Pilot and Feasibility Studies
PILOT AND FEASIBILITY PROGRAM
Each year the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center (BNORC) funds pilot projects for research related to nutrition, obesity, weight regulation, and metabolic function. BNORC is a collaborative, multi-institutional center supported by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Investigators at institutions anywhere in the greater Boston area are invited to apply.
Aims of the Program
The Pilot and Feasibility program provides funding on a competitive basis for new investigators or those with novel ideas in the area of nutrition and obesity research. The goals of the program are: 1) to support new investigators beginning research in nutrition or obesity; and 2) to encourage established investigators to pursue new avenues of nutrition or obesity research. The awards are made with the expectation that the preliminary research supported by the pilot will lead to applications for additional external funding. The Pilot and Feasibility Studies contribute to the Center’s success and ongoing funding by providing the foundation upon which larger research projects are funded.
Faculty and senior post-doctoral fellows at institutions anywhere in the greater Boston area are eligible to apply. Applicants must belong to one of the following categories:
- New scientist without previous or current NIH research grants (R01 or P01) or equivalent support. Recipients of T32, F32, K01, K08, K23, KL2, K99 or R03 funding are eligible for this category.
- Established investigators not currently working in the area of nutrition or obesity who propose to study a problem in these areas.
- Established investigators in nutrition or obesity who propose an innovative project that is a substantial departure from previous areas of study.
Individuals are eligible to receive pilot and feasibility funding for one or two years, but may only be funded once in a five year Center funding cycle.
Availability of Funds
Funds may be used for salaries, supplies, subject stipends, patient care costs and travel. The purchase of any major equipment must be approved in advance by the Executive Committee. Pilot investigators are encouraged to make use of the available Core facilities as they pertain to the goals of the research project.
The Center requires an initial Letter of Intent describing the proposed research to pre-screen applications for eligibility and scientific merit. Letters of Intent are reviewed by the Center’s Executive Committee. Those investigators whose proposals are judged to be eligible and relevant to the Center’s goals are asked to submit a full application which describes the specific aims and methods of the research. Announcements requesting letters of intent are distributed electronically to the Center’s research base as well as the Center’s general email distribution list. Please check with the Center’s Administrator for additional information regarding submission dates.
Review of Applications
All full applications will be reviewed by a Review Committee appointed by the BNORC Executive Committee. Recommendations of the Review Committee will be reviewed by the Executive Committee, who will make the final funding decisions. Application review criteria include (1) scientific excellence and importance, (2) innovation, (3) relevance to the programmatic goals of BNORC, (4) eligibility category of applicant (from list above), (5) applicant’s productivity and promise, and (6) likelihood that the project will lead directly to additional outside funding (e.g. from NIH or NSF).
Responsibilities of Awardee
A final written progress report must be submitted to the Executive Committee within 60 days of the close of the final project period. In addition, the pilot study investigator must submit a brief progress report prior to the Center’s annual progress report. Publications or grant awards that result from a pilot project must be reported to the BNORC Administrative Office. In addition, pilot project investigators should cite support from the Center (5 P30 DK046200) in any published articles related to the pilot project. Pilot project recipients are expected to present their research at Center sponsored seminars and committee meetings as requested to do so.