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Jumpstart Grant submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Goals & Background

The goal of the ACCEL program is to bring investigators together to form new collaborations that result in new research grant proposals. In order to facilitate this process, we are offering Jumpstart awards to teams of investigators who have completed an ACCEL-sponsored Retreat or Workshop, to help them develop new clinical and translational research proposals.

To be eligible, the PI must have participated in an ACCEL Research Retreat or Workshop from which the Jumpstart proposal has emerged. Applicants may request up to $20,000 for 6 months. The funds may be used for investigator release time, collection of preliminary data, hiring consultants, or holding additional retreats to help the investigators write a research grant proposal. The proposal to be written should be an ACCEL pilot grant or an external grant. The technical scope of the research plan should be related to clinical and translational research (see Rubio et al., 2010).


The proposal format (11 point, Arial) is similar to that for an NIH R03 proposal, except in terms of the length of the research description section. Proposals should be submitted using PHS 398 forms. Instructions can be found here. Each proposal should include the following sections (sections L is only required for junior investigators):

  1. NIH face page (download here)
  2. NIH Page 2&3: Summary, Relevance, Project/Performance Sites, Senior/Key Personnel (download here)
  3. Budget using NIH forms Page 4, including budget justification on Page 5 (download here and here)
  4. Biographical Sketch(es) of PI(s) and Key Personnel including the primary mentor, other members of the mentoring team, and collaborators who would play a significant role in accomplishing the goals of the proposal (use this new form)
  5. Research Strategy (see below—using NIH continuation forms—download here)
  6. Success from Prior IDeA Awards: PIs who have led a project supported by CTR, INBRE, COBRE or DHSA grants should include a short section (1 page maximum) outlining the progress on that prior work, including their success in leveraging that research into independent external support and explaining why further support is necessary. Use NIH continuation forms—download here.
  7. References (using NIH continuation forms—download here)
  8. NIH Human subjects (download here –Adobe Acrobat required), if applicable
  9. Vertebrate animals justification and protection (download here), if applicable
  10. A letter of Support from the PI’s Department Head/Chair
  11. Community engagement form (here)

You are strongly encouraged to work with your institutional Research Administrator to assure all required documents are submitted with your application.  The proposal need not be routed through the institutional research offices for institutional signatures (unless required), but upon submission may be forwarded to the PI’s appropriate institutional office for budget and effort verification. 

Research Strategy

The Research Strategy part of the proposal (section 5 above) should be organized in four sections to describe the (1) Specific Aims, (2) Significance & Innovation, (3) Collaborators and their respective roles, (4) Action Plan (steps to be taken if funds are awarded), and (5) Statement of the award type and funding agency (which may be ACCEL) to which the developed proposal will be submitted. Together, these should be a maximum of three pages in length. The focus of the proposal should be on what will be done in the six month time period to develop the proposal. 

IRB/IACUC Approval

Human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Vertebrate animal IACUC approval is not required at the time of pilot project submission. If the proposal involves only research planning, IRB/IACUC approval is unnecessary. However, if funds will be used for human or animal studies, such approval is required and the selected Jumpstart proposal must sent to the NIH for federal approval. If a project is selected for funding by the ACCEL External Advisory Committee but has not secured IRB/IACUC approval in a timely manner, funding of the proposal may be withdrawn.


Investigators who will be doing work at hospitals in which they are not employed may need to obtain credentials. Such investigators are encouraged to begin that process well in advance of the start date of the project as the process may take several months.


Each proposal must be submitted by faculty from one of the ACCEL partner institutions: the University of Delaware, Nemours, Christiana Care Health System, Delaware State University, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Proposals that include investigators from multiple partner institutions are especially encouraged and are given priority.

Leaders of Jumpstart projects must hold a faculty appointment or equivalent at the time the pilot award commences. These are individuals who can independently apply for Federal or non-Federal investigator-initiated peer-reviewed Research Project Grants (RPG). Individuals holding postdoctoral fellowships or other positions that lack independent status are not eligible to these projects.

The Project lead for a Jumpstart award may not concurrently have research funding from other IDeA Program award mechanisms (e.g., INBRE, COBRE, CTR). 

Pilot projects may not overlap with ongoing funded projects.


Jumpstart proposals have rolling application dates. They should be submitted electronically using the ACCEL website office Note that all investigators on the proposal must have user accounts on the ACCEL website prior to submission.


Up to $20,000 (direct costs) may be requested. While not required, PIs are discouraged from requesting salary for this work, instead providing it as an institutional commitment. Whether salary is charged to the grant or not, the anticipated effort should be indicated in the budget. PIs should work with institutional ACCEL research officers prior to submission:

Christiana Care: Mia Papas
Delaware State University: Sangeeta Gupta
Medical University of South Carolina: Carrie Hackett
Nemours:  Denise AxSmith
University of Delaware: Laura Holmes


The ACCEL Executive Committee will determine which grants to recommend for funding based on the ACCEL mission. Final approval for funding will be made by the External Advisory Committee. External Advisory Committee and NIH approval is required if the project involves human subjects or animals.

Preference will be given as follows:

  • Proposals from multiple partner institutions are given priority over those from single institutions.
  • Faculty with previous CTR or INBRE or COBRE or DHSA funding are given lower priority than those who are new investigators.

We anticipate funding up to four awards each year.


Awardees are required to submit a research proposal to the funding agency they identified in the Research Strategy section. That proposal must be submitted by the agency’s next submission deadline following the end of the Jumpstart funding period. They must also plan to attend the annual ACCEL Research Conference held each spring, and to present their work at the annual (national or regional) NIH IDeA Conference held in the summer of 2020. They are also required to cite the ACCEL grant (NIH U54 GM104941) on all publications. Also, awardees are required to complete quarterly progress reports. Award recipients must keep ACCEL profiles up to date (at least twice per year) and respond to ACCEL surveys.  They will be responsible for reporting on any outcomes at the end of award and up to three years post award end

Comments or questions about the program?