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College of Medicine Enhancement of Team Science (COMETS)


  • Purpose: To restore federally funded research programs by active mid-career and senior investigators by supporting newly established research teams with 2 years of funding.
  • Timeline: RFA to be announced August 5 with Nominations/letters of intent due September 15;  LOI to include:
    1. The team members
    2. The general area of  research that the two grants will be centered around
    3. The significance and innovation of the two grant proposals that will result from the COMETS grant
    4. Existing preliminary data and new data that will be developed from the COMETS grant to support new R01 applications and joint team publications
    5. A statement that the chair(s) supports the COMETS application and is/are copied on the letter
    6. Two page limit
  • Selection of teams to submit full applications October 1; Application Deadline November 15; Reviewed and awarded December 15.
  • Team selection: Teams consisting of two faculty members in the same or different departments may self-nominate or be nominated by their department chair(s).
  • Outcome: Submission of two competitive NIH R01 proposals, or equivalent, one from each PI, in two years.
  • Program evaluation:  Annually by the College of Medicine Dean to determine funding and research goals are being met.


Program Outline:

  • Funding:  $150K/year
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Maximum number of teams per year:  Year 1: 2 teams, Years 2 and 3: 4 teams, Years 4 and beyond: TBD
  • Scientific Focus: basic, translational, or clinical research. Priority given to research in MUSC and MUSC Health strategic areas.


Application Review and Oversight:

  • A panel of 3 funded senior MUSC investigators and one external reviewer, selected by the Dean, will review full applications.
  • The review panel will make recommendations regarding the significance and innovation of the research programs, and the ability of the teams to effectively compete for extramural funds, to the Dean and the Senior Associate Dean for Research.
  • The Dean will make the final funding decision for each application.
  • Decisions about continuation of funding will occur every 6 months by the Dean/Senior Associate Dean based on meeting or exceeding specific milestones. The initial review team will participate in these reviews.



Progress Report and review at 6 months of funding:

  • 1st paper submitted or final draft
  • Status of second paper; in outline form
  • Co-publication(s) by both PIs submitted within 4-5 months
  • Progress on 1st grant application (aims, preliminary data, etc.)

Progress Report and review at 12 months of funding

  • Second paper in final draft form or submitted
  • 1st grant submitted
  • 2nd grant in progress (aims, preliminary data, etc.)

Progress Report and review at 18 Months of funding

  • Review of first grant critique
  • Status of 2nd grant
  • Review of publications


Factors considered in application review:

  • Publication history
  • Grant history
  • Team strength
  • Program innovation, significance, and translational impact
  • Alignment with MUSC Health and College of Medicine strategic goals

Click here for the application and additional information.     If you have questions contact Mary McConnell at 


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