Pilot Project Grant Opportunity

Applications are currently being sought by the Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer's Disease Center (CNADC) for two Pilot Project grants. The application deadline is February 3, 2014.  Please feel free to pass along the attached announcement to colleagues as appropriate.

NOTE:  All NU Faculty are eligible.  Postdoctoral fellows are also eligible with a letter from their mentor supporting the application and confirming the time and resource commitment. 

For complete instructions, please see the attached PDF file, or read below:

2014 Pilot Project Announcement


The proposed research project must be in some area relevant to understanding Alzheimer’s disease, other demen­tias or cognitive aging. The Principal Investigator must hold a faculty or research appointment, or be a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. Students, residents and postdoctoral fellows supported by an NRSA or training grant are not eligible for these awards. The Pilot Project application is similar to the Alzheimer’s Association New Investigator Award and the Illinois Department of Public Health Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund Grants. Simi­lar submissions are encouraged.

Amount and Duration: 

Pilot grants will typically be limited to one year of support, beginning July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2015. Projects with meritorious progress can apply for a second year of funding. The maximum level of support will be $30,000 in direct costs annually. No indirect costs will be provided as part of the awards. Any one investigator will be eligible only once for pilot project support unless a convincing case can be made that the proposed pilot project constitutes a significant departure from the previous pilot project funded through the ADCC. Proposals selected by the internal review committee will be forwarded to the NIA. Funding is dependent on NIA approval.

It is anticipated that two $30,000 Pilot Research Projects will be funded.

Application Deadline:

Applications are due on February 3, 2014. Formal IRB or ACUC approval will be required before projects can begin. Alzheimer’s Association applications are due October 30, 2013; Illinois Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fund Grants applications are due January 17, 2014. Application guidelines for all three grants are similar and we encour­age multiple submissions

Application Format: (*Please note PHS398 (Rev. 8/12) must be used; text must be in Arial 11 pt font)

A shortened version of the standard NIH PHS 398 form (Rev. 8/12) should be used and submitted electronically at the review stage. You do not need to submit your application to OSR. (Once proposals are chosen for submission to the NIA, both electronic and hard copy versions are required, including applicable signatures from PI and the Of- fice of Sponsored Research at Northwestern University. If a new electronic process is required selected applicants will be notified).

Applications must adhere to all NIH formatting guidelines. Please include:

1. Face Page
2. Abstract Page, (with a brief abstract, performance site and key personnel)
3. Budget for the 12-month pilot project (not in modular budget format)
4. Budget Justification
5. Biographical Sketches (4-page NIH-style for key personnel)
6. Other Support (list current support; specify overlap of the pilot proposal with other ongoing support, or submitted or planned applications)
7. Resources and Environment (relevant to the Pilot project)
8. Research Plan: Specific Aims, Background & Significance, Research Design & Methods, Literature (Maximum Research Plan length is 5 pages, including figures and references)
9. Human Subjects or Vertebrate Animals

(Maximum Research Plan length is 5 pages, including figures and references)

**FOR POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS ONLY: You must also include with your application a letter from your Men­tor supporting the application and confirming the time and resource commitment. If you are on a visa, proof that your visa extends through the duration of the project period will be required. You cannot be supported by a National Service Research Award (NRSA) or an NIH Training Grant and CNADC Pilot Project grant simultaneously.  You must also get approval from Rex Chisholm, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research to be a principal investigator.

Electronic versions of the form pages can be downloaded at http://www.research.northwestern.edu/research/osr/forms.html

Junior investigators, who require initial support in order to obtain feasibility data for future R01-type applications. Established investigators (testing a new hypothesis or methodology that is not an extension of ongoing research or is a high-risk new project not currently supported by their current grant support). Established investigators in other fields (who wish to bring novel approaches to AD/dementia/aging research).

Review Criteria:

Target categories for support:

1. Significance to the field
2. Scientific merit and experimental design
3. Use of subjects and/or tissue from the Clinical and/or Neuropathology Cores of the Northwestern Alzheimer’s Disease Center
4. Appropriateness of proposed research time schedule
5. Appropriateness of proposed budget
6. Probability that the pilot project will lead to independent funding

Reporting Requirements:

Grantees will be required to summarize their research progress in April, 2015. A final research and expenditures report will be required in October, 2015. Pilot grant awardees will be expected to present a poster summarizing their grant progress during Alzheimer’s Day in May, 2015. Investigators should acknowledge Northwestern Alzheimer’s Disease Center support and grant number PHS AG13854 on any publications resulting from pilot grant support.

Please submit completed applications in electronic form to:


Further information on the Pilot Grant program can be obtained from Dr. John Disterhoft at: Telephone: 312-503-7982 E-mail: jdisterhoft@northwestern.edu