cycle 16 President’s Research Fund Awardees



Research Project

Anutosh Chakraborty, Ph.D. Pharmacological and Physiological Science “Determine mechanisms that regulate the obesogenic protein IP6K1”
Colin Flaveny, Ph.D. Pharmacological and Physiological Science “Defining LXR regulation of prostate tumor immunometabolism”
Jaya Gnana-Prakasam, Ph.D. Ophthalmology “Role of iron in ketone body metabolism”
Daniel Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology and Immunology “Induction and terminal differentiation of effector T cell precursors”
Ajay Jain, M.D. Pediatrics “Role of testosterone in young males with non-slcoholic steatohepatitis”
Sergey Korolev, Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology “Mechanism of PARK14/PLA2G6 activity regulation and function”
Guangyong Peng, M.D., Ph.D. IM-Infectious Diseases, Allergy and Immunology “Metabolic control of T cell senescence for tmor immunotherapy”
Nicola Pozzi, Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology “Structural studies of β2-glycoprotein I”
Ratna Ray, Ph.D. Pathology “Role of long non-coding RNA ELDR in head and neck cancer”
Sameer Siddiqui, M.D. Surgery “Insulin resistance following androgen deprivation therapy in men with prostate cancer”
Jinsong Zhang, Ph.D. Pharmacological and Physiological Science “Lysine acetylation of histone deacetylase 3 as a new target for cancer therapy”

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.