Georgia CTSA’s Pilot Grants Program

Funding Organization: 
Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance
Type of Funding: 
Proposal Deadline: 
Monday, March 1, 2021
Letter of Intent Deadline: 
Friday, January 15, 2021
Award/Eligibility Description: 

Georgia CTSA’s Pilot Grants Program is soliciting proposals that either a.) generate preliminary data and refine
research strategies for subsequent extramural grant applications OR b.) develop the best approaches and
methodologies to address complex translational and clinical research problems.

Two categories of grants will be considered:

  • Category 1 - Grants that focus on translational and clinical research.
    • Pilot projects are intuitively understood to represent preliminary, preparatory, or feasibility studies designed to assess the applicability of new technologies, protocols, data collection instruments, or subject recruitment strategies as stepping-stones toward a full, hypothesis testing investigation. The four academic institutional partners of the Georgia CTSA collectively recognize the critical need for start-up, feasibility, or proof-of-concept resources.
  • Category 2 - Grants that address a translational research question which could provide insights generalizable to other projects/diseases. The Pilot Grants Program will seek proposals that propose innovative approaches to:
    • Novel technology development
    • Best approaches to address important clinical and translational research (CTR) problems and/or the science of translational science
    • Innovative approaches to overcoming choke points in the translational process, such as regulatory hurdles and patient recruitment
    • Novel methodologies for clinical research that can be generalized to other projects
    • Development of new approaches for implementation science that will enhance the translation of medical advances into the community or to special populations

Georgia CTSA Mission Statement - The institutions of the Georgia CTSA leverage their complementary
strengths to accelerate clinical and translational education, research, and community engagement to impact
health in Georgia and beyond.

Funding - Awards involving one institution will be up to $40,000 in total direct costs. Awards involving two or
more partner institutions will be up to $50,000 in total direct costs, with no more than $40,000 allotted to each
institution. The total number of awards to be made is variable based on merit, funds requested, and Pilot
Program budget; a maximum of $200,000 will be awarded in this round. Indirect costs will be added after the
awards have been made.

Eligibility – Full-time faculty from Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Morehouse School of
Medicine, and the University of Georgia may submit proposals. One proposal may be submitted per faculty
member. Proposals involving collaborations among Georgia CTSA partners are encouraged. Junior faculty are
encouraged to apply. Any faculty member who has a current grant with overlapping aims is not eligible to apply.

Note: All pilot project recipients will be eligible for the Georgia CTSA Award of Distinction in Team Science
“To further promote collaboration, the Georgia CTSA Executive Oversight Council will award an annual
Award of Distinction in Team Science during their annual meeting to Georgia CTSA investigators who,
through their multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary collaborations, have made a profound impact in CTR.”

January 15, 2021 at 5:00 PM – letters of intent due
Early February 2021 – all applicants selected to submit final applications notified
March 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM – proposals due
Early May 2021 – applicant award notification
July 1, 2021 – earliest anticipated start date
June 30, 2022 – end date (Investigators may NOT apply for a no-cost extension.)

Letter of Intent
Interested applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) via the online form no later than 5:00 PM (no
exceptions) on January 15, 2021 that includes:

The online LOI must be completed in one sitting, so it is recommended that applicants gather the
information/documents below before beginning the application.

  1. Descriptive title and short summary (less than 250 words) of the proposed project.
  2. Project area of focus
  3. Name, e-mail, primary institution, role (e.g., PI, Co-I), and academic rank of each investigator(s).
  4. Indicate if Principal Investigator is an early stage investigator as defined by NIH.
  5. Attach Other Support Page(s) from Principal Investigator’s biosketch
    • Pilot grants support new projects, not extensions or variations of an existing project, and are not for bridge funding of previously funded work.
  6. Provide sufficient detail to demonstrate how proposed pilot grant is a new project and that it does not overlap with existing funded projects from the listed team of investigators.

Application Information
Invited applicants should submit the following materials using the online application no later than 5:00 PM
(no exceptions) on Monday, March 1, 2021:

Each of the following items should be uploaded as PDF documents. (Please avoid scanning text documents to create PDFs.)

  • Title Page
    • Must include title of the proposal
    • PI name, degree(s), title(s) and institution
    • Indicate if PI is a new investigator who has not previously received funding from NIH as PI on a competitive grant
    • Research teams’ names, degrees, titles and institutions
    • Summary/Abstract (500 words maximum)
  • Specific Aims: Maximum one page.
  • Research Strategy: Must include sections for Significance, Innovation, and Approach. Maximum 3 pages.
  • References not included in page limit.
  • Revised applications should include responses from the previous review. Maximum 1 page.
  • Biosketches: Include NIH-style biosketches for key personnel. Please use this template.
    • Biosketch instructions here
  • RB or IACUC Approval Letter OR select “pending” from the drop-down menu on the online form. IRB or IACUC protocols must have been submitted prior to submission of this pilot award application. IRB/IACUC approval for proposals selected for funding must be received by May 15, 2021.
  • Projected budget* using this template. A separate budget page should be submitted for each institution that will incur costs on behalf of this project.
  • Budget Justification

Application formatting:
- Use paper size no larger than 8 ½" x 11”
- Provide at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages
- Font size must be 11 points or larger (smaller text in figures, graphs, diagrams, and charts is acceptable as long as it is legible when the page is viewed at 100%)
- Text color must be black (color text in figures, graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, footnotes, and headings is acceptable)
- The following fonts are acceptable: Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman

Click here for guidance on the Summary/Abstract, Specific Aims, Research Strategy, Budget and Budget

*Funding Limits and Budgeting Requirements

  • Awards involving one institution will be up to $40,000 in total direct costs. Awards involving two or more partner institutions will be up to $50,000 in total direct costs. The total number of awards to be made is variable based on merit, funds requested, and Pilot Program budget; a maximum of  $200,000 will be awarded in this round. Investigators may NOT apply for a no-cost extension. Budgets must be in this format. Please submit one budget page per institution.
  • It is not required that the PI request salary and fringe. If PI salary and fringe are requested, the total salary and fringe cost combined for all faculty members may not exceed 25% of the direct cost budget. The current federal fringe for your home institution should be applied. The NIH salary cap applies.
  • Funds may be requested for salaries for study staff, students, post-doctoral fellows, and other study-related personnel. Funds may also be requested for research lab supplies.
  • Funds for this project may be used for data collection and analysis, research lab supplies, and student/postdoc/staff/technical support that are directly related to the conduct of the research. Costs subject to CAS approval, such as general-purpose equipment, office supplies, etc. may not be charged to this project. Salary support for administrative support is not appropriate.
  • Travel expenses directly related to the performance of the research are allowable. Travel to conferences to present research findings is not allowable.
  • All federal and institutional rules and regulations regarding the administration of grants apply.
  • These pilot funds are federal funds.

Review and Award Process
Each application will be reviewed by at least two reviewers. Proposed research should be focused since funds are only provided for 12 months and no-cost extension is not permitted. Preference will be given to proposals conducted across the Georgia CTSA. Applicants will be notified by early May 2021 if their proposal has been accepted for funding.

Progress Reports and Citation Requirements
Awardees are required to submit periodic progress reports and to cite the Georgia CTSA NIH award number (UL1-TR002378) on all products (publications, patents, presentations) resulting from this award.
For all application questions, please contact: Amy Hurst