Grant Announcement for Multiphoton and FLIM Research Projects


Grant Announcement for Multiphoton and FLIM Research Projects

The Molecular Cytology Core will be offering a limited number of grants for researchers developing projects involving multiphoton (MP) confocal microscopy or fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). These grants will provide necessary support to investigators who would like to use deep-tissue imaging, FLIM or FLIM/FRET approaches for their projects but who hesitate to commit funds to needed to develop a protocol or establish an approach not previously employed in their research program. The grants will cover training, assistance and consultations by core staff, as well as use of the MP confocal microscope until the imaging protocol is established and good images can be obtained.

The MP capabilities of our Leica confocal allow investigators to obtain high-quality confocal images from as deep as 600 microns. Achieving high-quality images at maximal depths often requires optimizing the choice of fluorochromes and use of a tissue-clearing protocol. Core staff can provide advice on specimen preparation. MP excitation can be also used for label-free imaging of collagen in animal tissue samples and lignin in the cell walls of plants.

FLIM is best known as the gold-standard approach for conducting FRET studies of protein-protein interactions (FLIM-FRET) but can be used for a myriad of other purposes, including tissue characterization using autofluorescence (e.g., in cancer cells or in tissues affected by environmental stress, including drought), label-free monitoring of local environmental changes (e.g., NADH, metal ligand complexes) or fluorescent probe-based monitoring of pH or ion concentration. Click this hyperlink for an overview of the possibilities. These are sophisticated approaches so interested users should consult with core staff about experimental design and appropriate choice of fluorescent probes before submitting a proposal.

If you are interested in applying for one of these grants, submit a 1-2 page application with the following information:


  • The Principal Investigator can be a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, staff member or faculty member. Undergraduates are not eligible for this opportunity.
  • All training, assisted use and independent use of instrumentation must done be by the same PI. These are not “lab grants” but are restricted to one individual.
  • If the PI is not a faculty member, the application must include an attached letter from the faculty supervisor stating that he/she supports the application and will be responsible for consumable costs.
  • All work must be completed within a 3-month time period based on the start date of the grant.
  • All consumable and sample preparation costs are the responsibility of applicants or their faculty supervisor.
  • Individuals who are awarded grants but fail to complete the work will be ineligible for future core grants.

Application Instructions

  • Talk to Dr. Alexander Jurkevich or Dr. Frank Baker in the MCC to make sure your project is appropriate.
  • Write a one-paragraph/one-page description of what you hope to accomplish. Grants must identify a specific question to be addressed during the grant period. Requests for training to be used in a future project will not be considered. Preference will be given to investigators who are already using conventional confocal imaging.
  • Provide a short justification for the need to use MP (e.g., depth) or FLIM microscopy. Only projects with a need for using one of these two approaches will be funded.
  • Propose a start/finish date (depending on the number of applications, the MCC may suggest alternative dates).
  • Grants will be reviewed as they come in and start dates can be as early as April 1, 2018.
  • There is no submission deadline for this grant program but it may end at any time once sufficient awards are made or alternative funding opportunities for other instrumentation replaces it.

For more information and publications on MP and FLIM microscopy, please select one of the following links:


Funding for this program has been made available by Vice Chancellor Mark McIntosh and the Office of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development.