Research Pilot Grants

Research objectives:
Pilot grants are intended to lead to an R01 or equivalent grant and/or to commercialization of an innovative technology.  These grants may NOT be used as bridge funding or to extend an existing grant.  These pilot grants seek to foster collaborative, novel and creative research in the DOM. Investigators are encouraged to explore new and currently unfunded avenues of research with the goal of acquiring sufficient new information to successfully apply for extramural grant support within one year. This includes basic, translational, clinical, and educational projects that serve as the basis for an RO1 or equivalent submission.

Eligibility: Applicants must have a primary, full-time faculty appointment in the DOM. The project may be based at BUMC, Boston VA, or Bedford VA.

Funding available: Direct costs up to $15,000 may be requestedThe level of funding awarded to successful applicants, and the source(s) of funding, will be determined after review of the budget request and budget justification.

Funds may be used for any purpose to support the proposed research, except that faculty salary support is not a permissable expense. Typical expenses include laboratory supplies, small equipment, patient recruitment costs, consultants, or support for pre/postdoctoral students, technicians, or research assistants. Awards are not transferable to any other institution.

No funding can be awarded until all relevant FINAL approvals such as IRB, IUCAC, and IBC are obtained; thus, it is recommended that applicants begin the process of seeking approvals as early as possible, as no award can be made before final approvals, and no carry-over is permitted.

Review Criteria: Applications will be reviewed and ranked for funding priority by a research review committee. Review criteria include:

  • Significance of the work in terms of potential health impact
  • Scientific rigor and novelty of the proposed approach
  • Likelihood that the project will lead to subsequent external funding and/or commercial development
  • Qualification of the research team
  • Need for the funding
  • Although it is not required that applicants be junior investigators, the review process will take career development into consideration.
  • Other features that may increase a project’s priority include:
    • Multi-disciplinary collaboration
    • High potential for translation
    • A clear clinical focus, including a practicing clinician on the research team
    • Focus on diseases disproportionately affecting the BMC patient population.

Review Process: Applications will be competitively reviewed and ranked by one of our review panels (laboratory research; clinical, epidemiologic, and health services research) made up of BU faculty members, using a review process analogous to NIH study sections.

Where to send inquiries:  We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.  Direct your questions to:

Administrative Contact:
Laura B. Williams
Executive Assistant to Barbara E. Corkey, PhD
Office of the Vice Chair of Research and
Obesity Research Center
650 Albany Street, X808
Boston, MA 02118
617-638-7126 (ph)