Faculty Pilot Project Award Request for Proposals

Faculty Pilot Project Request for Proposals
Request for Proposals Announced: August 23, 2021
Submission Deadline: Sunday, October 10, 2021 by 11:59 p.m.
Funding Period: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024


The Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) program invites proposals for BLaST Faculty Pilot Project (FPP) awards. The overarching goal of BLaST is to enhance undergraduate training and mentoring in biomedical research through increased diversity of students, increased integration of research and teaching, and enhanced integration of rural campuses into a cohesive biomedical community in Alaska. BLaST has adopted a One Health approach to biomedical research and encourages investigators to address health issues related to subsistence living.

BLaST is funded by the NIH, and the NIH encourages institutions to enhance the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences, such as: 1) Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis [Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders]; 2) Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and 3) Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as: (a) Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds periodically published at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml and (b) Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. For a complete description of the NIH’s Interest in Diversity see: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-18-210.html


Faculty from Fort Lewis College, Salish Kootenai College, Alaska Pacific University, Dine College, Ilisagvik College, and all UAS and UAF campuses, from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds are invited to apply.


BLaST FPP awards will run 7/1/2022-6/30/2024. Award period is subject to change based on NIH approval process and official Notice of Award. BLaST will provide up to $20,000 (direct costs per year) for two years with an additional $10,000 (direct costs per year) for projects conducted by rural or partner campus faculty members, or in rural Alaskan locations.

Apply Here


The BLaST FPP proposal can be found by clicking on the button above. Please read the entire form carefully before you begin. Once you begin, you cannot save and return at a later time. We recommend that you prepare your text for review and editing with word processing software, and then copy/paste you text into the application. Once you submit, you cannot edit your submission. This form will ask you to clearly explain:

1)       Your Biomedical, One Health, and/or Subsistence relevance of the proposed project

2)        Your undergraduate mentoring experience

3)       Your undergraduate mentoring philosophy

4)       Include an itemized budget and budget justification (required)

5)       UAF and UAS applications will be required to attach a UA Institutional Proposal Budget Spreadsheet and Budget Justification at time of submission

6)       A 6 page project description with references

7)       An NIH style biosketch.

If selected for funding, IRB/IACUC approval must be obtained before proposal is sent to NIH. You will receive a copy by email once your application is submitted.


The BLaST Advisory Committee (BAC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will review FPP applications. Funding priority will be assigned to projects that directly enhance undergraduate student training opportunities in biomedical research with a special emphasis on students from/in rural Alaska, Indigenous  populations in the lower 48 through our partners in other states or territories, and on topics germane to the health concerns of rural communities. Based on these priorities the following criteria will be used for evaluating proposals:

1) Scientific merit based on significance, innovation and approach

2) Research training opportunities for undergraduate students

3) Biomedical One Health relevance

4) Capacity building in Alaska to enhance undergraduate research training.

Additional preference will be given to proposals at rural campuses and projects in rural communities.


Awardees are expected to be active members of the BLaST learning community and must cooperate with BLaST staff to facilitate compliance with all participant reporting and evaluation requirements of the NIH. Projects awarded to partner campuses will be issued as sub awards. If selected to be sent to NIH for further approval, partner campus applicants will follow all local proposal processes as required by their respective institutions. Per NIH regulations, indirect rates for partner campus projects cannot exceed 8%.


Because these awards will not begin until July 2022, we anticipate that most COVID related restrictions on campuses will be lifted, and contingency plans are not required in these proposals. However, if by late Spring 2022 the COVID pandemic remains an issue, we will revisit what options would be available to awarded proposals to ensure their processes.