Pilot Projects Program

Our Call for Pilot Project Proposals for Round 8 is now closed.

Pilot Project Awards provide one year of seed funding for initiation of preclinical, clinical, or translational research that has the potential to impact health or healthcare in our region. Advance your careers with research & professional development support through our Pilot Projects Program!


6/30 - Call for Letters of Intent opens

7/14 - General Information Session on Application Process

8/01 - Letters of Intent deadline

9/01 - Acceptance notification/invitation to submit full proposal application

9/29 - Q&A Workshop for applicants on budget and other forms

11/01 - Full application submission deadline

2/26/24 - Recommendations for Funding Announced

3/08/24 - Meeting w/Project Leads who are recommended for funding (to discuss next steps, regulatory approvals, etc)

6/15/24 - Regulatory approvals and other JIT materials due

7/01/24 - Intended Project Start Date, subject to regulatory and NIGMS approval


About the NNE-CTR Pilot Project Awards

  • Pilot Project Awards provide one year of seed funding for initiation of preclinical, clinical, or translational research that has the potential to impact health or healthcare in our region.
  • We encourage proposals that involve collaborations between institutions, specialties, and communities.
  • All PIs on the application must be registered with the NNE-CTR. (Need to become a member? Learn more about membership and sign up here!)

Click here for Application Materials and How-To Guides

Considering a pilot project? Then consider this ...


Climate and Mental Health

Climate events have a profound effect on mental health. While the NNE-CTR has a history of supporting a range of projects from cell biology to public health initiatives, we encourage pilot project proposals that examine the intersection of the changing climate and mental health.

Collaboration is Key

Broad collaborations, particularly across our three-state area, are helpful in your pilot project application. It's never too early to start collaborating, and we're happy to help you build your team. Just contact Sheila Clifford-Bova, Program Manager, NNE-CTR. 


What We Do

Our Pilot Projects are designed to stimulate new collaborations and multidisciplinary partnerships between laboratory scientists, physician investigators, and rural practitioners looking to begin a career in clinical and translational research. We provide funding and professional support for clinical and translational research, from project development through completion, for NNE-CTR members. Our core leads play a pivotal role in assisting investigators throughout the Pilot Project cycle, such as:

  • Serving as your first point of contact for inquiries about the program
  • Connecting you with one of our experienced Research Navigators to help guide you through ideation, design, application process, IRB & IACUC process, and the actual project itself
  • Monthly check in meetings between awardees and our core leads and navigators to ensure you are progressing smoothly
  • Arranging research progress presentations for awardees to present to our core leads and navigators
  • Collection of data throughout the process to produce a final report and analysis for the Administrative Core
  • Connecting you to other NNE-CTR initiatives as appropriate

Our Team

RobKoza pic_tif (002)Rob Koza
Core Lead

Janet Stein headshot

Janet Stein, PhD
University of Vermont
Core Co-Lead

How to Apply:

Access application materials, examples, and guidelines on our application page.


Meet Past Awardees:



Please email us with any questions or for assistance accessing services.

Become a Member

Applicants are required to register as NNE-CTR members in order to be eligible for a pilot award. Learn more about the free benefits of membership, and join today!

NNE-CTR Pilot Project Information Session 7/14/2023

Click the link above to view the Pilot Project Information Session hosted by Core Leads Dr. Rob Koza and Dr. Janet Stein. Interested pilot project applicants attended to learn about the Pilot Project Proposal Process, requirements and tips for submitting a Letter of Intent, and some of the eligibility requirements and budgetary guidelines involved in our pilot project process.


NNE-CTR Pilot Project Navigator Training Session 8/2023

Click the link above to view the Pilot Project Navigator Training Session hosted by Core Leads Kimberly Luebbers and Susan Santangelo. The session focuses on the regulatory requirements involved in pilot project grants (based on NIH guidelines), and is beneficial both to our NNE-CTR navigators and analysts as core service providers to our members, but also to pilot project applicants if they want to learn more about the application requirements.


NNE-CTR Full Application Workshop 9/2023

Click the link above to view the Pilot Project and Joint Catalyst Award Full Application Workshop hosted by Pilot Project Core Leads Dr. Rob Koza (MH) and Dr. Janet Stein (UVM LCOM). The session introduced Round 8 applicants to the NNE-CTR Service Core Leads and Team Members, who stand ready to assist investigators in creating fundable applications for our grant awards. A walk through of the full application process then followed, with a robust Q&A.  Link Round 8 Pilot Project/Joint Catalyst Award Applicant Workshop for the Slide Deck, and on the Title Above to view the workshop recording.