New seed funding program to strengthen AU/UGA research ties

Athens, Ga. – Augusta University and the University of Georgia will expand their research collaborations through a new program designed to help inter-institutional teams of faculty successfully compete for externally funded research grants.

Up to $250,000 will be available to inter-institutional teams of faculty through the AU-UGA Seed Funding Program, with a maximum award of $75,000 per team. The seed funding, which comes from state funding provided for expansion of the Medical College of Georgia at AU to create a medical partnership with UGA through an Athens campus, enables faculty to generate preliminary data that give them a competitive edge as they seek funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and private foundations.

“This is yet another terrific opportunity resulting from our partnership with UGA,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG Dean. “When we began our discussions about collaborative educational efforts years ago, one of our many goals was increased joint research endeavors as well, another logical point of synergy for two great research universities. Particularly at this time when external research funding is so competitive, this seed funding from our medical school will enable new research partnerships and the generation of findings that help secure external funding and strengthen the economic and physical well-being of our state and our nation.”

“This new program builds on the long history of collaboration between the University of Georgia and Augusta University, and it strengthens both institutions and the state we serve,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “By bringing some of Georgia’s greatest minds together, we’re creating new opportunities for advances across a myriad of health challenges that will ultimately improve the quality of life for those in Georgia and beyond.”

The program is open to faculty from all disciplines and interdisciplinary projects and those that translate findings from basic research to clinical practice are encouraged.

Collaboration between UGA and AU takes many forms, from partnerships among researchers to educational programs. Earlier this month, the first cohort of medical students educated through the AU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens graduated. Last year, AU launched its Center for Pharmacy and Experimental Therapeutics, which works to translate laboratory findings to improved health and includes faculty from both institutions. And for more than 40 years, students from the UGA College of Pharmacy have honed their clinical and research skills at the AU campus in Augusta.

Proposals will be reviewed by a team of UGA and AU faculty and administrators jointly assembled by the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research at AU. Proposals will be judged on the basis of their competitiveness for the indicated funding opportunity. Criteria will include the strength of the team and its leadership, the extent of outreach to the funding agency, and the quality of the plan leading up to proposal submission. Only meritorious proposals will be selected for funding.

Teams seeking funding through AU-UGA Seed Funding Program must submit a brief letter of intent by Aug. 1, 2014, that lists the project title, the principal and co-principal investigators, and provides a brief description of the project. This new program is distinct from the current inter-institutional Cancer Seed Grant Program hosted by the AU and UGA Cancer Centers that is focused solely on cancer biomarkers and therapeutics, and has a proposal deadline of May 22, 2014, with a start date for funding of July 1, 2014. Instead, this program is available for researchers seeking to address a wide range of health issues.

For more information on the program, see

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