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New Round of Pilot Project LOIs due 10/26/20

September 21, 2020 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.

Request for Pilot Project Letters of Intent – Round 5, 2021 (PDF Instructions)

Northern New England Clinical & Translational Research Network

NIH IDeA-CTR (1U54GM115516-01)

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

To submit a pilot project LOI, the Principal Investigator and entire project team must be registered with NNE-CTR. Registration link is on the NNE-CTR website, click the “Join Us” button on the home page  or

Due October 26, 2020 by 5:00 pm

Letters of Intent (LOI) must be uploaded via the online Submission Form:

Part 1.    The online Submission Form (link above) requests the following information:

·         Name of Principal Investigator, email and affiliation (UVM, MMC, or other)
·         Proposal’s area of focus (i.e., opioid, cancer, rural health, cardiovascular)
·         If proposal is a re-submission
·         Institution(s) involved in current submission
·         If Research Navigation has been/will be used
·         Key Personnel
·         Desired resources and services

Part 2.    Letter of Intent (uploaded as a Word or PDF document at the end of the Submission Form)

               Must include:

·         Name of Principal Investigator, email and affiliation (UVM, MMC, USM or other)
·         Title of proposal
·         Proposal Team
·         Brief statement of rationale for study, and hypothesis to be tested
·         Specific Aims of Study (Remember this is a one-year project, be realistic as to completion)
·         For each Aim, indicate an approach and outcome 
·         Impact or Deliverables

Principal Investigators will be notified by email the week of November 9, 2020 with further directions regarding a full proposal submission.

The full Pilot Project application will be due January 18, 2021

Description of Pilot Project Program (PPP) Award:

Proposal Expectations

Proposals should have a highly significant impact through novel approaches that can ultimately improve healthcare to at-risk populations. Pre-clinical and clinical translational proposals that are related to the mission of the NNE-CTR are also welcome. The 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

Pilot Project Program Research Awards

No salary support for the Principal Investigator, or anyone with a UVM, MMC, or other institutional faculty appointment, is permitted.

Projects should be designed to produce publishable results and to provide preliminary data for an extramural grant application. We encourage proposals that involve collaborations between investigators at the participating institutions (MMC, UVM and USM), between basic scientists and clinical investigators, or between population health scientists and community practitioners. Development of multidisciplinary teams is encouraged. Research teams can request up to $50,000 direct costs. 

Eligibility Requirements for Awards

·         At least one member of the team must hold a faculty (or affiliation) appointment at MMC, UVM 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 a Pilot Project Research Award, they must have an affiliation appointment and/or a collaborating partner/academic researcher from UVM, MMC, or USM.

·         The PI and project team must be registered with the NNE-CTR,

Criteria for selection

Full 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 review criteria:

·         Responsiveness to the program announcement for clinical and/or translational research related to healthcare 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
·         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 extramural funding 

Awardee Requirements

Awardees of the 2021 Pilot Projects Program are expected to adhere to the following requirements: 

·       Participate in meetings: quarterly with PPP Directors to assure operational procedures are running smoothly.
·         Present 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 videoconference with NIH.
·         Present a poster at the annual NIH IDeA Symposium, and a platform talk, if invited.
·         Respond to questionnaires and surveys from the NNE-CTR 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 (U54GM115516) 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).