Research Affairs / 
Grants for Research and School Partnerships (GRASP)


Please read the 2015 request for applications

Criteria for Evaluation
Application Format
Progress and Final Reports
Application Process
Previous Awardees


  • To promote inter-school collaboration in research;
  • To encourage faculty to become more involved in research; and
  • To develop grant preparation skills and generate preliminary data for subsequent extramural peer-reviewed proposals

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Maximum amount of award per proposal:  $75,000

Term of award: 24 months

Number of awards for 2015: 3

Deadline for submission: Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm PT

Deadline for Letter of Intent: Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm PT

Anticipated date of award announcement: January 12, 2016

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  • The project must be directed by two faculty co-Principal Investigators from different schools on the LLU campus and/or the Medical Center. (The Medical Center and the School of Medicine are considered a single entity for the purpose of this initiative.)  
  • Both co-PIs must have LLU faculty appointments.  An investigator’s primary appointment will be the one used to determine eligibility. Additional individuals may provide support as co-investigators, but no more than two Principal Investigators may be named on an application.
  • At least one co-PI must have received less than $100,000 in direct costs for support of their research activities during the 12 months preceding the date of this announcement. There are no restrictions on the funding available to the other co-PI during the previous 12 months. The PI with the lesser amount of available funding must have more control of the project.
  • Only studies conducted at facilities on the Loma Linda campus will be considered, though supplies or reagents from other places are allowed.
  • Publication of a minimum of one peer-reviewed article during the past year (to be included in the biosketch) is required for eligibility. This publication can be authored by either member of the team.
  • Individuals who have received prior awards through the GRASP mechanism may reapply for GRASP support provided that they: 1) Have published, or had accepted for publication, one or more manuscripts in a peer-reviewed journal. To qualify, this publication must acknowledge funding through the GRASP (LLU) mechanism. 2) Have submitted one or more applications for extramural funding.  Both publication of the paper and submission of the application must have occurred after receiving the prior GRASP award, and this requirement applies regardless of whether the proposed partnership is the same as previously or represents a new team.
  • Teams that submitted applications that were not funded in a previous round may resubmit a revised application. The application should be preceded by an “Introduction to the Revised Application,” of up to one page that describes the changes made to the proposal.
  • While an individual or a team may submit more than one application, no more than one award will be made to any investigator.  For example, if an investigator submits two applications, with two different co-PIs, only the higher-ranking proposal would be eligible for an award.

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Criteria for Evaluation

Awards will be based primarily on scientific merit, including significance, innovation, originality of approach, technical merit, and consistency with institutional interests and goals. The quality of inter-school collaboration, the PI leadership plan, justification of the budget, and potential for future funding will also be considered. Inclusion of preliminary data supporting the proposed study is recommended. In the absence of preliminary data, strong literature support for the planned study is required. The focus will be on funding high-impact, paradigm-shifting, innovative projects.  Consequently, the application must clearly describe the potential impact of the project on the field and highlight its innovative elements.  Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of extramurally funded investigators, particularly those who have served on federal grant review panels. A subset of the panel with expertise in social, behavioral and qualitative research will review such applications. Consistent with their scientific merit, the panel will attempt to include as many schools among the awards as possible. To the extent that it can be maintained in the review process, applications will be kept confidential, but the abstracts of funded projects will be public.

GRASP Scoring Guide

Definitions of the review criteria

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Application Format

Text must be 11 point or larger with six lines per inch and margins of at least one-half inch. The sections identified below may not exceed their indicated page limits. Headers and footers should not be used. The following sections are expected:

Title Page (one page): Include the title of the project, names of both principal investigators, their contact information (including institutional e-mail, phone numbers, name of department or center) and total dollars requested.

 Abstract & Key Words (up to 30 lines of text): The abstract should briefly state the significance and goals of the proposed study and summarize the work to be accomplished. It should provide sufficient information to assign the application to appropriate reviewers.  Four to six key words are required to identify the general area of research and the principle elements of the study.

 Biographical Sketches (up to four pages per investigator): Provide biosketches of the co-Principal Investigators and other key personnel in the format provided below (see p. 5). Personal statements in the biosketches will only be required for PIs, not co-investigators.

 Budget (template generated in LLeRA):  Design a complete budget for up to 24 months of support. Identify amounts for each PI, expenditures for non-faculty salaries, supplies, and miscellaneous costs. Only non-faculty salaries and wages are permitted. GRASP awards may not be used for equipment costing $2,500 or more, travel expenses, or indirect costs. The total budget may not exceed $75,000 with neither co-PI allocated more than $45,000. Consult with a financial analyst in Research Affairs Financial Management (ext. 44589).  No carryover of funds will be permitted beyond 24 months from the date of award activation.

 Budget Justification (one page): Indicate the purpose of supplies, support personnel and other costs.

 Eligibility (one page, required only for previous GRASP recipients): If one or both of the applicants is a previous GRASP recipient, provide the following:

  • For published papers:
    • Provide citations for one or more published or accepted articles that were published/accepted subsequent to the previous GRASP award and that acknowledge funding support from LLU.
    • Provide a pdf of or hyperlink to the article(s).
  • For grant applications, provide the following information for each:
    • LLeRA number
    • Title
    • Sponsor name
    • Date of submission
    • Amount
    • Current status (i.e., funded, pending, scored, not discussed, etc.)

Research Plan (nine or ten pages):

Provide information for the five subsections described below:

A. Introduction to Revised Application (one page, required only for revised applications): Summarize the substantial additions, deletions and changes to your application. In addition, concisely address each of the concerns raised by the previous reviews, describing how the proposal has (or has not) been modified and your reasons for doing so.

B.Specific Aims (one page):  “State concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved.  List succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed.” (Text taken from NIH instructions)

C.Leadership Plan (one page):  Both PIs must make major contributions to the project with each individual taking responsibility for approximately half of the study activities.  Indicate the scope of work for each PI.  State how the PIs will coordinate their activities, resolve problems, and allocate responsibilities for management and reporting.

D. Background (one page): Describe the background leading to the present application. State the significance and usefulness of the proposed research to unsolved problems in science, healthcare, public health, society, the environment, industry, agriculture, etc.

E. Research Strategy (limited to 6 pages):  Six pages in total are allowed for the subsections of Significance, Innovation, and Approach.  Suggested allocations of this space for those three subsections are noted below. (Text taken from NIH instructions)

1. Significance (suggested length, ½ page):  “Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed project addresses.  Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capacity, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.  Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.”

2. Innovation (suggested length, ½ page):  “Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.  Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.  Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions.

3. Approach (suggested length, 5 pages):  “Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project.  …Include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted as well as any resource sharing plans as appropriate.  Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims.  If the project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to establish feasibility, and address the management of any high risk aspects of the proposed work.  Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised.

F. References: Include those references needed to demonstrate the need for this research, establish feasibility for hypotheses and procedures, and provide support for the approach.  Include titles and authors.

Animal Studies or Human Subjects: When laboratory animals or human subjects are involved, integrate those descriptions into the Research Design and Methods section. If the proposal is awarded, separate applications for the use of animals or for the involvement of human subjects must be submitted for approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee or by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), respectively, before work may begin.

Final Report: No extensions of the project period are permitted. Within 30 days of the end of the project period, a final report is due. It should include accomplishments, significant results, manuscripts prepared for publication, and plans for extramural grant applications.

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Intent to Apply and Application Process:

Intent to submit an application must be indicated by completing the Letter of Intent form ( including the signatures of both PIs and submitting it to Research Affairs via email ( or fax (909-558-0244) by 5 PM, October 1, 2015. Questions should be directed to Sherie Donahue ( or Cindy Dickson (  An electronic record will be created into which the application will be loaded.  Applications must be submitted electronically through the LLeRA Proposal Development module by 5 PM, Thursday, October 29, 2015. A printed, fully executed institutional transmittal form (available at, signed by the PI, department head, and dead of each school, is required by the application deadline (Thursday, October 29, 2015, 5 PM.)

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General Information: Anthony Zuccarelli, ext. 88544

Technical and Application Guidance: Sherie Donahue, ext. 83911

Budget and Financial Advice: Research Affairs Financial Management, ext. 44589

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Previous Awardees

2014 awardees

Traci Marin and Christopher Wilson AMPK epigenetically modulates respiratory pattern response to oxidative stress
Xiangpeng Yuan and Wei-Xing Shi iPSCs as Stem Cell Therapy for Neonatal Brain Ischemia
Grace Lee and Nicole Gatto Dietary Patterns and Cognitive Dysfunction in the Aged: Adventist Health Study-2
Raymond Knutsen and Penelope Duerksen-Hughes The Association Between Adverse Life Events and Biological Aging

2013 awardees

Takkin Lo and Traci Marin
Angiogenesis: mechanisms in normoxia, hypoxia, and hyperoxia
Stephen Dunbar and Danilo Boskovic Heavy metals and POPs in Hawksbills and their prey implications for human health
Rodrigo Viecilli and Serkan Inceoglu Biomechanics of severe apical root resorption

2012 awardees

Xeuzhong Qin and Wei-Xing Shi

Role of miRNA223 in Multiple Sclerosis

Cameron Neece and Lisa Roberts Supporting Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Challenging Behavior: A Pilot Study of the MAPS Project
Valeri Filippov and Karen Jaceldo Discovery of Serum Mediators, Biomarkers and Pathways that Reflect the Effects of Diet, Gender, Physical Activity and Race

2011 awardees

Richard Hartman and Ying Nie The Long-Term Behavioral and Neuropathological Effects of Radiation-Induced Growth Hormone Deficiency
Kevin Nick and Kerby Oberg Characterization of “Irritant Soil” in Ethiopia and its Role in Podoconiosis
Mathew Kattadiyil and Susan Hall Are Bone Turnover Markers Associated With Frequency of Complete Denture Relines?
Victoria Maskiewicz and Serkan Inceoglu Novel Orthopedic Cements for the Controlled Delivery of Antibiotics in the Treatment of Prosthetic Infection in Total Joint Arthroplasty

2010 awardees

Robert Ostrowski and Lei (Helen) Huang Hyperbaric oxygen treatment improves outcomes following repetitive mild juvenile traumatic brain injury
Everett Lohman III and David Hessinger Mechanism of vibration-induced skin blood flow
Wu Zhang and Xiaobing Zhang Treating Periodontal Disease with iPS cell-derived Mesenchymal Stem cells in a Rat Model
Christopher Perry and Steven Kurti Laser Assisted Polymer Mediated Size and Shape Control of Gold Nanoparticles
David Weldon and Kimberly Payne Natural Product Therapy to Inhibit B Cell Precursor Proliferation
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