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 plans to administer a single PRF cycle for the School of Medicine (SOM) during FY16 (cycle 13), with a deadline of January 15, 2016, and a starting date of April 1, 2016. The amount allocated by the Office of the Vice President of Research for cycle 13 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 13 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 2015. Up to $50,000 may be requested for this award.

Guidelines and Application for cycle 13:

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 15, 2016 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 13 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 Spring 2015 application cycle are listed below. Each awardee received $25.000 in funds.

Spring 2015 President’s Research Fund Awardees



Research Project

Thomas Cho, Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology “The role of MIF-bacterial endotoxin interactions in sepsis: A potential cause of septic shock”
Reigh-Yi Lin, Ph.D. Internal Medicine-Otolaryngology “The role of receptor for advanced glycation endproducts in anaplastic thyroid cancer”
Sarah Howe McBride-Gagyi, Ph.D. Orthopaedic Surgery “The effects of spacer material and topography on bone formation using the induced membrane technique”
Lynda Morrison, Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology and Immunology “ADME and PK studies with novel herpesvirus inhibitors from two chemical classes”
Ryan M. Teague, Ph.D. Molecular Microbiology and Immunology “Exploring immunotherapy and oncolytic adenovirus as a novel combination therapy for cancer”
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.

Internal Study Section
Peer-review for NIH and NIH-type applications prior to submission.
RPC sponsored seminar series.
Funding Opportunities
Internal and external funding opportunities and listing of grants and awards to investigators at SLU.