Pilot Projects

The Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases (COCVD) at the University of Kentucky offers pilot project grants through the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE). These pilot grants are intended to assist  investigators to generate sufficient data in the research area of the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer or neurodegenerative diseases, to be competitive for extramural funding.   Junior faculty members are especially encouraged to apply.  Please refer to the description of the overall COCVD program on the home page.

Pilot grants will be awarded for up to $50,000 for one year, direct costs only and must be spent by July 31  of the following year.

Eligibility is limited to full-time regular, special and clinical title faculty as well as full-time research faculty of the University of Kentucky.  Junior faculty are encouraged to apply.  Senior faculty with new projects of relevance to the COCVD are also eligible for pilot funding.  Current and former key personnel on the COCVD COBRE are not eligible to apply.

An expectation of support through this program is publication of supported pilot project research in a peer-reviewed journal and submission of a research proposal for consideration of funding.  Supported investigators will also be expected to participate in COCVD meetings and will be required to submit an abstract and present in a poster and/or podium format at either the annual Obesity/Diabetes Research Day symposium or the annual Cardiovascular Research Day symposium.  An annual progress report is also required on May 1 of each year.

Supported investigators will have full access to COCVD supported research cores.

Pilot Projects are solicited once a year.

Timeline:  The call for applications will be published in April each year & will be due on June 3.

To submit an application, please provide the following in order:

1. NIH Biosketch with other support    2. Abstract (1 page)    3. Research Proposal (6 pages)

4. NIH Budget & Justification                 5. Supporting documents (optional)

 You must identify in a cover letter any overlap with other sources of support including other pilots at UK and other grants for which you have applied.

The Research Proposal should follow standard NIH format, with specific aims, background/significance, preliminary data (if any) and experimental approach.

Applicants do not need IRB or IACUC approvals to submit a pilot grant application, but neccessary IRB or IACUC protocols should be submitted as soon as possible upon notification of the preliminary approval of your application.  This is needed in order to facilitate approval by the NIH for the use of COBRE pilot funds. (These approvals are required before NIH will release the use of funds.)  Funds may not be awarded if necessary IRB/IACUC approvals are not obtained in a timely manner consistent with the grant award period. 

Combine all pieces of the application into a single PDF file.  Do not use password protection, encryption, digital signature and/or digital certification in the PDF file.   The file should be named “Your Name”-Pilot.PDF and emailed to the COBRE program administrative coordinator, Mark Schwarcz.

Selection of Pilot /Feasibility Grant recipients is made after proposals are reviewed by a faculty committee. Three reviewers from this committee score and rank each proposal on the basis of merit and relevance to the goals of the COCVD. The committee’s selections are reviewed by the External Advisory Committee and then the NIH makes the final decision.

FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

 If you have any other questions related to the application process, contact Mark Schwarcz at mark.schwarcz@uky.edu or 859 218 1390.