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Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Access Award (FMRIAA)

The Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) is accepting proposals for pilot or preliminary data collection using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that will support publications and external funding proposals.  Tenured or tenure-track faculty with an appointment at the rank of assistant professor or above on the UT, Knoxville campus are eligible to apply.  Research Assistant Professors and Post-Doctoral fellows from the UT Knoxville campus may also apply with accompanying departmental approval. Awards of up to $5,500 will be made specifically to purchase time and technical support (up to ~10 hours under the current MOU) on the newly installed fMRI equipment, housed and managed by the University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC).

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis and must have the appropriate IRB review and approval prior to award.   Applicants must also have documentation that they have received orientation/training with the fMRI facility at UTMC (arranged through Dustin Osborne, prior to award approval. Applicants may hold only one award at a time, but may submit subsequent requests once funds have been expended.  Only proposals describing new studies not currently funded by other sources will be considered.

Submission Procedures

A complete proposal will include the following:

  1. Cover Sheet [PI name, title, department, contact information and amount of funding requested]
  2. Project Description (2 pages max): Written for an educated, non-specialist audience that includes:
    1. Specific aims of the project.
    2. How fMRI will be used to address aims.
    3. A clear explanation of methodology which includes number of subjects and anticipated hours of use for fMRI equipment.
    4. Anticipated timeline for completion of fMRI portion of study
    5. Anticipated experimental outcomes.
    6. How data will be used to pursue future funding opportunities.
  3. Recruitment Plan: Describe selection criteria for experimental and control groups; how subjects will be recruited; and any compensation that will be provided to participants and source (1-page, does not count toward project description limitations).
  4. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or letter from IRB officials stating that review is in process.
  5. PI Curriculum Vitae (5 pages max)

Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF file to  Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria by a committee convened by ORED:

  • Feasibility: Are the questions posed by the applicant answerable by fMRI? (33%)
  • Scientific Merit: Does the overall project (including the fMRI component) address major or important questions in the given field. (33%)
  • Tangible outcomes: The proposal’s potential to lead to publications or to provide data that will be used to obtain additional, external funding. (33%)

Final funding decisions will be made by ORE based upon the recommendations of the committee.  As a condition of the award, applicants will be required to submit mid-term and final reports detailing the progress of proposed work.

For questions regarding use of the equipment, technical requirements (number of scans, time needed to collect proposed data, peripheral equipment availability, etc.) please contact Dustin Osborne  We strongly encourage you to discuss your proposed project with Dr. Osborne prior to submitting your application in order to maximize the likelihood of receiving support. If you have questions regarding this solicitation, please email