CPCE pilot grant program

Pilot Grant Program

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CPCE offers awards twice each year through its Pilot Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to promote and support CHOP investigators in clinical effectiveness pilot research studies that will attract external support for large-scale studies. Fellows and junior faculty from all CHOP departments and divisions, particularly fellows in their final year of fellowship transitioning to a faculty position at CHOP, are encouraged to apply to the Pilot Grant Program. Selected proposals will be supported for up to a maximum of $10,000 for one year. Projects should be able to be completed within one year.


Application Deadlines: Early-April and early-October

Anticipated Award Announcements: May 1st (for Spring cycle)

November 1st (for Fall cycle)

Anticipated Project Periods: June 1 – May 31 (for Spring awards)

December 1 – November 30 (for Fall awards)

Important Eligibility Notes:

1) Only proposals meeting the following definitions will be reviewed and considered for award.

Clinical Effectiveness Research is research designed to produce evidence of what works best for treating, diagnosing and preventing disease.

We are also interested in Qualitative Research that can inform Clinical Effectiveness Research. Descriptive studies need to clearly state how they will inform future CER studies.

A Pilot Study is a small study, conducted in preparation for the larger research study, in which study feasibility is tested and preliminary data are collected.

2) Studies already in progress or partially funded will not be supported.

3) Re-submissions are by invitation only. We will notify you if your submission qualifies to be resubmitted for a future funding cycle.

4) The review process will consist of two rounds. Round one will determine if your proposal meets the definition of clinical effectiveness pilot study and is of sufficient quality for further review. ONLY PROPOSALS THAT QUALIFY FOR THE SECOND ROUND WILL BE CRITIQUED AND SCORED.


Application and Submission Process:

Please submit proposals in NIH format to include project summary/abstract, specific aims, and a research strategy section which includes significance, innovation and approach. (5 page maximum)

Proposals must also include a cover page, an investigator biosketch in NIH format and project budget, budget justification, and references. (not included in 5 page maximum)

Budgets must be reviewed by your business manager prior to submission.

Funding may not be used for investigator salary support. Staff salaries are allowable budget items.

Please submit the proposal as a single Word document via email to Holly Burnside, at burnsideh@email.cburnsideh [at] email.chop.edu (hop.edu) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the deadline date.


Review Process and Selection Criteria

As detailed above, the review process will consist of two rounds. Applications meeting the definitions (above) for pilot clinical effectiveness research studies, and judged by the Pilot Grant Steering Committee to be of sufficient quality for further review, will be assigned to a reviewer, critiqued and scored. Reviewers will meet in a study section to discuss the merits and limitations of the competing proposals and to determine the awardee(s). All applicants whose proposals qualify for round two will receive a copy of reviewers' comments and score. Those applications that do not qualify for round two will be returned to the applicant without further review, critique or score.


The following criteria will be used to score the proposals. They are adapted from NIH Study Section Criteria.


Significance of Study: Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field?

Approach: Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?

Likelihood of Impact of Clinical Effectiveness: If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Appropriateness of Budget: Is the proposed budget and period of support appropriate in relation to the proposed research?

Likelihood of Future Research: If the aims of the project are achieved, will the results lend themselves to future research?

Innovation: Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

The above criteria will be scored on a scale from 1 (high impact) to 9 (low impact).


Common Pitfalls of Past CPCE Pilot Grant Applications:

Failure to anticipate difficulties or address limitations

Uncertainty regarding future direction or funding

Incomplete significance section; failure to adequately describe rationale

Overambitious for pilot study; unrealistic timeline

(Budget) Underestimate of biostatistical support needed to complete aims

Although projects may be funded up to a maximum of $10,000 priority will be given to those projects that include a prudent spending plan. CPCE will attempt to fund all requested budgets in full, but may elect to partially fund certain protocols in order to increase the number of funded proposals.



Principal investigators must submit a report at the end of the grant period for review by the Pilot Grant Program steering committee. The reports should include progress, expenditures and plans for disseminating results. Subsequent reports will be requested to include publications and extramural funding resulting from the research.

Funds unspent at the end of the one-year grant period will be returned to CPCE. However, requests for rollover of funds for an additional year will be considered with adequate justification. We are very excited about the opportunity to support fellows and junior faculty who are interested in advancing CPCE's goals.


Please contact Holly Burnside at burnsideh@email.chop.edu with any questions about the CPCE Pilot Grant Program or submission process.

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