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New Round of Pilot Project LOIs due 11/19/18

October 22, 2018 by Jennifer Smith

The Pilot Project Program of the Northern New England Clinical & Translational Research Network announces a request for Letters of Intent (LOIs) for potential study funding. These one-year grants will be awarded to proposals that have a highly significant impact through novel approaches that can ultimately improve healthcare to at-risk populations. The NNE-CTR is particularly interested in pilot studies addressing: addiction medicine, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and healthcare issues relevant to rural and aging communities.

The Northern New England Clinical & Translational Research Network is announcing a request for pilot project Letters of Intent! New this round is an online form for LOI submissions beginning Friday, October 26. LOIs will be accepted until November 19, 2018 at 5:00pm. 

Step 1

In order to submit a pilot project LOI, the Principal Investigator must be registered with the NNE-CTR. Registration is available through the NNE-CTR web site, using the “Join Us” link on the home page or by following this link:

Step 2

Before accessing the online submission form, be prepared to answer and/or attach the following LOI Components:

  • Name of Principal Investigator and indicate affiliation (UVM, MMC, or other)
  • Proposal’s area of healthcare (see below for areas of particular interest)
  • If proposal was previously submitted
  • Institution(s) involved in current submission
  • If Research Navigation has been/will be used
  • Key Personnel
  • Core involvement (See NNE-CTR home page for descriptions
  • LOI must be uploaded (Word or pdf)

o At top of document: Name, email and affiliation of PI, and proposal title

o Brief statement of rationale for study, and hypothesis to be tested.

o Aims of Study. Remember this is a one year project, be realistic as to completion.

o Indicate for each Aim, the question being addressed, approach you are using, and outcome.

o Impact or Deliverables (or what else you would like us to know).

(Link to form is posted at the bottom of this announcement.)

Principal Investigators submitting an LOI will be notified by email on December 3, 2018 whether or not to submit a full proposal. The full pilot project proposal will be due January 18, 2019 by 5:00pm.


Description of Pilot Project Program (PPP) Award. 

Proposal Expectations:

Awards will have a highly significant impact through novel approaches that can ultimately improve health care to at-risk populations. Pre-clinical and clinical translational proposals that are related to the mission of the NNE-CTR are also welcome. NNE-CTR is particularly interested in pilot studies addressing questions related to:

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease (including affected by obesity and diabetes)
  • Research that addresses health care issues relevant to rural and aging communities 

For questions related to your proposal topic, contact: or 802-656-4872.

Pilot Project Program Research Awards

Proposals may request up to $50K in direct costs for a one-year award. Salary support is not permitted for the Principal Investigator, or anyone with a UVM or MMC faculty appointment.

Projects should be designed to produce publishable results and to provide preliminary data for an external grant application. We encourage proposals that involve collaborations between investigators at the participating institutions (UVM, MMC and USM), between basic scientists and clinical investigators, and/or between population health scientists and community practitioners. Development of multidisciplinary teams is encouraged. 

Eligibility Requirements for Awards

  • At least one member of the team must hold a faculty or affiliation appointment at UVM, MMC or USM. Junior faculty are encouraged to apply, but must involve a senior mentor in the application. Trainees (residents, fellows, postdocs) are not eligible to be the Principal Investigator of a pilot project, but may be a member of the research team.
  • For senior faculty with established research extending into NNE-CTR with a community-based physician, the research must be distinct from their currently funded projects.
  • For community-based physicians to be eligible for Pilot Project Research Awards, they must have an affiliation appointment and/or a collaborating partner/academic researcher from either UVM or MMC.
  • The PI must be registered with the NNE-CTR, (see the “Join Us” button)

Criteria for selection

Applications will be reviewed by a Pilot Project Program Advisory Committee with participating members in the NNE-CTR network from Maine, Vermont and collaborating health network organizations in New Hampshire, plus selected additional expert reviewers, using the following criteria:

  • Responsiveness to the program announcement for clinical and/or translational research related to health care problems of regional communities in northern New England
  • Scientific soundness of the experimental design, including plans for data/statistical analysis
  • Use of Core resources available through NNE-CTR (See home page for descriptions
  • Innovation and Significance
  • Training and expertise of the co-investigators and their ability to perform the proposed research; and for junior faculty, the expertise of their mentor
  • Project environment, including facilities and adequacy of patient population
  • Likelihood that the project will lead to external funding 

Awardee Requirements

Awardees of the 2019 Pilot Projects Program are expected to adhere to the following requirements:

  • Participate in meetings: quarterly conferences for newly funded grantees with PPP Directors to assure operational procedures are running smoothly.
  • Submit a progress report at 6 and 12 months, and present near the end of the first year the project and results in the NNE- translational research seminar series, and in a conference call with NIH.
  • Present a poster at the annual NIH IDeA Symposium and a talk, if invited.
  • Respond to questionnaires and surveys from the Tracking & Evaluation Core.
  • Complete an NNE-CTR survey at the end of the funding year.
  • Report all presentations, publications, and extramural funding that arise from the Pilot Project Award and acknowledge sponsorship from NNE-CTR supported by the IDeA-CTR (1U54GM115516-01) in all publications resulting from proposed studies. All publications must be compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy (including ensuring submission of publications to PubMed Central and obtaining a PMCID number).

Link to online LOI Submitting form:

Questions can be directed to:

Jane Lian,
Jennifer Smith (UVM),
Meredith Oestreicher (MMC)

Pilot Project Program Directors: Jane B. Lian (UVM) and Douglas B. Sawyer (MMC)

Northern New England Clinical & Translational Research Network
NIH IDeA-CTR (1U54GM115516-01)

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