Pilot & Feasibility Program

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Pilot & Feasibility Program

Anthony McCall, MD, PhD, Chair

Program Overview

The goal of the Pilot and Feasibility Program of the DERC is to encourage investigators to pursue and develop critical scientific questions in diabetes.  Towards this goal, the DERC provides research funds to new investigators for scientific studies related to the field of diabetes and/or endocrinology.  The funding mechanism is also available to senior investigators whose research has not focused towards diabetes, its pathogenesis or complications, who wish to expand their research field and focus some of their research skills on diabetes.  The awarding of pilot and feasibility grants is based upon the scientific merit of the investigator's proposal as evaluated by the DERC Pilot and Feasibility Committee chaired by Dr. Tony McCall, and importantly by scientists outside of the University with recognized expertise in the relevant field.

It is the expectation of the DERC that the successful applicants will produce and publish data stemming from the studies supported by the DERC.

The Pilot and Feasibility Committee evaluates progress on studies after the first six months of funding with the aim of assisting the investigators in accomplishing their goals by constructive advice and consultation.  Furthermore, we encourage pilot and feasibility awardees to continue their studies by applying for external funding for the project once preliminary data has been gathered.

In the first year we funded a total of 4 proposals at $50,000 each.  Budget cuts now make the upper limit on new proposals $48,500.  The grants may be of one or two years duration, with projects receiving a second year of support contingent upon documented progress as assessed by the Pilot & Feasibilty Committee. No project will receive support beyond year 2 and investigators are only eligible for support one time. 

Pilot and Feasibility Committee

The committee is chaired by Anthony McCall and serves the following functions:

  • advises the DERC Director and Associate Directors regarding the dissemination of information about the Pilot Feasibility program
  • conducts a preliminary review of all applications to assess scientific quality and the appropriateness of proposed work to the goals of the Center, advising investigators on revisions
  • decides which applications should be referred for external review
  • reviews comments of external reviewers and forwards funding recommendations to the DERC Executive Committee (see Administrative Core)