Pilot and Feasibility Program Awards

Awards Process

Review process
The program's Scientific Review Committee is chaired by the Pilot and Feasibility Program Director, James Kirkland, M.D., and is composed of members of the Executive Committee, Internal Advisory Committee, and ad hoc senior investigators with the necessary scientific expertise

Eligibility Requirements
Four general categories of investigators are eligible for Pilot and Feasibility funding:

  1. New investigators without prior or current NIH support (RO1 or PO1) as principal investigator. Prior or current support from other sources must be $75,000 per year or less.
  2. Established, funded investigators with no previous work in diabetes who wish to expand their research program to include a diabetes-related scientific problem.
  3. On rare occasions, established investigators in diabetes who wish to test the feasibility of a new or innovative idea that constitutes a significant departure from previous funded research.
  4. Established basic scientists and clinical researchers in diabetes research who wish to support a partnership and/or interdisciplinary collaboration that will explore an innovative idea.

Two-phase Application Process
Phase 1: Screen out applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria or whose projects lack scientific merit or are not well aligned with Center aims

Phase 2: Select the best applications but also to provide an opportunity for applicants to present their research at the annual External Advisory Committee meeting

  • Applicants are reviewed by members of the Pilot and Feasibility Scientific Review Committee for scientific content.
  • The NIH scoring system is used to score each application from 1 to 9 based on:
    • Scientific merit, including adequacy of design and proposed statistical analyses
    • Originality, innovativeness, significance, and feasibility
    • Qualifications of the PI and his or her ability to conduct the proposed research.
    • Likelihood that the project, if successful, would lead to an RO1 or equivalent submission within a reasonable timeframe (≈2 years)
    • Relevance to diabetes and to overall DRC goals (translational research)
    • Degree to which the project will make use of DRC Cores
    • Feasibility within budget
  • Reviewers prepare a written critique of the proposal that is presented at the Scientific Review Committee meeting.
  • Candidates whose applications are chosen for further consideration present their projects during the annual meeting of the External Advisory Committee.

Post award oversight

  • Initial kick-off meeting held with awardees, directors, core directors, center manager, and biostatistician.
  • Status review meetings held three months and six months after the funding start date.
  • Recipients present project at the annual scientific retreat.
  • Awardees provide a written progress report at the end of one year.