Pilot Grant Funding Programs

Pilot Funding Program

The overall goal of the Clinical and Translational Pilot Awards Program is to provide research support for preliminary and proof-of-concept studies critical to moving basic laboratory findings into clinical applications. High priorities of the program are to facilitate development of enabling technologies, new therapeutic, diagnostic, and novel cross-disciplinary collaborative programs that address the health and health care needs of the people of Appalachia. Pilot funding will be targeted at research proposals which demonstrate ability to be catalytic in terms of generating new programs, directions, and funding for clinically applied research and methodologies.

The Pilot Program will utilize a number of funding mechanisms to ensure flexibility in the ability to take advantage of new funding opportunities:

Community Engagement


This award is for investigators at all stages of career development; junior, midlevel, and senior investigators, and is intended to support pilot studies. A maximum of $25,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

Drug Development


This award is intended to support new drug discovery and development research with the goal of augmenting the translation of scientific discoveries to therapeutic development.  Specifically, the purpose is to assist in the transition from biology and target identification to clinical targets and to facilitate the transition of discovery through development and delivery to all phases of clinical trials and subsequent commercialization. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

Innovation and High Impact


This award is for investigators at all stages of career development; junior, midlevel, and senior investigators, and is intended to stimulate innovation and to support pilot studies that will lead to extramural funding. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

Junior Faculty


This award is intended to support pilot studies by early stage investigators to obtain preliminary data for an extramural grant submission. This award is only open to investigators in the early stage of their career, or investigators who are transitioning into a new area. Applicants must identify a mentor to assist with the investigator’s training. A maximum of $25,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

Novel Methodology


This award is intended to support new medical product development. Research teams submitting to this CCTS call for applications, typically would be preparing an SBIR or STTR proposal for NIH, often directed toward the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

Disease Focused 


CCTS-Markey Cancer Center Collaborative Pilot Awards

The UK Markey Cancer Center will contribute to this program, and studies related to cancer are encouraged. Translational projects with a focus on Appalachian Eastern Kentucky will be given high priority. Potential studies could range from basic mechanisms that contribute to the high incidence of cancer in Appalachia to population-based cancer prevention and control studies. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

 CCTS-Sanders Brown Center On Aging Collaborative Pilot Awards

The UK Sanders Brown Center on Aging will contribute to this program, and studies that stimulate innovation and dynamic basic, translational, and/or clinical research relevant to both aging and Alzheimer's disease are encouraged. . A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 12 months.

CCTS-Barnstable Brown Diabetes And Obesity Center Collaborative Pilot Awards

The UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center will contribute to this program, and applications are encouraged that address translational aspects of diabetes and/or obesity. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

CCTS-Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Collaborative Center Pilot Awards

The UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) will contribute to this program, and applications are encouraged that address injuries to the spinal cord and brain that result in paralysis or other loss of neurologic function. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

Partnership with other Appalachian Translational Research Network Institutions


University of Kentucky-University of Cincinnati Collaborative Awards

Priority will be given to applications that involve collaboration between investigators at UK and the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (CCHMC). This project will involve an equal contribution from each institution and will require Co-PI’s from each institution. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

University of Kentucky-Marshall University Collaborative Awards

The purpose of this funding mechanism is to encourage collaborative projects between multi–institutional research teams capable of performing highly innovative, extramurally fundable research that will continue to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our citizens. A maximum of $50,000 will be awarded for a period of 18 months.

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