2023 Call for Proposals

Deadline: March 2, 2023 at 11:59 pm ET.

Program and Scope

The Wallace H. Coulter Endowment at Duke University provides funding to support collaborative translational research projects that involve Duke faculty from the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and a clinical department in the School of Medicine.

The goal of this program is to accelerate the development of promising bioengineering research that addresses unmet clinical needs and leads to improvements in health care and to commercial products. Program metrics include successful licensing to industry, creation of new, professionally managed, and financed companies. Emphasis is also placed on improving health and the ability to secure follow-on support. Examples of desirable outcomes include inventions, patents, improved diagnosis and treatment of disease, follow-on funding (e.g., grants, SBIR, angel investment), commercial products, licenses, commercial partnerships and start-up companies.

The Wallace H. Coulter Endowment provides approximately $700,000 for direct costs each year to support the translation of projects. Typically, three to five grants are funded each cycle. Grant sizes have varied from $40,000 to $330,000. Award amounts vary based upon amount requested and budget evaluation of the Oversight Committee.


Only permanent, full-time, faculty in the professorial ranks (assistant, associate, or full) may apply.


Each proposal must have at least two PIs, including a primary or secondary BME faculty, and one clinical faculty from the Duke University School of Medicine. Clinical faculty includes professionals with access to patients or patient samples. Larger teams of PIs may also be assembled. New collaborations are valued.

The research must lead to improvements in commercial development and clinical, and the objectives of the project should include an outcome that will benefit patients and address unmet clinical needs.

Goals should be stated as milestones, not hypotheses. Projects may propose more than one year of milestones prior to anticipated translation, however, projects are funded for only one year at a time (i.e., you will need to re-compete for future years’ funds).

Evaluation of each proposal will be on the basis of scientific merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, the potential for commercialization or translation to patient care and for successfully obtaining further support.


Preliminary Proposal (optional)

We strongly recommend submitting a brief summary (less than one page) as early as December 2022 to January 2023.  Provide project title, team members, project goals and an initial assessment of potential users of the technology.

Submit the summary via email to Barry Myers (barry.myers@duke.edu) and Melissa Hall (melissa.hall@duke.edu).  The summary will be used for evaluation of potential impact on patient care and the commercialization strategy that needs to be employed to get there. Feedback will be provided to project teams.

Submission Instructions


Proposals must follow this format and will be rejected if any component is missing. Submit proposals by Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 11:59pm ET.

Font should be 11 point or greater. All pages must be combined into a single PDF:

  • 1 page Cover Page:
    • Project title
    • Names of the co-PIs, including departments
    • Departmental person(s) responsible for budget approvals.
    • Approximate funds requested.
    • Summary: one short paragraph describing the project
    • Approval/signature of the department chair of the PI who is not in the BME Department.
  • 5-page Grant Body
    • Explanation of clinical relevancy of research (e.g., envisioned product, unmet need)
    • Table of quarterly milestones to be achieved
    • Research plan to achieve milestones:
      • Stage of the project/product
      • Preliminary data where helpful (not required)
      • Renewal applications should report progress against the original plan
    • Intellectual property status, strategy and plan for translation (license, etc.)
  • Additional Materials
    • References (no page limit)
    • Approvals (or pending approval) for animals and human subjects (if needed)
    • Biosketches of PIs (2 pages), including Research Support (list of current funding and pending funding)
  • Draft Budget and Budget Justification (initial submissions are approximate and do not need institutional approval or signatures)
    • Use the NIH PHS 398 Form Pages 4 and 5.
    • The project period for all budgets is 9/1/23 – 8/31/24.
    • The budget should be directed where needed. Unlike NIH grants, there are no expected minimum efforts for faculty PIs, unless directed by your primary organizational unit. Salary for faculty, research staff and students are permitted, but must reflect actual institutional based rates supplied to you by your grants managers or business office.
    • Supplies, consultants and subcontracts and other items are also permitted.  Please include regulatory cost if you anticipate spending on regulatory during the project period.
    • Tuition, tuition remission, and capital equipment are not allowed.
    • BME faculty are going to be limited to (1) month of summer support.
    • Projects that will build prototype devices (called “assets under construction”) may include purchases of large components. These are allowable expenses and for budget purposes will be listed as equipment (List in the budget justification that these are prototype expenses and not capital equipment).
    • The indirect rate is 0% for all direct costs, including subcontracts. You and/or your grants manager will be responsible for working directly with your subcontractor to obtain a final budget to include with your final budget.


Submit proposals via Duke’s MyResearchProposal online application software. To apply:

  • Visit http://bit.ly/myresearchproposal and log in if you already have an account or select “Create New User.”  Proposals must be submitted under one of the Principal Investigator’s names.
  • Select “Applicant Menu”, then “Apply."
  • Enter access code “CTSI” (must be in all CAPS) and select the “Coulter Translational Research Partnership 2023” funding opportunity and follow the instructions.

Selection Process

The Oversight Committee will review proposals and make recommendations on funding priority. Selection of finalists for oral presentations will occur in April 2023. Oral presentations will be scheduled for May or June 2023 and awardees will be notified shortly thereafter.

Projects that are awarded will be required to submit a detailed abstract, DPAF, Final Budget and updated budget justification, via email, to Rachel.Karatz@duke.edu on July 14, 2023.

The BME Department staff will enter your final budget into SPS and route to your department for all approvals. Please supply the name and contact info of the grants manager assigned to work with your proposals. This individual will be our primary point of contact for any questions that may arise. Please make sure this staff member is aware of protocol registry numbers for proposals that require human subjects, vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA or carcinogenic/biohazardous materials (routine questions that must be answered for the Duke’s proposal approval form).

Additional information

Proposals will be submitted via Duke's MyResearchProposal online application software. For more information on this process, please download the Call for Proposals document.

General questions about proposals and review process should be sent to Melissa Hall (melissa.hall@duke.edu) while specific questions about scientific content or commercialization strategy should be addressed to Barry Myers barry.myers@duke.edu) before submission.

We strongly encourage all applicants to work closely with Barry Myers during the proposal preparation period. Our team helps all applicants understand the review criteria, components of the proposal and write the most competitive application.


Grants will be for a one-year period, and may be submitted for renewal. 

Renewal applications must have a comparison of milestones achieved vs. those planned in the original submission. Renewal applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis with new applications.


Award recipients will be required to prepare brief written quarterly progress reports and present six-month progress to the Oversight Committee.