Annual Pilot Award Program

2023 Annual Pilot Information

No longer accepting applications as of 3/1/23. Look for future grant opportunities in Fall 2023.

The Clinical and Translational Pilot Award Program is funded through the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (UM1TR004528), which defines translation as “the process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral changes.” (

Projects are intended to:

  1. explore possible innovative new leads or new directions for established investigators;
  2. stimulate investigators from other areas to lend their expertise in research in CTS; and
  3. provide initial support to establish proof of concept.

Projects must be feasible within the proposed timeframe, have high methodological and scientific quality, and answer important scientific questions. The ability of applicants to clearly enunciate the gap and value for moving "observations/associations” towards “patient-centric outcomes” will be an essential review criterion. We cannot emphasize this more.

  • A minimum of two (2), but up to six (6), grants will be awarded with budgets limited to $50,000 in direct costs.
  • Research proposed in the application must be accomplished by June 30, 2024 (Project start is July 1, 2023).
  • Carry-over of funds is not permitted.

Annual Pilot Timeline

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) due: 10/31/22 at 11:59pm via InfoReady
  • LOI decisions and communication to applicants by 12/15/22 (via email)
  • Invited proposals/full applications due 03/01/23 at 11:59pm via InfoReady
  • Scientific Review Committee to meet March 2023
  • Grant awardees to be notified April/May 2023
  • Primary Investigator, grant team, and CTSC will meet to discuss terms and conditions of award during June 2023
  • Funding period*: 07/01/23-06/30/24

*2023 Annual Pilot Awards are contingent upon the CTSC’s NIH grant renewal. The CTSC will be notified of its renewal funding towards the end of May 2023. If funded, Annual Pilot grants would be able to begin on or around July 1, 2023.

LOI Requirements:

Short summary of the proposal (one page maximum) that must include the following:

  1. Title and Project site(s)
  2. Names/affiliations of PI, Co-Investigators and collaborators
  3. A brief overview of the project and how the award funds would be utilized and distributed. This will be done with:
    1. Question/Hypothesis of the study – This section should be about ¼ of a page and should describe the overall health related goal addressed by the hypothesis/premise/scientific question.
    2. Innovation/Translation – This section should be about ¼ of a page and describe how your project fills a critical translational gap, and a discussion of anticipated results.
    3. Feasibility - This section should be about ¼ of a page and describe the feasible elements of your one-year study. potential roadblocks or concerns in this section.
    4. Project Milestones – This should describe the project plan in about ¼ page. For the scope of this project we suggest 2-3 milestones that can be achieved with the budget allowed (up to $50,000) and in the time frame selected (up to one year). Please include an estimate of how long each milestone will take, and why it is critical to the development of the proposal.

Complete LOIs that are submitted via InfoReady by October 31, 2022, at 11:59pm will be reviewed by the Scientific Review Committee.

LOIs missing any of the above requirements will not be considered for review.

A decision will be communicated by December 15, 2022.

Invited Proposals/Full Applications Requirements:

  1. eRA commons username of the PI
  2. SPARCRequest ID (SRID)
  3. Short summary of the work directed to the lay public (500 characters)
  4. Dollar amounts of other support currently available to all investigators
  5. NIH Biosketches of the PI and all co-investigators
  6. Active IRB and/or IACUC approval letter (if applicable). If required, no exceptions.
  7. Letter(s) of reference from CTSC Core program director or their designee documenting the PI’s consultation with Core management if a CTSC Core Program is being utilized.
  8. Detailed budget and budget justification. Details must include costs per unit x number of units needed and/or cost per hour and number of hours required. Applications lacking sufficient budgetary detail will be returned to the applicant. Click here for allowable expenses.
  9. Research proposal
  10. Letter of support from PI’s department to ensure the investigators have sufficient protected research time and facilities to conduct the proposed research.

Complete applications must be submitted by March 1, 2023, at 11:59pm to be considered for review by the Scientific Review Committee.

Applications missing any of the above requirements will not be considered for review.

Full RFA
NIH Budget Page
Allowable Expenses


How do I find my SPARCRequest ID (SRID)?

  1. Log into SPARCRequest with your CWRU Single-Sign On ID and password
  2. In the search bar, search “annual pilot”
  3. Click on “Service: Annual Pilot”, then click the green box “Yes”
  4. Follow the prompts to submit your request
  5. At the end of the prompts, you will be given a SRID (SPARCRequest ID)

For additional information about the SPARCRequest ID, please see the CTSC's website.