Pilot Feasibility

Pilot Grants for Gastrointestinal Biology Research

Dates For Next Funding Cycle

Letter of Intent receipt date:  April 23, 2014
Application receipt date:  May 14, 2014
Oral Presentation is at our SRC on June 24, 2014 (if selected)

General Information

The Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGIBD), a joint program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, awards pilot and feasibility grants once each year in a competitive application process. The purpose of the program is to provide funds that will allow investigators to pursue new and innovative research ideas with the objective of obtaining preliminary data that may allow them to obtain independent funding. Applicants must be members, or be sponsored by members of the UNC CGIBD, and the proposed research must relate to digestive diseases.

Bioinformatics 2

Application Process

A one-page letter of intent should be submitted by the date listed above and must include the investigator's name, rank, department, mailing address and e-mail address. The letter of intent should include the proposed title of the project, a 1 to 3 sentence description of the project and investigator's eligibility criteria (category 1, 2 or 3 from eligibility section). Letters of intent should be submitted to CGIBD Administrator, via e-mail. The letter of intent is not required and is not binding.

The full application package is due on the date listed above. This package must include the cover page, 4 pages of text material (bibliography may be additional), line item and narrative budgets, and investigator's biosketch and other support. Investigators may apply for funding up to a limit of $30,000 in direct funds. Please note that there are two forms this year; a text form and a budget form and both must be submitted together.

The electronic application package is due by 5 PM of the application deadline at this address: PF Application Web page. Applicants are encouraged to call the Administrator at 919.966.8381 with questions about the process.

Funding Mechanism and Regulations

When a research project is funded through the CGIBD Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program, a budget account is established at the CGIBD office for the use of the PI. New awardees should contact the CBIBD Administrator, Evan Ellis-Raymer for precise instructions on how to access the funds. Normally, awardees are given 15 months to complete the project.

Awardees will not receive funds until they have provided the CGIBD with documentation of approvals for animal or human subjects use, if either approval is required. In the case of human subjects, the CGIBD will also require assurances that all personnel have been trained in the use of human subjects in research.

In general, funds may be used for any purpose which directly supports the research proposed by the funded application. For example, an awardee may choose to pay some of an assistant’s salary from the funds or may use them to purchase research supplies, order services from any of the campus scientific support cores, or travel to a relevant meeting or workshop. However, funds may not be transferred to another project or to general departmental use. They may not be used to support an advisor or mentor or his/her research. They may not be used to support the general operation of a laboratory, except to the extent that the proposed research uses laboratory resources or to purchase laboratory equipment.

Research Areas

Pilot/feasibility proposals should be based on research in gastrointestinal biology and epidemiology. Preference will be given to proposals that (1) appear likely to result in findings that will allow the investigator to successfully compete for subsequent independent funding and (2) are related to research directions of the UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. The Center’s primary research theme is in the areas of gene-environment interaction as it relates to digestive and liver diseases. Among the areas of special interest are: inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), liver disease, gastrointestinal cancer, intestinal water and electrolyte transport; gastrointestinal epithelial damage, growth, development and repair; intestinal stem cells; gut micobiome and the epidemiology of gastrointestinal disease. Applications investigating other aspects of gastrointestinal disease will be accepted.

Pilot/feasibility studies may not be used to supplement or extend ongoing funded research or as a general-purpose fund to compensate for errors in budgeting, overspending or unexpected loss of funds on established programs or to contribute to the costs of maintaining a laboratory or core (though funds may be used to pay service or supply fees directly related to the proposed project.) Pilot funds are only available to researchers who are CGIBD members or who are sponsored by a member. If funds have not been fully expended at the end of the budget period or at the time the applicant receives NIH funding, these may be reclaimed by the CGIBD to support other pilot projects. Questions on the use of funding should be referred to the CGIBD Administrator.

Current P/F recipients may apply for a second year of funding by competitive renewal. Previous P/F recipients may apply for a new award by submitting a new grant proposal that clearly represents a new research direction.

Reporting Requirements

All investigators funded through this program must submit a 6-month progress report and an annual report for inclusion in the CGIBD's submission to the National Institutes of Health for continuation funds. Investigators are also required to make an oral or written presentations to the Center's Scientific Review Committee. Any publications resulting from CGIBD support must credit the CGIBD. Awardees should continue to report funding awards and/or publications resulting from their pilot awards as these occur in the future.

Awards

All applicants will be notified of the status of their application as soon as possible following review by the CGIBD scientific review committee. Successful applicants will be asked to meet with the Center biostatistician and administrative staff before receiving funds. The CGIBD Administrator will provide detailed instructions for using funds.

Eligibility

Individuals eligible for pilot/feasibility studies must fall in one of three categories: 1) new investigators (post-doc or beyond) without current or past NIH research project support, 2) established, supported investigators who are proposing projects that constitute a significant departure from their ongoing research, 3) established investigators who are proposing projects in which they will transfer their special expertise from their fields to the research focus of the Center. Preference will be given to those in category 1. All applicants must be members of the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease or be nominated by a member.

Review Procedure

Applications for pilot/feasibility studies will be evaluated initially by the CGIBD Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee are Drs. Robert S. Sandler, Nicholas Shaheen, John F. Rawls, P. Kay Lund, Stanley Lemon, Susan Henning and R. Balfour Sartor from UNC-CH, and Drs. Anthony Blikslager, and Susan L. Tonkonogy from NCSU-CVM. This review group will rank the applications on the basis of scientific merit, originality of the research initiatives, applicability to Center research directions and the potential to successfully compete for external funds. They will then review the requested budget and make recommendation for approval or disapproval. In general, preference will be given to junior investigators.

The Center’s Scientific Review Committee, comprised of clinical and basic scientists from outside the universities, will subsequently review approved applications. Members of the Scientific Review Committee are Kim Barrett, Ph.D., University of California at San Diego; Gail Hecht, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago; Nicholas Davidson, MD, Washington University in St. Louis; and Gary Wu, University of Pennsylvania. Pilot/feasibility applicants will give brief oral presentations before the committee. The Scientific Review Committee will decide on funding priority and select which of the approved applications will receive funds.

Downloads - Document Links