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The National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Integrative Activities is continuing the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program in 2001. The program is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and training, which generally is too costly for support through other NSF programs. The program is intended to support the acquisition through purchase, upgrade, or development of major state of the art instrumentation for research at U.S. institutions. Maintenance and technical support associated with these instruments also is supported. Proposals may be made either for single instruments or for large systems of multiple instruments. This proposal is not intended for general-purpose equipment such as commonly available computer networks. In addition to supporting the purchase of existing sophisticated equipment, this grant also may be used to support the development of new instruments or software simulations with enhanced performance (i.e., increased accuracy, reliability, resolving power, throughput speed, sample capacity, flexibility, breadth of application, user friendliness, and cost).
Researchers at U.S. institutions of higher education and non-profit institutions are eligible. An institution may submit up to three proposals, at least one of which must be for instrument development. Funding is available in the range of $100,000 to $2,000,000. The deadline for application is Feb. 7, 2001. Further information is available at http://www.nsf.gov\pubs\2001\nsf017\nsf017.htm#section1.
National Cancer Institute: Development of High-Yield Technologies for Isolating Exfoliated Cells in Body Fluids
The National Cancer Institute has announced a program to develop novel technologies for capturing, enriching, and preserving exfoliated abnormal cells in body fluids or effusions for biomarker studies. Because current methods of cytopathologic analysis are limited by the high ratio of normal exfoliated cells to cancer cells, there is a very real need to enhance analysis sensitivity. The development of enrichment methods for the routine detection of small numbers of exfoliated cells or subcellular material in biologic fluids would represent an important advancement in early detection. Such detection methods could be very useful for screening of colon, lung, prostate, oral cavity, esophageal, stomach, cervical, or bladder cancers. Molecular and genetic abnormalities within these exfoliated cells, such as microsatellite instability, could be used to detect and identify precancerous lesions or very early stage cancer if highly sensitive technologies are made available.
Applicants are encouraged to address the technology of enriching and isolating exfoliated cells as well as their viability and usefulness for cytologic and molecular studies. This program announcement will utilize the R21 NIH grant mechanism. The total project period should not exceed two years. The size of the award is variable, although direct costs are limited to $100,000 per year or $125,000 per year for consortiums. Applications are open to domestic and foreign for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. The grant applications cycles twice annually, with application receipt deadlines of April 10 and November 15. Letters of intent are due on March 6 and Oct. 11, 2001. Further information is available at http://grants.nih.gov\grants\guide\pa-files\PAR-01-019.html.