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Funding Opportunities

Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative

The Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative (VMI) Venture Fund is an opportunity for all Vanderbilt faculty and students to apply for venture funding of a project that connects diverse participants on the topic of the microbiome - the totality of microbes (bacteria, archaea, viruses, etc.) in an environment, including your body, home, food, plants, water, etc. Projects could span research, education, outreach, ethics, law, policy development, among others.

VMI welcomes proposals that (i) stimulate new microbiome scholarship for the applicants, (ii) support the development of team collaborations across disciplines or institutes, and (iii) may subsequently seed a larger project. Collaborations between participants across multiple schools are especially encouraged. The amount of funding is $3000 or less and must be used by March 1, 2019.

How to apply for VMI venture funding

By July 10, 2018 send a brief proposal limited to one page (excluding references) to Seth Bordenstein that includes specific goals and hypotheses if applicable, team membership across schools and career levels, interdisciplinary innovation and significance, project plan, and anticipated results. In addition, a very brief budget should be noted. All proposals will be evaluated by the VMI Trans-Institutional Programs Committee based on the criteria noted below.

Criteria for evaluation:

  • What is the goal/hypothesis? Is it a new or existing area of investigation for the lab or Vanderbilt?
  • Is there a Vanderbilt team that connects different career stages and/or groups beyond the life sciences (e.g., philosophy, law, art, engineering, chemistry, etc.)?
  • Have funding agencies and opportunities been identified that will subsequently lead to a larger project?
  • Are Vanderbilt undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral students involved?

Organizers are encouraged to facilitate and note inclusivity and diversity, inviting participation from underrepresented groups.