Integrated Pilot Grant Program – Request for Applications Spring 2017

Release Date: February 17, 2017
Application Deadline: March 15, 2017 at 5PM
Scientific Merit Review: March – April 2017
Funding Decision Date: April 15, 2017
Earliest Start Date: May 1, 2017

Purpose of the Program: To stimulate individual and team science in all areas of translational research related to the prevention, diagnosis, and management of human disease. Researchers engaged in basic research, patient-oriented research, implementation science research, community engagement research, and population-based research are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility: The Principal Investigator must have a primary, full-time faculty appointment at Boston University, and the research to be conducted must be based at Boston University, Boston Medical Center or any of their affiliated hospitals and health centers. Applicants with a prior Pilot Grant award in 2015 or later are ineligible for funding in this cycle, however those with Pilot awards from prior years may reapply for funding.

New in 2017: Applicants who replied to the Integrated Pilot Award mechanism in Fall 2016 but did not receive funding need not reapply to have their application reconsidered in the Spring 2017 RFA cycle. Applicants may submit a revised application based upon comments from the prior RFA, but this is not required.

Funding Objectives:
1. To foster innovative research across teams of researchers engaged in basic research, patient-oriented research, implementation science research, community engagement research, and population-based research using pilot projects that are at all levels of development including:

T1 research that develops novel treatments and interventions by expediting the movement between basic research and patient-oriented research leading to new or improved scientific understanding or standards of care.

T2 research that tests the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions through patient-oriented research and population-based research leading to better patient outcomes, the implementation of best practices, and improved health status in communities.

T3 research that promotes dissemination and implementation of research for system-wide change through movement of evidence based-guidelines into clinical practice.

T4 research that promotes discoveries in population science.

Purpose of this specific RFA: This specific RFA represents a collaborative effort between CTSI and partner organizations to fund meritorious research applicable to the components noted below. While applications from all BU faculty members will be entertained, applications responsive to one (or more) of the following are specifically encouraged:

1. Department of Medicine (DOM)
The CTSI and DOM will co-fund meritorious applications from faculty with primary appointments in the Department of Medicine.

2. BU School of Public Health (BUSPH)
Interested faculty are directed to respond to the BUSPH Pilot award RFA. Information can be found here.

Funding Available: Direct costs up to $20,000 may be requested. The level of funding awarded to successful applicants will be determined after review of the budget request and budget justification. Funds may be used for any purpose to support the proposed research. Typical expenses include laboratory supplies, animal costs, small equipment, patient recruitment costs, consultants, or support for pre/postdoctoral students, technicians, or research assistants. Funds may not be allocated to PI or Co-I salary. Awards are not transferable to any other institution. Department of Medicine awards must be spent by the end of the fiscal year in which they are awarded.

Regulatory Approval: No funding will be awarded until all relevant FINAL approvals such as IRB, IACUC, and IBC are obtained; thus, it is recommended that applicants begin the process of seeking approvals as early as possible. If awarded, applicants will have 3 months from the initial funding start date (i.e., deadline of August 1, 2017) to obtain final approvals of regulatory protocols, or risk rescindment of award.

Review Process and Criteria: Applications will be meritoriously reviewed by BU CTSI Scientific Review Committees (SRC) comprised of faculty with relevant expertise analogous to the NIH review process (with focus upon Significance, Innovation, Approach, and Investigators). All applications will be reviewed and ranked for funding priority. Specific review criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • 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
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration
  • High potential for impact in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of human health conditions in broad terms. Projects closer to translation will be prioritized over more preliminary projects that are further from translation.
  • Qualification of the research team
  • Need for the funding
  • Likelihood that the project can be completed within the budget period noted above
  • Although it is not required that applicants be junior investigators, the review process will take career development into consideration.
  • Although not required, other features that may increase a project’s priority include:
    • A clear translational focus, including a collaboration with a patient oriented science research team
    • Focus on diseases disproportionately affecting the BU/BMC patient population
    • Approved IRB or IACUC protocols that would permit initiation of research activities as soon as possible

Instructions for Submission: The application should include a maximum of three pages describing the background, specific aims, preliminary studies (if applicable), research methods (including timeline), commercial potential and future grant submissions or commercial development, plus one page (maximum) of literature citations. The application must also contain an NIH formatted biosketch, budget justification and any other relevant supporting documentation (optional).

Proposal Submission: The first step in the submission process is to submit an NOI here. Once the NOI is submitted you will receive an electronic notification which allows you to enter the electronic portal to start your application. You may access the application at any time after submitting your NOI by going here.

Progress Reports: If funded, the awardee agrees to submit an on-line report after the end of the award term indicating key results and any publications, grant applications, funded awards that resulted from the project, new collaborations, and other outcomes. Additional abbreviated reports will be requested on an annual basis for 2 years following completion of funding. Any follow on funding depends on prompt and accurate progress reports. Awardees will be contacted regarding the report, once needed.

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

Frederick L. Ruberg, MD
Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine
Director, Pilot Grant Programs, Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Boston University School of Medicine

Administrative Contact:
Deb Rebelo
Program Coordinator, Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute
617.638.4539 (ph)

If you would like a Word version of the RFA, it can be download here.

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