Pilot Feasibility

The Pilot/Feasibility Program is one of the fundamental pillars for the intellectual vitality and success of the Cleveland DDRCC and supports the center's mission to foster innovation in the area of digestive disease-related research through the support of clinical and basic research, and education. The primary goals of the DDRCC Pilot/Feasibility Program are to:

  • promote the development of independent research programs of junior investigators with an interest in digestive disease research by providing pilot resources;
  • develop new research initiatives that will lead to competitive grant applications; and
  • attract talented, established investigators in other fields to apply their research skills and expertise to digestive disease-related investigations.

To achieve these goals, each Pilot/Feasibility Award provides eligible investigators with initial funds to develop preliminary data concerning a digestive disease-related research hypothesis, which will serve as the basis for submission of competitive grant applications to regular funding agencies, with a particular focus on K series and R01 awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Limited Pilot/Feasibility Awards will be made to eligible applicants on an annual basis in support of this program.

The DDRCC sponsors innovative research through its Pilot and Feasibility Program Partnership with the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) for full-time faculty from any partner institutions. Eligible applicants may receive CTSC Core matching funds.

Eligibility for Pilot/Feasibility Awards

Investigators who meet one of the three following criteria are eligible to apply:

  1. New investigators without current or past NIH research project support (R01 or P01) as a principal investigator (current or past support from other sources should be modest*).
  2. Established, funded investigators with no previous work in digestive diseases or digestive disease-related areas who wish to test the applicability of their expertise to a digestive disease-related problem.
  3. Established investigators in digestive diseases or digestive disease-related areas who wish to test the feasibility of a new or innovative idea, which constitutes a significant departure from their funded research.

*Trainees including those who are recipients of a National Research Service Award(NRSA) individual award (F32) or are supported by an institutional training grant (T32) are eligible for funds, but only if they are in their last year of training, have had at least one year of clinical or laboratory research experience, and have suitable expertise and independence to design and carry out the planned experiments. Trainees should have a commitment from a senior scientist to sponsor the project. Funds may not be used to supplement NRSA stipends, but may be used for supplies, technical support, special services, etc.