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Pilot Studies Program

The CTSI Pilot Studies Program provides seed funding for highly innovative translational and clinical research that addresses translational research questions, and provides insights generalizable to other projects. Research that moves new discoveries along the translational continuum to humans and the community is strongly encouraged. Clinical and community-based research, practice-based research, and health services research proposals are also encouraged. Priority will be given to multidisciplinary research teams, and to proposals with a substantial component of or impact on population health.

Read about prior awardees.

Investigator-initiated Pilot Studies for Faculty

Faculty awards lay the foundation to obtain subsequent extramural funding. The CTSI requires that faculty awardees demonstrate academic productivity through publication of the research. The award provides a maximum of $50,000 for a period of one year.

Investigator-initiated Pilot Studies for Trainees

Trainee awards help awardees obtain the most prestigious fellowship possible following the project. The project should be part of a long-term plan to become an independent investigator. The award provides a maximum of $25,000 for a period of one year.

UNYTE Translational Research Network Grants

UNYTE Translational Research Network awards stimulate new inter-institutional research collaborations. The most competitive proposals will involve an innovative, team-based health research project that reflects the particular strengths of UNYTE members and their institutions. The CTSI requires that faculty awardees demonstrate academic productivity through publication of the research. The award provides a maximum of $50,000 for a period of one year.

Novel Biostatistical and Epidemiologic Methods (NBEM) Awards

Novel Biostatistical and Epidemiologic Methods awards support the development of novel biostatistical and epidemiologic methods that overcome specifically identified analytic limitations and significantly enhance the validity and accuracy, scope or speed of clinical or translational research. A maximum of $35,000 will be awarded for a one-year period. Strong proposals spreading the budgeted amount across two years will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Solicitation and Review Process

Phase 1: Applicants submit one-page abstracts summarizing their proposals. A CTSI Review Committee composed of selected experts will evaluate, score and discuss all preliminary applications.

Phase 2: A subset of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. The CTSI Review Committee will engage in a formal study section-style discussion and scoring meeting for faculty, trainee and UNYTE proposals. NBEM proposals are reviewed by experts at another CTSA institution through an exchange program. Funding recommendations go to the CTSI Executive Team for final approval.

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Pipeline Pilot Awards

This grant opportunity of up to $15,000 is intended for academic and community partners who completed or intend to complete CTSI’s Introduction to CBPR training, or who have demonstrated experience in CBPR. Research teams must consist of one faculty member from the University of Rochester and at least one community partner from the greater Rochester area. The focus of the application should be on a planning grant or a pilot research project leading to a CTSI pilot funding application or to independent external funding. Awards starting on January 1, 2018 will be six-month awards.

UNYTE Translational Research Network Pipeline Pilot Awards

This grant opportunity of up to $10,000 is intended to stimulate research partnerships between UNYTE member institutions to compete for future external translational biomedical research funding.  Research teams must consist of one faculty member from the University of Rochester and at least one faculty member at another UNYTE member institution. The focus of the application should be on either a planning effort of a pilot research project leading to a CTSI pilot-funding application, or to independent external funding. Awards starting on January 1, 2018 will be six-month awards. More information on the UNYTE Translational Research Network, including partner institutions, can be found here.

Important Dates  

Note: The following dates apply to the most recent solicitation.

Faculty, Trainee, and UNYTE Award Categories 

  • August 28, 2017 at 5:00 PM - Initial abstracts of proposals must be received. Please note that the online submission system will reject proposals submitted after 5:00 PM.
  • October 16, 2017 – Applicants will be notified if they are invited to submit full proposals.
  • December 4, 2017 –  Full proposals will be due.
  • February 1, 2018 – Notifications of Award will be made. 
  • June 1, 2018 –  Anticipated project start date.

Novel Biostatistical and Epidemiologic Methods Category

  • October 23, 2017, at 5:00 PM – Initial abstracts of proposals must be received. The submission system will reject proposals submitted after 5:00 PM.
  • November 17, 2017 – Applicants will be notified if they are invited to submit full proposals.
  • January 15, 2018 – Full proposals will be due. 
  • April 9, 2018 – Notifications of Award will be made.
  • June 1, 2018 – Anticipated project start date.

Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Pipeline Pilot Awards

  • November 15, 2017 - Proposal Deadline
  • December 31, 2017 - Notification of Award
  • January 1, 2018 - Project Start Date

UNYTE Translational Research Network Pipeline Pilot Awards

  • December 1, 2017 - Proposal Deadline
  • December 31, 2017 - Notification of Award
  • January 1, 2018 - Project Start Date

Request for Applications

View the RFA for Faculty, Trainee, and UNYTE Categories

The Pilot Studies Funding Attestation must be submitted with the initial abstract and full proposal.

NBEM Second-Call-for-Abstracts-with-RFA

The NBEM Funding Attestation must be submitted with the initial abstract and full proposal.

View the full RFA for CBPR Pipeline Pilot Award

View the full RFA for UNYTE Pipeline Pilot Award