The call for preliminary applications for the 2019 Pilot Projects Program has now closed. Select applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. See dates and deadlines below. 


Advance-CTR will award four to seven research projects in the following categories:

  • Category 1: Proposals with a single PI may apply for up to $37,500 in 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 in direct costs. A Contact PI who is a junior investigator must be designated.

The Pilot Projects are for one year with the potential for a competitive renewal for a second year of funding. Indirect costs associated with the direct costs of each budget will be provided to the home institution(s).

Key Dates and Deadlines: 

  • Preliminary Application Deadline: October 18, 2018
  • Invited Full Proposal Deadline: December 18, 2018

The anticipated performance period is May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020.  

View the RFA


About the Awards: 

The Advance-CTR Pilot Projects Program seeks to identify talented investigators who are new to clinical and translational research and interested in forming new collaborations. The awards encourage cross-disciplinary, inter-institutional research collaborations. More senior faculty who are transitioning into new areas of research are also eligible to apply for the awards program as a contact PI. 


Category 1:  Category 2: 
  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 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 VA Medical Center) 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 or have previously received 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 that 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. 

*Investigators are considered faculty equivalents

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

  1. 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.
  2. The Contact PI must be a junior investigator or a senior faculty member entering a new area of clinical or translational research, as noted in eligibility requirement #2 above.
  3. If a Multi-PI is a senior investigator, then this individual could also be a mentor for the project.
  4. 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 about applicant eligibility. 

Preliminary Application Process: 

Interested applicants are required to submit a Preliminary Application through the UFunds online portal. The Preliminary Application must include the following:

  1. Contact and academic information as requested on the UFunds application page
  2. Indication of the award category to which the investigator is applying
  3. Structured one-page overview of research aims, significance, and approach
  4. References
  5. NIH-formatted biosketch for each investigator and mentor
  6. Letter from Department Chair(s) stating postdoctoral fellow or resident physician applicants will have a faculty appointment by May 1, 2019, if applicable (not required for current faculty) 

Invitations to submit a full proposal will be announced on or around Friday, November 9, 2018. See the RFA for more information about the application process. 

Questions? Contact Joseph Rego, Project Manager, at or 401-863-1165 with any questions about the awards or applications process. Responses will be posted on the Pilot Projects FAQ page.