Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center Pilot


Rachael Murphy
Department Assistant

Alicia DePlatchett
Department Administrator

The Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (DDRCC), supported by NIH/NIDDK P30DK097948, the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation announces a program to support new research initiatives in digestive diseases. We are also pleased to announce the enhanced benefit with our Partnership with the Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative. The primary goal of the Pilot/Feasibility Award is to provide the Awardee with initial funds to develop new digestive health related research initiatives leading to submission of competitive grant applications to traditional funding agencies.

Limited awards of up to $30,000/year will be made to eligible applicants. Awards are intended to support preliminary data collection, which will be used in applications for future independent research grants in areas related to digestive diseases. A second year of funding may be requested and requires submission of a competing renewal application to the Cleveland DDRCC with demonstration of satisfactory progress and justification for a second year of funding.

The DDRCC sponsors innovative research through its Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Program Partnership with the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) for full-time faculty from any of their partnering institutions. Eligible applicants may receive up to $10,000 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 an 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.

Letter of Intent Submission

A letter of intent is required prior to submitting a full proposal.  The letter of intent should include the following information:

  1. Title
  2. Eligibility category of the investigator
  3. Brief description of the Pilot/Feasibility project and how the project relates to digestive diseases

The letter of intent must be submitted via InfoReady no later than September 2, 2019 (11:59 PM).

Letters of intent will be reviewed by the DDRCC Executive Committee and eligible investigators will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Guidelines for Preparing a Full Written Proposal

The full written proposal should be prepared in the general format of the NIH research project applications (R03), and including the following:

  1. Title
  2. Eligibility category of the investigator
  3. Abstract
  4. NIH-format biosketch
  5. Detail budget with budget justification (salary support for PI and indirect costs are not allowed)
  6. Facilities & Resources available for project performance
  7. Research proposal (no more than three pages), including the following:
    1. Specific Aims
    2. Relevance to digestive diseases
    3. Background
    4. Preliminary data (if this proposal seeks to build on previous results)
    5. Research Plan (include a discussion of any anticipated difficulties in the proposed experiments and potential alternative approaches)
    6. References
  8. Detailed plans for obtaining additional extramural funding arising from the studies proposed above (≤ 1 page)
  9. If the applicant is currently a trainee, a letter from the trainee’s program director confirming that he/she is in the last year of training and a letter of commitment from a senior scientist to sponsor the project should be provided.
  10. Applicants who hold a full-time faculty position at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, The Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center and/or the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center are eligible to receive $10,000 core support from the CTSC through the Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Program.
    1. If you meet the criteria, follow the steps below:
      1. Address how matching program criteria are met, if applicable; if a CTSC Core is utilized, documented consultation from the CTSC Core Director or his/her designee for each CTSC Core in the form of a Letter of Support is required.
      2. Detailed budget and written justification of use of CTSC Core(s) must be included in the application. It is preferred for applicants who have received information concerning Core fees and charges associated with the proposed research to include that information with the application.

The proposal must be submitted via InfoReady no later than November 1, 2019 (11:59 PM).

Review Criteria and Procedures 

The DDRCC Executive Committee and an external advisory board will review each application.  Preference will be given to proposals in the area of IBD/mucosal immunology, intestinal inflammation, liver/metabolism and GI tumorigenesis.

The merit of each application will be judged using the following criteria:

  1. Novelty of the proposed research
  2. Relevance to digestive health
  3. Potential of the pilot/feasibility study to lead to future independent peer reviewed research support

Award Conditions & Reporting 

The budgetary period for this award will be 02/01/20 – 01/31/21.  The monetary award can only be used to support laboratory personnel, supplies, and limited domestic travel as detailed in the approved budget.  Indirect costs are not allowed for this award.

All presentations and/or publications arising from the research project funded through this award must acknowledge support from the Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center and NIH/NIDDK 1P30DK097948.  Copies of all manuscripts, accepted abstracts, or grants arising from research funded through this award should be sent to the Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center.

At the conclusion of the award, the recipient is required to submit a written summary of the research conducted, as well as a description of all funded, pending, or planned grant submissions arising from this award.