Grant Submission Instructions

SBDRC Pilot & Feasibility Grant Program

Applications for this funding cycle have closed – please see below for further information regarding the application process.
2023 Application Instructions

New this year will be an online application process.  All applications must be submitted online by Friday, August 26, 2022.

All applications must include the following elements: 

  1. Grant title
  2. Statement of investigator’s eligibility, including relevance of the application to NIAMS interest in skin biology and diseases (required)
  3. Brief summary of proposed use of SBDRC cores
  4. Specific Aims (1 page)
  5. Research Strategy (2 pages) in NIH format with Significance, Innovation, and Approach sections
  6. References
  7. Protection of Human Subjects, Data Safety Monitoring Plan, PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report, Inclusion of Women and Minorities, Inclusion Across the Lifespan (if applicable)
  8. Vertebrate Animals (if applicable)
  9. Letters of Support (optional for full grants; mentor letter required for minigrants)
  10. Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources
  11. Resource Sharing Plan(s) for Data, Model Organisms, Genomic Data (if relevant)
  12. Select Agent Research (if applicable)
  13. Budget using NIH budget page PHS 398/FP4. Include personnel and budget justification.
  14. NIH Biosketch, 2021 format
  15. Follow NIH formatting guidelines, including acceptable fonts in black type and 0.5” page margins
  16. Note: Trainee Minigrants will also require letter of support from the applicant’s mentor

The following criteria will be used in assigning scores:

  1. Investigator eligibility statement required for consideration (see Funding Announcement for details)
  2. Biological or clinical relevance of the project to skin biology and/or skin diseases within the NIAMS mission (please note, research on pre-cancerous lesions or the early stages of malignant transformation is acceptable, but not research solely focused on skin cancer)
  3. Testability and innovation of the hypothesis
  4. Strength of premise for the hypothesis
  5. Appropriateness and rigor of experimental approaches
  6. Use of one or more SBDRC Research Core services. Proposals using any SBDRC core service will be considered, although priority areas for 2023 include:
    • High Throughput Screening consultation (STaR core): 2 hours consultation and primary human skin cells for development and validation of high throughput genetic or chemical screens will be included; pilot funding can be used toward costs of the Penn High Throughput Screening (HTS) Core. Investigators are encouraged to reach out to David Schultz, PhD ( and Todd Ridky, MD, PhD ( for preliminary evaluation of project feasibility.
    • Skin barrier assays: The CPAT Core offers services to determine skin barrier function including: 1) corneometry to assess skin water content by the capacitance method. 2) skin pH measurements using the Skin-pH-Meter with a PH 905 probe and 3) transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by diffusion using a Tewameter TM300.
  7. Interdisciplinary, interdepartmental and basic-translational collaborative aspects of project
  8. Appropriate policies in accordance with NIH guidelines for vertebrate animals, human subjects, resource sharing, select agent use
  9. Feasibility of supporting future external grant proposals
  10. For minigrants, feasibility of supporting future transition to an independent research faculty position
Investigators receiving Penn SBDRC P&F grants will be required to:
  • Provide IACUC and IRB protocol approvals before funding start date
  • Submit a 1-page progress report by email by 6/15/2023 and 12/15/2023
  • Present P&F-generated data at the 2024 Penn SBDRC Scientific Symposium (to be held in March 2024)
  • Provide annual updates on resulting grants and publications
  • Participate in future SBDRC P&F Study Sections to evaluate applications