The Advance-CTR Pilot Projects Program aims to fund clinical and translational research collaborations between investigators across institutions and disciplines. Investigators may select from two categories from which to apply: 

  • Category 1: Proposals with a single PI may apply for up to $37,500 direct costs.

  • Category 2: Proposals involving at least two PIs (e.g., Multi-PI’s) from different disciplines may apply for up to $75,000 direct costs. 

The awards are for a one-year duration with the option of applying for a second year. Indirect costs associated with the direct costs of each budget will be provided to the home institution(s).


Category 1: 

To be eligible for a Pilot Project award at $37,500:

  1. Applicants must possess health-professional or research doctoral degrees, and hold a faculty appointment. 

  2. The Contact PI should hold a faculty appointment as Instructor, Investigator, or Assistant Professor (or equivalent) with a degree-granting institution in Rhode Island at the time the Pilot Project award commences. More senior faculty who are transitioning to a clinical or translational research focus or who are entering a new area of clinical or translational research can also serve as the Contact PI.

  3. Mentor(s) should be designated who are faculty at an Advance-CTR affiliated health care system (Lifespan, Care New England, Providence VAMC) or a degree-granting institution in Rhode Island. Mentor(s) should be researchers in the field related to the proposed project, have experience and demonstrated success as research supervisors, and be faculty at the Associate Professor level or above. Projects may have more than one mentor, such as one who is an expert in the content of the proposed research and another who is an expert in the proposed methodology (e.g., statistics, epidemiology, informatics, etc.).

  4. The Contact PI cannot be receiving external funding in the role of a PI or co-PI from a R01 or equivalent (e.g., VA Merit Review or NSF grant). (Note: Contact PIs with Foundation or Mentored grants are eligible.)

  5. A PI cannot hold funding from a COBRE project or another IDeA mechanism of support at the same time as Advance-CTR Pilot Project funding.

  6. The proposed Advance-CTR Pilot Project should not have significant scientific or budgetary overlap with another funded project. 

Category 2: 

To be eligible for a Pilot Project award at $75,000, projects must meet all eligibility requirements above and also:

  • Be led by two or more Principal Investigators (Multi-PI) from different disciplines or training backgrounds.  A Contact PI must be designated. Partnerships from different departments or institutions are encouraged. Trans-institutional collaborations among faculty at Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island healthcare institutions, or other degree-granting institutions in Rhode Island are highly encouraged. Multi-PI’s can be junior or senior investigators.

  • The Contact PI must be a junior investigator, or a senior investigator transitioning to a new area of clinical or translational research, as noted in eligibility requirement #2 above. 

  • If a Multi-PI is a senior investigator, then this individual could also be a mentor for the project.

  • Multi-PIs cannot hold funding from a COBRE project or another IDeA mechanism of support at the same time as Advance-CTR Pilot Project funding.

Email with questions. 

Criteria for Selection: 

  1. Responsiveness to the RFA, including the relevance to RI health needs and the clinical or translational nature of the research.

  2. Scientific impact and soundness of the experimental design, including plans for data analysis.

  3. Technical and conceptual innovation.

  4. Training and expertise of the (Multi-)PI’s and their ability to perform the proposed research.

  5. Scientific and mentoring expertise of the mentor(s).

  6. Project environment, including facilities and adequacy of the patient population, if applicable.

  7. Reasonable and justified budget that is appropriate for the proposed research.

  8. Likelihood that the project will lead to external funding.

Funding is dependent upon final review and approval by the Advance-CTR External Advisory Committee and by NIGMS. Since NIGMS requires IACUC and IRB approval PRIOR to funding, applicants are strongly urged to have obtained or commenced the regulatory approval process(es) at the time of submission of the application. IRB and IACUC approvals must be obtained by March 15, 2018 or applicants risk loss of funding. Assistance with IRB and IACUC protocols can be obtained by submitting a service request for a consultation with the Advance-CTR Clinical Research Resources service.  

Awardee Requirements: 

Investigators selected for a Pilot Project award will be required to:

  1. Obtain IRB and IACUC approval, as applicable, before funding can be awarded, no later than March 15, 2018. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have these processes underway at the time of application.

  2. Present a seminar describing the project and results at Advance-CTR’ Seminar Series as well as, if invited, at the Advance-CTR Annual Meeting.

  3. Present a poster at the RI NIH IDeA Symposium and a talk, if invited.

  4. Complete FCOI assurance and training as detailed under their respective organization’s policy.

  5. Attend all required program-related seminars and conferences (to be specified).

  6. Complete quarterly progress reports.

  7. Complete a formal year-end report within one month of funding end.

  8. Complete an Advance-CTR survey at the end of the funding year.

  9. Acknowledge sponsorship from Advance-CTR supported by the IDeA-CTR grant (U54GM115677) in all research publications during the performance period. Future publications related to this research must also acknowledge Advance-CTR sponsorship. See Advance-CTR's Acknowledgment Policy here

  10. Report all presentations, publications, and extramural funding that arise from this award to Advance-CTR.

  11. Maintain updated VIVO profiles if Brown University-affiliated.

  12. Acquire ORCID identifiers.

  13. Respond to Advance-CTR queries for information after the grant ends.