Competition announcement: 2018 NIH S10 Shared and High-End Instrumentation Grants

The National Institutes of Health has posted information for the 2018 S10 Shared and High-End Instrumentation Grants programs. These programs and links to their program announcements are:

Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (SIG) (link is external)
: The SIG Program funds grant awards in the $50,000 to $600,000 range.

Shared Instrumentation for Animal Research Grant Program (SIFAR) (link is external): The SIFAR Program funds grant awards in the $50,000 to $750,000 range to support research using animals or related materials.

High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (HEI) (link is external): The HEI Program funds grant awards in the $600,000 to $2,000,000 range.
All three programs have an NIH submission deadline of May 31, 2018.


Submission of an S10 proposal to the NIH requires institutional pre-approval. For all VU faculty, including those in the Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences (VBS), approval is obtained by submitting a pre-proposal to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) via the 2018 VU REDCap survey. The deadline for submission of pre-proposals is April 2, 2018. The pre-proposal process is fairly involved. Please do not wait until the last minute to compile the needed information and documents. Note that a number of the materials required for the pre-proposal will be part of the full proposal (and therefore will not need to be completed again). Note also that the vast majority of fully completed pre-proposals are approved to move forward in the selection process and are ultimately submitted to the NIH as full proposals. There is a complete SOP, which contains guidelines and requirements for submitting an S10 proposal, that can be found on the Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences webpage here.


Go to the 2018 VU REDCap Survey >>>


Required items that must be submitted as part of your pre-proposal are:

  • Description of proposed instrument
  • Vendor’s quote for the instrument
  • Location and the name of the core where the instrument will be installed. Note that the dean of Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences (VBS) will usually provide matching funds ONLY if the instrument to be acquired will be housed and maintained within a VU or VUMC core. This is the case even when the PI is from a different school or college. PIs from other colleges or schools should consult with their deans to determine whether a similar requirement pertains in their case.
  • Summary of any required renovations associated with instrument acquisition, including estimate, if applicable
  • Assessment of any special IT needs in terms of either or both data storage or data transfer, including a cost estimate
  • List of major (15 percent or higher) and minor users, including PI’s name, department of primary appointment, project title, NIH grant (if applicable), and estimated percentage usage. Note that per NIH guidelines, 75 percent of the projected instrument usage must be dedicated to NIH-funded research.
  • An abstract describing the requested instrument, the need of the research projects for the instrument, and how access to the instrument will enhance the health-related goals of the research projects
  • Five-year project budget, including instrument purchase and any applicable service contract, maintenance, personnel and/or miscellaneous costs. Note that S10 funds can be used for purchasing instrumentation only, so the additional costs in this budget are those that would be covered by the sum of projected revenue by usage in the Core and by institutional matching funds. PIs should communicate with their dean’s office to determine what matching funds can be committed. PIs should work with the core director to determine the projected revenue.
  • Project’s Operational and Business Plan, which includes:Integrating instrument into a shared resource/core facility

1. Integrating instrument into a shared resource/core facility

2. Operational support and user access

3. *Cost recovery and business plan

* Note: If item no. 4 is not complete by the pre-application deadline, please submit the proposal without it. The data is required. However, more time can be given to finish the business plan with the core director.


  • Combined Statement of Support Letter:
    • A Combined Statement of Support is a requirement if the PI is seeking institutional matching funds. This Statement is different from the Institutional Matching Support Letter from the Primary Dean (below section below).
    • The Statement of Support must be signed by the departmental chair or center director of the core where the instrument will be housed and the core director.
    • The Statement provides assurance that the PI, chair/center director and core director have vetted the value of adding the instrument to the core versus the financial risk.
    • The Statement is also a declaration confirming that both parties agree to house the instrument and oversee the maintenance and operation for its projected lifetime (~5 years).
    • For your convenience, please download the template Statement provided within REDCap survey or on the VBS 2018 S10 webpage, obtain the appropriate signatures, and upload it before submitting the pre-proposal.


  • Securing institutional matching support/commitment:
    • At the final proposal stage, the office of the PI’s primary dean will prepare a single Institutional Matching Support letter to include in the proposal. Matching funds will be allocated that can be used to help offset renovations, IT costs, and the operational costs for the first five years of the instrument’s use. The final letter is prepared by the PI’s primary dean AFTER the pre-proposal is submitted and approved, and will state the total VU commitment over the first five years of instrument operation. The exact matching funds should be negotiated between the PI and his/her dean.
    • If all major users have their primary appointment in the college of the PI, then that dean will cover the match in entirety. However, if the primary appointment of one or more major users is in a different college (or VUMC), matching funds will need to be committed by more than one dean based on total fractional use. For example, if there is a single major user projected at 20 percent total use whose primary appointment is in a different college than that of the PI, it is expected that the dean of that other college will commit 20 percent of the match/support to the proposal.
    • At the pre-proposal stage, the PI should submit short statements from each relevant dean of their matching/support commitment. A template for this statement can be found in the REDCap survey or on the VBS 2018 S10 websitePIs are encouraged both to consult with their own dean’s office and also to request that major users from other colleges contact their respective deans to secure written commitment in time for the pre-application deadline. In the absence of a complete set of matching funds commitments, submitted pre-proposals will be returned to the PI.


Pre-proposals must be submitted as indicated below NO LATER than Monday, April 2, 2018. This ensures both adequate time for consideration by the Offices of the Dean and Vice Provost and for subsequent preparation of full proposals in time for the May 31 NIH submission deadline.

If you have any questions, investigators in Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences (VBS) should contact Dr. Anthony Tharp. Investigators in other VU colleges and schools should contact Dr. Liane Moneta-Koehler.


* Note: VUMC PIs wishing to submit proposals DO NOT use the VU guidelines or the VU S10 REDCap survey. VUMC has a separate S10 process and set of guidelines, which can be found on the VUMC S10 Internal Proposal Form. Please contact Amy Martinez in the VUMC Office of Research with any questions about the VUMC S10 program.


Contact: Liane Moneta-Koehler, (615) 322-2875