Pilot Project Funding Opportunity

VDDRC Pilot Project Funding Opportunity

The Pilot and Feasibility Project Program (P/F) is designed to provide Vanderbilt investigators the opportunity to explore nascent, meritorious hypotheses related to digestive diseases with the ultimate goal being acquisition of external funding. The Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center (VDDRC) plans to fund pilot projects annually. Awards will be made for 1 year for approximately $40,000. There will also be the opportunity next year to apply for a competitive renewal for a second year of funding for an additional $40,000. However, the proposal should be for only one year.

Type N  Young investigators without current or past NIH support as the PI of an R01 or P01-based project.   Trainees in their last year of fellowship who are recipients of a National Research Service Award   (NRSA), individual award (F32), or an institutional training grant (T32) are eligible for P/F Funds if   they have had at least two years of research experience and have the expertise and   independence to carry out the project.  Applicants must have a faculty appointment at the time   that the Award would start.
Type EN  Established, funded investigators with no previously funded work in the field of digestive diseases    who wish to test the applicability of their expertise to a digestive disease-related problem.
Type E  Established investigators in digestive diseases who wish to test the feasibility of a novel or     innovative idea, which constitutes a significant departure from their funded work.


It is anticipated that the majority of applicants will fall into the first category.

Prior recipients of a DDRC Pilot and Feasibility award are eligible if the grant application is a collaborative effort with current DDRC members.

In addition, a Young Investigator award will be made on the basis of priority score, potential of the investigator for independent career development in digestive disease research, and letters of support. The Young Investigator will be awarded $25,000 annual salary support for a 12-24 month period.

The Letter of Intent (LOI) and application should be addressed to Keith T. Wilson, M.D., Director of the VDDRC Pilot & Feasibility Program, Room 1030-C MRB-IV, 37232-0252. The LOI should be no more than 1 page and should briefly detail the background/rationale, aims and approach of the proposed application. The LOI should also explain the investigators eligibility and fit within one of the three research programs of the VDDRC and planned usage of VDDRC core laboratories. All interested applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent by December 15, 2023. Applications are due February 12, 2024 and reviews are performed in February/March for a June start date. Applicants selected for consideration of funding will then be required to be available for an oral presentation of their project to the selection committee on April 1, 2024. The start date of the awards will be June 1, 2024. The guidelines for submission are available on the VDDRC website.

For additional information please contact maria.eckhardt@vumc.org or keith.wilson@vumc.org.