Boston MCRC 2021 Pilot Grant RFA

Boston Musculoskeletal Clinical Research Collaboratory, a NIAMS funded CCCR, is delighted to announce a Request for Applications (RFA) for Pilot Project Grants for Funding Start Date:  August 1, 2021.

Funding available: $22,500.00

Key Dates

RFA Release Date:                       March 1, 2021
Notification of Intent:                May 1, 2021
Application Due:                          June 15, 2021
Funding Start Date:                   August 1, 2021

Boston MCRC will award one grant per year for a project period of 12 months. Pending progress of the awarded pilot, the PI may submit a competitive renewal for a 2nd year of funding, which will be reviewed with all other applications.

Boston MCRC aims to support researchers with pilot award projects through its methodology services. These services are for exploring and/or catalyzing new research questions that take advantage of Boston University-based cohort studies or other databases that focus on musculoskeletal disorders, musculoskeletal research that includes new epidemiologic study designs, machine learning, or mobile health and wearable technologies. The goal of the Pilot Program is to catalyze new collaborative opportunities with core investigators of the MCRC to grow research community ties to the Boston MCRC.

The award cannot be used for capital equipment, travel, meals, foreign components or overhead costs. The PI must have their primary appointment at a United States institution and an MD/PhD/DDS or equivalent degree.



The Boston MCRC has committed $22,500 for a one-year period (August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022).

The pilot proposal application is due June 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

A letter of intent emailed to (with investigator name, institution and title of project) is requested but not required by May 1, 2021 to facilitate recruitment of appropriate reviewers.



PI must

  • be a US Citizen or a permanent resident
  • have MD/PhD/DDS or equivalent degree
  • be a Faculty member of BU/BMC or other US Academic Institution
  • have a MCRC core group member listed and substantially engaged in the proposed project
  • be a registered member of the Boston MCRC research community



Review panels will be organized in a manner similar to NIH study sections, with primary and secondary reviewers assigned to each proposal, and the final vote representing an average of all panel members’ scores.

Numerical scores 1-5 will be applied to the overall impact of the research plan evaluated based on the significance of the hypothesis and approach, including the inclusion of appropriate controls, statistical considerations, potential challenges and alternative strategies.

To learn more about becoming a member of the Boston MCRC Accelerator research community, please visit The Selection Committee will give preference to early career investigators and new collaborations (defined as members of the research community at the rank of Assistant Professor or below) who have not yet been awarded an R01 or equivalent.



  • Brief narrative of your progress, including a list of publications/abstracts derived from this work (manuscript writing: in progress, submitted for review)
  • Presentations delivered concerning this work
  • Grants obtained to support this work subsequent to Boston MCRC funding
  • New collaborations
  • Innovative methods, tools resulting from research
  • Continued research in area of pilot funding



Submit your proposal as a single pdf including:

  1. Boston-MCRC-RFA-Cover-Page
  2. Current NIH biosketch from the applicant as well as any other key/senior personnel included in the application
  3. Letter of support from the applicant’s research supervisor or division chief
  4. Abstract (200 words)
  5. Research proposal (3 pages, 11-point font, Arial, at least ½ inch margins), including Background, Research Plan (including the specific Boston MCRC Research Accelerator service requested and any associated statistical justification).
  6. Detailed proposed budget and budget justification
  7. Other support page