Pilot Project Proposals and Guidelines

Pilot Program: Call for Proposals

Email confirming interest: April 12, 2019
Full proposal due: May 6, 2019
Target funding start date (subject to NIGMS approval): August 1, 2019

The Center for Molecular Epidemiology at Dartmouth, funded through the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), is pleased to announce an opportunity for Dartmouth investigators to apply for pilot project funds. Project proposals should have a research emphasis in molecular epidemiology, with a focus on

  1. Applying state-of-the-art scientific discoveries and technologies to address major health concerns
  2. Identifying early indicators of disease pathogenesis
  3. Exploring common pathways of disease etiology and progression

Priority will be given to research projects that foster these themes and employ innovative technologies and methodologies that support the long-term goals of the Center for Molecular Epidemiology.  Maximum funding is $25,000 for one year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The funding is available to those with a faculty appointment at Dartmouth, or Dartmouth-Hitchcock, including Instructors or Assistant through Associate Professors. Work may involve outside faculty as co-investigators.
  • Proposals should address the epidemiological foci listed above.
  • Should be used to support a future NIH (or equivalent) grant submission.
  • Investigators who currently have or previously received pilot or project funds from a Dartmouth or other COBRE are ineligible to apply.
  • Funding solely for PhD thesis work will not be eligible.

Proposal Guidelines
Email Response of Interest:
Interested applicants should submit an email by April 12, 2019 outlining:

  • Name, title, and institutional affiliation
  • Statement confirming eligibility
  • Drafted aims that illustrate relevance to the Center’s mission

Emails should be sent to Tracy Onega (Tracy.Onega@Dartmouth.edu). Please copy Kristen Peck (Kristen.A.Peck@Dartmouth.edu) with the subject line: LOI - Pilot Project Application for COBRE Center for Molecular Epidemiology at Dartmouth

Proposal Application: Proposals must include the following materials using the PHS398 Forms and instructions.

  1. Face page
  2. Project Summary, Relevance, Project/Performance Sites, Senior/Key Personnel, (PHS 398 Page 2)
  3. Aims Page (1 page)
  4. Research Strategy (3-5 pages)
    1. Significance (particularly the relevance to the goals of the Center for Molecular Epidemiology)
    2. Innovation
    3. Approach, including planned use of the COBRE Biorepository Core services
  5. Personnel: Senior/Key Personnel and Other Significant Contributors

The Study Record: Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form is not required for submission to the Center for Molecular Epidemiology.  However, final approval from NIGMS will require submission of the complete Study Record, including all relevant attachments.

Procedure for Submitting Proposals: Proposals and supporting documents should be submitted as one PDF by email to:

Kristen Peck, Research & Grant Program Director
Subject of email: Pilot Project Application for COBRE Center for Molecular Epidemiology
Phone: (603) 650-1854

Review Criteria:  Proposals will receive internal peer review and review from the Center’s External Advisory Committee (EAC).  Criteria include:

  1. Scientific merit
  2. Innovation
  3. Focus on Molecular Epidemiology COBRE themes
  4. Feasibility of generating pilot data necessary for a future R01 or equivalent grant application over the next year, as well as for Phase II projects
  5. Utilization of COBRE core resources (i.e.: Biorepository Services).

Applicants should address the feasibility of the work proposed and ability to generate pilot data in a short time frame.  Preference will be given to pilot projects testing novel approaches to innovative aims that can easily be translated into a future funding application.

After the pilot application has been reviewed, successful pilot support will be contingent upon the communication of approval from the EAC Chair, indicating committee’s concurrence

Funding Conditions 

  • Overview of Funding Allowance
    • Annual funding is estimated at $25,000, which may be increased based upon the project’s productivity. The expectation is that a R01 submission, or equivalent will occur within 12 months of funding or that the pilot will develop into a Phase II Project application to the Center for Molecular Epidemiology.
    • A full summary of conditions will be provided upon successful receipt of pilot funds.
  • Progress Reports
    • Reports Coordination
      • All reports/notifications should be addressed to Kerry Drapala, Research Administrator.
    • Deadlines
      • Progress reports will be due November 1, 2019.
      • Final progress reports will be due at the end of the funding period.
    • Unused Funds
      • Changes in budget expenditures with accompanying justification should be communicated within the progress reports. Unused funds will be transferred back to the COBRE.
    • Expenditure Changes
      • Any changes in funding are to be approved by the Program Director (Dr. Margaret Karagas) in writing.
    • Seminars and EAC Presentations
      • All grant recipients are expected to attend monthly COBRE seminars and be prepared to present research from their pilot projects during the series.
      • All recipients are expected to present at annual meetings of the External Advisory Committee (EAC).