MMPC MICROMouse Program

Please Note: The Pilot & Feasibility Program is now part of the MICROMouse Program

Funds New Collaborative Projects for up to $75,000 per year

The MMPC has set aside an annual budget for small 1 year grants to fund collaborative biomedical research projects between an MMPC and external investigators, or among MMPCs. The MMPCs provide tests on a fee for service basis to characterize many of the mouse models of metabolic diseases that are generated across the country, and therefore are in a unique position to identify opportunities for new or expanded studies as they arise. The focus will be on 1) projects that develop or miniaturize phenotyping tests for use in mice; and 2) research-driven projects that arise from MMPC activities, that combine the interests of two or more investigators, and that fall outside those research activities currently funded by an MMPC or an investigator’s established research program.

These funds cannot be used to replace or reduce the fees charged for requested services of an MMPC.

For instructions on how to submit a MICROMouse Funding Program Application to the MMPC web portal please click the following link: MMPC Funding Program Application Submission Basic Training (PDF)

Research Objectives
Research objectives for MICROMouse projects should reflect the MMPC mission to provide high quality metabolic studies of mouse models relevant to diabetes and obesity. MICROMouse will fund high impact technology-, physiology-, or biology-based projects conceived through interaction with, or between MMPCs. Proposal objectives should take clear advantage of collaborations with MMPCs to address questions that would be otherwise difficult to answer. Objectives of the MICROMmouse initiative encompasses pilot and feasibility projects for the development of new mouse phenotyping tests, as well as research-driven projects that investigate biology and physiology of disease. MICROMouse proposals that result from user and MMPC interaction are strongly encouraged, but applications should explicitly address how the proposal is distinct from the current grant support of principal investigators. Examples of suitable proposals include but are not limited to:

  1. Pilot and feasibility of new phenotyping tests
    1. Develop new technologies or miniaturization of existing technologies for use in mice;
    2. Develop applications of existing technologies for use in mice;
    3. Provide new tests to meet identifiable, outstanding needs necessary to phenotype mouse models of metabolic disease, and;
    4. Establish new types of mathematical models, informatics, databases or products that augment the mission of the center.

  2. Research-driven projects

    1. The pursuit of novel questions formed during routine phenotyping of animals in collaboration with the submitting investigator;
    2. Thorough phenotyping of new models that may be important for the study of a variety of diseases, but are outside the scope of the submitting investigator’s funding;
    3. To bring together investigators with complimentary mouse models that would not normally interact;
    4. Investigation of new molecular targets uncovered by prior MMPC studies. Objectives should be reasonably met within the one year funding period and lead naturally to publication and potential NIH funding.

Applicants may request up to $75,000 total costs (direct + indirect costs) for one year of funding. A narrative justification should be provided only for any major equipment (cost greater than $5,000) deemed to be necessary for the proposed project. The number of awards will depend upon the number, quality, duration, and cost of the applications received. A second year of funding may be available through a competitive renewal process. Competitive renewal is encouraged especially for research-driven projects where new and important objectives that meet the MICROMouse criteria are formed during the first funding cycle.

Awards will be made as subcontracts from the DiaComp/MMPC Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit (CBU) at Augusta University and not directly by the NIH.

Each submitted proposal will be assigned to three reviewers who are either members of the MMPC External Advisors or external scientists with expertise in the area of a proposal. The final funding decisions will be made by the MMPC Steering Committee. Proposals may be submitted only once for funding consideration unless a revised application is solicited by the MMPC Steering Committee. Applications for competitive renewal (1 additional year) are encouraged in cases where exemplary progress has been made and further investigation is warranted.

Application and Eligibility
The aim of the MICROMouse program is to promote the development of mouse phenotyping technology and encourage collaborative relationships between the MMPC and its users. These are 1 year awards intended to fund the development of research opportunities that may arise during the course of a service provided by the MMPC or to expand on research interests common to a MMPC user and a MMPC principal investigator. These awards cannot be used simply to purchase services from an MMPC.

There is no formal deadline associated with MICROMouse applications, but applications will be reviewed quarterly (March 1, June 1, September 1, December 1) and so should be submitted accordingly. A letter of intent with a brief (2-3 sentences) description of the proposed project must be sent to Dr. Richard McIndoe at at least two weeks prior to submission of an application.

The brief application should be on the PHS 398 form, and must be composed of a research plan that includes the following sections: A. Abstract and Specific Aims, B. Background and Significance, C. Preliminary Studies, D. Research Design and Methods, E. Explicit description of the collaboration and contributions of the collaborating investigators. In the case of Pilot and Feasibility projects, this section should include a brief description of how the test will be made available to MMPC users, F. Signed letters from any collaborating principal investigators that have not signed the application face page. G. Literature Cited. H. Detailed Budget. I. Vertebrate Animals (Sections A->E are limited to 5 pages). Applications should be signed by at least one principal investigator and an official representing the submitting institution.

NOTE: Applicants should submit an electronic version of the application via the MMPC website (PDF format only please).

Eligible Organizations: Public or private institutions in the United States, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories; units of state and local governments; eligible agencies of the Federal government; faith-based or community-based organizations; Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized); Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized); and Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization.

Eligible Project Directors/Principal Investigators: In the collaborative spirit of the MICROMouse awards, each application must include at least two project directors/principal investigators, one of whom must be an MMPC investigator. The application may originate from either the MMPC or the collaborating institution. Applicants must hold a doctoral level position but young investigators and post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to apply. Applications from post-doctoral fellows or research staff must include two letters of recommendation. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

Progress Report
A progress report is due two months following the completion of the 1 year funding period. If competitive renewal is sought, the letter of intent and application should be received for the review cycle prior to end of the projects current funding period. Application for competitive renewal is not in lieu of a year-end progress report.

Financial Acknowledgment
Financial acknowledgment of award: Please acknowledge all posters, manuscripts or scientific materials that were generated in part or whole using funds from the MMPC MICROMouse program using the following text: 'Financial support for this work provided by the NIDDK Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (MMPC, under the MICROMouse Funding Program, grant DK076169'

Contact Information
Questions, letters of intent and applications should be sent to the DiaComp/MMPC Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit (CBU) (Dr. Richard McIndoe, Director).

Richard McIndoe, Ph.D. (Coordinator)
Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit
Augusta University
Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine
1120 15th Street, CA4124
Augusta, GA 30912-4810
Phone: 706-721-3542
Fax: 706-721-3688
MICROMouse Chair:
John C. (Jack) Rutledge, M.D.
Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Co-Vice Chair for Research
Department of Internal Medicine
Richard A. and Nora Eccles Harrison Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research
Internal Medicine Administration
UC Davis Medical Center
4150 V St., Suite 3100
Sacramento, CA 95817
Kevin Niswender, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Vanderbilt University
7435 MRB IV
2213 Garland Ave.
Nashville, TN 37232
Yvonne M. Ulrich-Lai, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
Metabolic Diseases Institute
2170 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45237
Randall Friedline, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Program in Molecular Medicine
381 Plantation Street.
Worcester, MA 01605