Pilot Grant RFA

LOI submission window is closed for FY21-22

AY 21-22 RFA


The goals of the CCTS Pilot Grant Program are:

  • to foster outstanding new clinical and translational research at UIC by supporting the development of preliminary data that can be used to launch new NIH or other externally-funded research proposals;
  • to encourage interdisciplinary teams of investigators that spans across Colleges and campus to develop collaborations or new research avenues;
  • to promote interactions between basic and clinical scientists; and
  • to support research collaborations with community partners and organizations.

This program focuses on clinical and translational research, and as such, all applications must involve human subjects, facilitate human subject investigations, establish infrastructure related to human subject investigation, or concern disease mechanisms with clear, near term implications for therapeutics or prevention. Pilot funding aims to support several aspects of the collaboration that will lead to a successful, extramurally funded research programs.

Aspects include but are not limited to:

  • proof of principle studies for new methodologies;
  • feasibility studies for patient recruitment;
  • measurement validation studies;
  • pilot intervention studies to inform sample size and power estimation;
  • establishment of collaborative community partnerships;
  • development of new technologies to address a clinical research problem;
  • improvements in biomedical informatics architecture and/or delivery of services,
  • new methods for structuring or analyzing data sets; and
  • stimulating child clinical research.

Note: Pilot funds cannot be used for clinical trials.

Priority Areas

Although applications are welcome in the broad domains of clinical translational research, we are especially interested in applications covering the following priority areas for Fall 2021 funding:

  • Projects directly addressing studies to understand the mechanisms of disease underlying Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or factors related distinguishing PASC+ from PASC- among SARS-CoC-2 infected patients
  • Projects directly addressing issues relevant to pandemic prevention/response/mitigation by supporting rapid response research questions
  • Innovations in chronic pain management (including pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches especially to reduce opioid use. (see NIH HEAL initiative)
  • Health disparities/health equity
  • Health issues related to homelessness
  • Innovative Implementation Science. Implementation methods promote the uptake of research findings into routine healthcare in clinical or policy contexts
  • Projects linking patient data to Chicago Health Atlasdata and Healthy Chicago 2.0
  • Projects that leverages Healthy Chicago 2025 priorities
  • Studies on methods to improve the clinical translational research process
  • Projects grounded in bidirectional community-based participation
  • Child health research

Application Process

Pilot grants can be up to 2 years in duration ($30,000 each year, with second year funding contingent upon progress made during Year 1) and focus specifically on activities needed to prepare competitive NIH grant proposals.

Grant Application Process:

  • CLOSED: Phase 1)  Letter of intent with proposal abstract.  The review committee will review and score these; a selected group will then be invited to submit for Phase 2.
  • Phase 2)  Full Application to be submitted only by those invited from Phase 1.


Contact Mary Campbell at mcampb22@uic.edu.


  • Letter of Intent Submission Deadline: Friday, August 27, 2021 by 5:00PM CST
  • Invitation to submit Full Application: Anticipated- September 27, 2021
  • Full Applications Due: Wednesday, November 22, 2021 by 5:00PM CST
  • Notice of Award Sent: Anticipated- January 7, 2022
  • Pilot Award Start Date: January 16, 2022