Pilot Project Proposals and Guidelines

Pilot Program: Call for Proposals Instructions

Letters of Intent due: Sept 23, 2022
Notification of outcome and invitations for full proposals will be sent by: October 7, 2022.
Full proposals will be due by: November 7, 2022

Anticipated start date of project will be January 2023

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.

We welcome applications for pilot projects that foster these themes and employ innovative technologies and methodologies that support the long-term goals of the Center for Molecular Epidemiology. Priority will be given to projects with a defined path towards external grant applications.  Priority also will be given to early career investigators including new investigators without previous NIH or equivalent funding.  New investigators will be required to identify a faculty mentor with the appropriate expertise. Two types of awards are available:

  1. An award of up to $50,000 for one year for a single or multiple Project Leaders at Dartmouth College or Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
  2. An award of up to $50,000 for one year for a single Project Leader from an external institution with an IDeA grant with a co-investigator from the Center for Molecular Epidemiology.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The funding is available for Project Leaders with faculty appointments at Dartmouth, or Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Projects may involve faculty at an outside Dartmouth COBRE or other IDeA institutions external to Dartmouth as a Project Leader provided that there is a co-investigator from the Center for Molecular Epidemiology.
  • Proposals should address the mission of the Center and leverage the resources of the Biorepository Core (https://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/molecepi/resources/)
  • Projects must have IRB approval in place.
  • Pilots must be used to support a future NIH (or equivalent) grant submission.
  • Investigators who currently have pilot or project funds from a Dartmouth or other COBRE are not eligible to apply.
  • Funds can be requested for trainees; however, funding solely for PhD thesis work will not be eligible.

Proposal Guidelines
Letter of Intent (LOI):  
Interested applicants should submit a completed cover sheet and the following items by email:

  • Specific aims (1-page, NIH format)
  • Biosketch

LOIs should be sent to Timothy Bowker (Timothy.C.Bowker@Darthmouth.edu). Please copy Janet Peacock (Director for Pilot Projects; Janet.L.Peacock@Dartmouth.edu) with the subject line: LOI - Pilot Project Application for COBRE Center for Molecular Epidemiology at Dartmouth

Full Proposal Application: Proposals for Dartmouth College PIs* must include the following materials using the PHS398 Forms and instructions.

  1. Face page (signed by institutional signing officer)
  2. Project Summary (page 2)
  3. Research Strategy (including timeline, 5 pages max)
  4. Specific Aims Page
  5. If the proposed study involves human subjects, the following documents must be submitted:
  • Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information Form
  • IRB approval
  • Documentation of the human subjects education for those involved in the design and conduct of human subjects research and submission of new enrollment report in HSS (if applicable)
  • Protections of human subjects training certificate (i.e. CITI or equivalent)
  • IACUC approval and Vertebrate Animal Section (if applicable)

*For Dartmouth-Hitchcock Investigators, please refer to your research administrator to initiate a subcontract for your Pilot proposal.

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

Timothy Bowker, Financial Operations Assistant
Subject of email: Pilot Project Application for COBRE Center for Molecular Epidemiology

Review Criteria: Full 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 next phase of their projects
  5. Utilization of COBRE Biorepository Core

After the pilot application has been reviewed, successful pilot support will be contingent upon recommendation from the External Advisory Committee and final approval from NIH.

Post-award matters

Participation in Center Events: Pilot award holders are members of the Center and will be informed about Center seminars and events and invited to present their research at Research in Progress seminars during their award.

Funds: Any changes in funding are to be approved by the Center Director (Dr. Margaret Karagas) in writing. Unused funds will be transferred back to the COBRE.

Support: Pilot project leaders will be supported by Center faculty and administrative staff to optimize their  experience and learning during the duration of their award. Full details of support available and expectations will be provided and discussed when the award begins.

Contact details: Please contact Tim Bowker, timothy.c.bowker@dartmouth.edu, with any questions related to the pilot project process.