CCB Seed Grant

Mission and Goals

The CCB Seed Grant is a pilot program by the Center on Compulsive Behaviors aimed at providing IRP postdoctoral fellows with an opportunity to move beyond Associate/Lead Associate Investigator roles to take on an official Principal Investigator (PI) role in a NIH grant.

The goal of the CCB Seed Grant program is in line with the CCB mission of creating a community where researchers across the preclinical-clinical divide discuss shared interests and develop joint projects. Thus, the application process for the CCB Seed Grant is highly interactive and collaborative and can serve as a stepping-stone towards the available extramural grants for IRP postdoctoral fellows (e.g., K99/R00).

The CCB Seed Grant offers up to $20,000 to two IRP postdoctoral fellows (at least one should be a CCB fellow/alumni) to carry out a collaborative project with protected research time.


Call for Applications

Applications for the 2022-2023 cycle is now open. Learn more about the application requirements and timeline.(pdf, 204 KB)

Grant Objectives

The CCB Seed Grant will aid CCB fellows in achieving independence (e.g., learn new techniques, collect preliminary data for and develop a K99/R00 proposal) and incentivizing collaborative research across institutes and across levels.

Specifically, the Grant program allows the CCB fellows to:

  • Gain leadership experience by becoming the PIs of a trainee-initiated project.
  • Obtain training in writing and securing competitive funding for their project.
  • Establish successful intramural collaboration.
  • Attain exposure to administrative and budgetary activities.

Grant Requirements


  • Must be two IRP Postdoctoral Fellows and at least one should be a current or past CCB fellows. PIs of the Grant will share equal responsibility and accountability for leading and carrying out the project.
  • One of the two applicants may be a non-CCB fellow in case of missing expertise among CCB fellows (e.g., combination of preclinical and clinical).
  • Preference to applicants from different labs/institutes and/or who will merge clinical and preclinical expertise.


Must be aimed at either:
(1) understanding the neurobiology of compulsive behaviors and the neuronal circuits that control it;
(2) identifying novel targets for the treatment of compulsive behaviors;
(3) identifying predictors of treatment response and moving toward specific and fine-tuned therapeutics to treat compulsive disorders.
A small study that develops an exploratory hypothesis, uses qualitative research approaches, or generates preliminary data to explore a new hypothesis within an already established dataset.

Letter of Intent (DUE Friday December 23, 2022)

  • Project title and contact information for the two CCB fellows acting as the dual PIs of the project.
  • Project Abstract (300 words maximum). Please highlight the unique contributions of each fellow.
  • Letter of support from the applicants’ PIs, including an explanation of how the proposed project aligns with the goals of their laboratory and an indication of protection of the fellows’ time to complete the project.
  • All documents must be combined into one single pdf file, collated in the order specified above. Each individual section must have a designated heading. Send via email to using the subject line “2022 SEED GRANT – LOI”.

Peer Presentation (On Wednesday January 18, 2023 at 12:30p EST)

  • Applicants will deliver a presentation about their project during a CCB journal club slot and receive informal feedback from peers and PIs (approximately 10 minutes of presentation + 5 minutes Q&A).

Specific Aims Draft (DUE Friday January 27, 2023)

  • Specific Aims page (1 page and 2 aims maximum) outlining project goals that will be accomplished within the grant period. Applicants submit draft of proposal specific aims to PI faculty coaches in advance of SEED grant official pitch.

Seed Grant Official Pitch (DUE Friday February 10, 2023)

  • Applicants will formally present a revised 10 minute pitch
  • Attendees: 2 assigned PI faculty coaches plus CCB community (fellows/PIs)
    • 2 PI faculty coaches per application will be recruited/selected based on appropriate scientific expertise. PI coaches will review SA page in advance of applicant presentations.
    • Applicants will use feedback to inform revisions of proposal and SA page.

Grant Application (DUE Friday February 24, 2023)

  • Specific Aims page (1 page and 2 aims maximum), outlining project goals that will be accomplished within the grant period.
  • Research Proposal (2 pages maximum), describing the project in sufficient detail to elucidate hypothesis, significance, sample size, feasibility, central methodology, and inter-institute collaborative aspects. The project timeline must demonstrate feasibility within budget period. The role of the two fellows as dual PIs must be clearly defined. Figures, tables, diagrams, etc., must be included within the 2-page limit. Please use one of the font types of Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, or Palatino Linotype with a font size no smaller than 11. Provide a minimum of 1-inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right), and have a line separating each paragraph.
  • NIH biosketches (fellowship format) of the two applicants and their PIs (5 pages maximum each).
  • Budget (up to $20,000 per project). It may be used for core resources, supplies, equipment and/or training courses (e.g., microbiome core, intestinal permeability lab, fMRI scan technicians, nutrition team, intensive training on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). It cannot be used for travel.
  • All documents must be combined into one single pdf file, collated in the order specified above. Each individual section must have a designated heading. The application needs to be preface with a cover page clearly stating the title of the project, the names of the applicants and their IC affiliation. This cover page does not count towards the page limit.
  • Application submission is via email to using the subject line “2022 SEED GRANT – Proposal”.

Evaluation Process and Awards


  • To ensure scientific rigor, each proposal will be reviewed by PIs with subject matter expertise and evaluated in accordance with the NIH scoring system.


  • 1-year funded project, with the possibility of a 1-year no-cost extension.
  • Budget must be spent by end of 2023 fiscal year. Anticipated delays in spending budget must be coordinated with the CCB leadership.


  • Mid-term and final progress report via presentation at the CCB Winter Retreat and at a CCB quarterly meeting, respectively.
  • Publication/preprint. Pre-registration of project aims/hypotheses is highly encouraged.


CCB fellow award recipient(s) will oversee the grant process as Program Officers for the following year. This service requirement guarantees continuation of the CCB Seed Grant initiative, and benefits both the CCB by fostering a sense of community and the CCB fellow by providing professional development (e.g., administrative skills).


Seed Grant Contacts

Rodolfo Flores Garcia, Ph.D.
Seed Grant Program Officer

Valerie Darcey, Ph.D., M.S., R.D.
Seed Grant Program Officer

Paule Joseph, CRNP, Ph.D.
Seed Grant Program Director