Pilot Grants Program

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Pilot Grants Program

The Cardiorenal and Metabolic Disease Research Center (CMDRC) at UMMC offers a Pilot Projects Program (PPP) through the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). These pilot grants are intended to assist investigators in generating sufficient data to be competitive for extramural funding. A focus on obesity, cardiorenal or metabolic diseases is required. However, a broad range of research topics will be considered since obesity is a major driver for many chronic diseases beyond cardiorenal and metabolic diseases. For this reason, established/senior investigators are encouraged to apply for support for a new research direction. UMMC faculty members of any rank are eligible to lead Pilot Projects. Thus, PPP grants may be awarded to mid-level or established investigators (investigators with previous extramural NIH funding) if they are pursuing a new area of research related to cardiorenal and metabolic diseases. However, new and early stage investigators or investigators who are testing an innovative hypothesis that is a clear departure from currently funded research will be given priority. Please refer to the description of the overall program on the homepage.

Pilot grants will be awarded at $60,000 for 1 year with potential for renewal, depending on progress. 

Investigators who receive support through this program are expected to publish their pilot project research in a peer-reviewed journal and to submit a research proposal for extramural funding. Supported investigators will also be expected to participate in CMDRC meetings and research symposia and will have full access to CMDRC-supported research cores.

New investigators who are awarded a Pilot Grant will have at least two mentors - generally one basic scientist and one clinical scientist. Center project investigators and mentors generally meet regularly to review research progress and discuss other issues related to career development. Research progress will also be assessed through multiple mechanisms including CMDRC research seminars and meetings with center investigators and internal and external advisory boards. Both the mentors (for new investigators) and pilot grant investigators will be required to submit (separately) a formative evaluation of the mentoring relationship and research progress to the center director 6 months after pilot grant is awarded. A final summative report of research findings and plans for submission of an application for extramural funding will be required 30 days following the end of the funding period.

Application forms and instructions are available at COBRE Pilot Grants Program containing links to the various forms that are needed to apply. 

Documentation of IACUC or IRB approval must be in place by the expected award date.