How to Apply
Applications are submitted through our Proposal Central
NCCAT strives to provide open and fair access to the resources at the center. There is a quarterly call for applications, reviewed and ranked by an external User Review Committee (URC). To avoid potential conflicts of interest, users will have the option to exclude any member of the URC during the application process.
Applications are limited to one page of text and one page of supporting data and figures. NCCAT users (and their PI’s if applicable) are required to sign a written agreement that they will comply with all NIH data sharing, reporting and publication policies. The written agreement will also outline other requirements and policies for NCCAT access so as to manage expectations as transparently as possible.
User Review Committee (URC) Process
Proposals are scored in the following categories: (i) scientific impact; (ii) scientific feasibility; (iii) technical feasibility; (iv) NCCAT resources requested (including number of Krios sessions); (v) geographical demographics. The URC will score these aspects on a scale of 1 (excellent) – 5 (poor) with the option to provide additional comments. If there is not enough information to base a review, the proposal will receive a score of NR (no review). For more details, please see our Proposal Scoring FAQ
Proposals are peer reviewed and scored by the URC and then reviewed by a smaller and longer serving User Access Committee (UAC), responsible for assimilating the results of the URC reviews, resolving conflicting reviews and, in consultation with NIH and NCCAT management, prioritizing access. Scored proposals will considered for assignment of time by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC). If time is not awarded in the current cycle, the proposal will be forwarded to the next cycle with 0.2 adjustment in the score (lowering the number). This adjustment may be done for up to two (2) cycles for a maximum adjustment of 0.4. If a proposal has not been scored or has not been awarded time in 3 cycles, then a new GUP should be submitted.
Assignment of time
Time slots will be allocated on the basis of scores, feasibility and resources available by the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) comprised of the NCCAT management and staff. A member from the TAC will contact the primary user on the proposal to schedule access to NCCAT resources. This communication may include (but is not limited to) an email, and a phone/video conference to ensure the available resources at the center may be best matched to the proposal.
Access to proposal information
Proposals may be edited by the primary user associated with the proposal. Information contained in the proposal will be visible to NCCAT management, certain operational staff members for assistance with the assigned instrument time, and the reviewers selected to evaluate the proposal.
Deadlines and review of proposals
Proposals are accepted continuously through our online project submission system. Proposals are reviewed quarterly ahead of each cycle by the URC. Several reviewers will be averaged for a proposal score. If 1 week elapses after the review process has begun and the proposal has not been reviewed, or there is disparity between the reviews, the UAC may request additional reviewers. If a proposal is reviewed and not scored it will not be considered by the TAC for scheduling. The user may resubmit the proposal. If a user would like to challenge a score they may contact NCCAT to bring the case to the attention of the UAC for resolution.