Junior Scholar Applications

We’re looking for Junior Scholars with a focus on Mobility and Prevention of Disability!

institute of aging day
Institute of Aging Research Day

Request for Junior Scholar Applications from the University of Florida Claude D. Pepper Older American’s Independence Center (OAIC) Research Education Core focused on Mobility and Prevention of Disability

Release Date: November 8th, 2019 Letter of Intent due January 21th, 2020 Full Application due April 6th, 2020

RFA information workshop


Junior Scholars MUST utilize select OAIC Cores as a research resource described below in “Research Component”. A letter of support is required from the involved core leader and should be included in the application. A brief description of each core follows.

The Research Education Core, led by Christiaan Leeuwenburgh (Ph.D.) and Roger Fillingim (Ph.D.) which recruits and supports talented Junior Scholars and provides mentored research and personalized training, including a common core of activities that increase the aptitude for translational science.

The Clinical Research Core, led by Steven Anton, Ph.D. and Marco Pahor, M.D., provides the infrastructure and expertise for conducting clinical research across the spectrum of translational investigation.

The Metabolism and Translational Science Core, led by Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D., in collaboration with all other Cores, utilize biomarkers to determine specific biological mechanisms of functional decline in elderly populations and in pre-clinical animal models of aging.

The Biostatistics and Data Management Core, led by Peihua Qiu, Ph.D., supports study design, sample size calculations, randomization, and state-of-the-art statistical analyses of OIAC supported studies. The core also provides data coordination, including developing data collection forms, designing web-based capture systems, and data management.

The Data Science Core, led by Todd Manini, Ph.D. and Sanjay Ranka, Ph.D., provides infrastructure, trained personnel, consultative and collaborative expertise to analyze data from electronic medical records (EMR) and to extract meaningful information from complex biomechanical and physiological data to meet the goals of the UF OAIC. The core conducts exploratory analyses of existing epidemiological and clinical trial data to support grant development and publications.

For more information on the UF OAIC visit www.aging.ufl.edu

Who should apply?

What are the evaluation criteria? Basic science and clinical researchers who are junior faculty or post-doctoral associates are encouraged to apply. Applicants may originate from investigators at any College within the University of Florida and can include collaborations with other institutions, particularly those with OAIC’s.

Primary Qualifications:

  1. Junior faculty appointment at the Assistant Professor or Post-Doctoral Associate level
  2. A proposed research project relevant to the RFA theme: “mobility and prevention of ”
  3. Commitment to a research career with an aging focus
  4. Not having received as PI NIH R01 or similar grant awards
  5. Sufficient protected time (50-75%) to accomplish the research career development plan
  6. Explicit support of Department Chair

Selection Process:

  1. Peer review committee evaluates applicants
  2. Appointment by the Pepper Center Executive Committee
  3. Endorsement by External Advisory Committee
  4. NIA approval

Research Component

Basic science projects and secondary data analysis projects are allowed up to $25,000 and clinical research projects which involve human subjects are allowed up to $50,000 in direct costs for the 2 year funding period. Each project should be for no more than 2 years and it is the expectation that all funds will be expended within each award year: no carryover of funds and no indirect costs are allowed. The research component is evaluated upon:

  1. Significance, methodological approach, scientific merit and innovation
  2. Relevance to the RFA theme: “mobility and prevention of ”
  3. Potential to result in subsequent larger NIH funded projects. A paragraph is required to describe the aims of the subsequent project and to outline how the research will provide data that are needed for the major
  4. Quality and Commitment of Primary Mentor and Mentoring Team
  5. Multidisciplinary Investigative Team
  6. Environment and use of Pepper Center Cores and other IoA Resources
  7. Budget and timeline appropriateness
  8. Junior Investigator qualifications (publications, the impact of research, previous training, etc).

Salary Support and Training

  1. Salary and fringe of up to $50,000/year is allowable by the OAIC contingent upon the support of 50-75% protected research time from the applicant’s department chair and mentor
  2. One or two highly qualified primary mentors actively participating in their mentoring and research education components
  3. Access to a formal mentoring team (3-5 members total including primary mentor (s)) with whom the applicant meets at least every six months to monitor progress
  4. A travel allowance of $1500 is also available each year and will be funded through the
  5. Priority access to OAIC research cores
  6. Applicants must clearly lay out their research education plan including attendance of all OAIC seminars, CTSI seminars for junior faculty, didactic scientific education through their research project and formal coursework.
  7. Awards levels are contingent upon the type of project proposed, availability of funds and approval by the OAIC External Advisory Board and the National Institute on


  1. Only direct costs that support the advancement of the Statement of Work are
  2. Funds awarded may not be used for indirect
  3. Awardees must comply with the broad policies governing Cost Accounting


  1. Domestic travel is permitted for project-related scientific meetings to discuss or present research. All travel expenses to be reimbursed under this contract shall be in accordance with Florida Statutes Section

112.061. Foreign travel is not allowed.

  1. Scientific equipment is allowed if specifically budgeted for and awarded. Each PI department will retain title to approved equipment purchased on their portion of the awarded
  2. General-purpose office equipment is not
  3. Food is not allowed, except for research purposes for research study
  4. Principal Investigator and key personnel salaries are not permitted (except the Junior Scholar salary as outlined above), but supporting scientist and staff salaries are

When will applicants receive notification of award?

Notification of the award is projected after August 2020. Funds will be distributed in the Fall of 2020. The distribution of awards is contingent upon approval of the project from the local Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) as appropriate. Applicants must consider the IRB/IACUC submission process in their timeline. The facilitation of the IRB process is encouraged by speaking directly with Dr. Iafrate regarding a specific application. For IACUC approval, prior consultation with an ACS veterinarian is strongly encouraged.

What is the application process?

 Letter of Intent: A letter of intent to submit an application is due by January 21, 2020. The following items should be included in the letter.

  1. Your name, title, email, department, and college
  2. Relevance to the OAIC theme described in this RFA
  3. List of Core(s) you will utilize for your project
  4. Short summary, specific aims and research plan

Submit a letter of intent by email to Louise Perras, louiseh@ufl.edu, by 5 PM on the due date. You will receive application instructions if your letter of intent is accepted for this RFA.


Dissemination of the results developed under this contract is encouraged to be made publicly available and published in scholarly journals. All publications shall acknowledge that “Support was provided by the University of Florida Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center P30AG028740” and must be in PMCID compliance.

For additional information or clarification please contact Christiaan Leeuwenburgh (cleeuwen@ufl.edu), Roger Fillingim (rfillingim@dental.ufl.edu), or Rui Xiao, rxiao@ufl.edu for questions regarding this RFA and guidance in developing relevant research proposals. Please attend the workshop if you are interested in submitting an application.