Requests For Proposals

Re-activated Call for Proposals

Following a temporary suspension of the request for proposals (RFP) process because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Joint Institute is pleased to announce the reactivation of the 2020 awards cycle with an emphasis on COVID-related projects. 

The JI accepts proposals on an annual basis from investigators in any health science discipline working collaboratively across the University of Michigan and Peking University Health Science Center. Our institutional, cross-disciplinary collaboration is uniquely positioned to facilitate translational and clinical research that is often difficult for individual researchers (from either institution) to pursue alone. 

Proposals should clearly indicate how the proposed study will lead to the desired impact and how the successful conduct of the seed project will enhance the prospect for securing third party funding. 



University of Michigan faculty should be full-time and can hold appointments in any of the health science schools. (Note that cost sharing is expected for schools outside of Michigan Medicine to obtain matching support.) PKUHSC faculty should be full-time and should not hold currently hold another active grant.

Funding Amount

Discovery Awards provide up to $100,000 (USD) a year for two years to promote new collaborations that have yet to be fully established.

Pilot Awards provide up to $300,000 (USD) a year for two years and are intended to strengthen a partnership between investigators with a demonstrated track record of successful collaboration. Pilot Awards also include proposals that considered as interventional clinical trials.

Innovation Bridge Awards are new for 2020 and provide up to $100,000 (USD) for one year to help investigator teams develop innovative technologies and to accelerate translation of research into a product. This award category will be evaluated based on the potential for successful technology commercialization.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals are reviewed by peer reviewers in both the U.S. and China familiar with the respective project discipline using guidelines based on standard National Institutes of Health review criteria. Reviewer scores and comments are consolidated for consideration and final selection by JI Executive Committee and JI Executive Board members. Preferences will be given to proposals that meet one or more of the following criteria.

  • First, projects that are able to identify specific external research programs for future funding through the JI support.
  • Second, projects that include cost-sharing derived from sources outside of the JI, demonstrating the interest of third parties in the field. The cost-sharing would be used to offset some of the funding that is coming from the U-M. The source, amount, and nature of such cost-sharing must be identified in writing, and confirmed with a letter of commitment as part of the application.
  • Finally, projects that conduct COVID-19 research to address the ongoing pandemic for mechanisms, therapeutics, and prevention.

Revised Timeline

RFP announcement: November 11, 2020

Letter of Intent Deadline: December 2, 2020

Notification to Submit Full Abstracts: December 16, 2020

Full Proposal Deadline: February 24, 2021

Notice of Awards: May, 2021 


Letters of Intent (LOI) should be submitted by Wednesday Dec. 2, 2020 via email per the instructions in the full Request for Proposals.