Pilot and Feasibility Program

About the Program

Our DRC emphasizes the pilot and feasibility grant program as an important mechanism to augment diabetes research and promote the next generation of research leaders. The P&F process taps a rich tradition of such programs at UAB. University-wide centers have long provided pilot funding opportunities to junior faculty and to senior faculty entering new areas of research. The P&F program will foster new research programs in diabetes and support a broad base of basic, clinical, translational, and prevention and control projects.


Proposals are rigorously peer reviewed to ensure high quality and adherence to eligibility requirements.Yearly campus-wide invitations will seek proposals from (i) junior investigators; (ii) established investigators in fields other than diabetes research that seek to bring expertise to issues relevant for diabetes for the first time; (iii) investigators in diabetes-related research who propose high-impact/high-risk projects to test truly innovative ideas that clearly depart from ongoing research interests; and (iv) a special category for multidisciplinary projects, added in part by leveraging institutional support for pilot projects that involve both basic and clinical scientists who combine efforts in "translational" research protocols. We want faculty members to use P&F funding to develop preliminary data sufficient to pursue larger, more comprehensive funding initiatives. Thus, the P&F process and ongoing oversight of funded projects will assist P&F investigators in hypothesis development, research progress, and formulation of research design for external funding applications. To facilitate new research development through pilot projects that synergize with other cores and programs and promote overall DRC goals and objectives, our aims are to:

  1. Identify and support new outstanding and innovative research projects for pilot funding, intending that resulting data will facilitate larger longer-term extramural support and develop news line of investigation.
  2. Support promising junior faculty in career development through funding of outstanding pilot research. 
  3. Augment the breadth and quality of DRC research through highly innovative projects of established researchers in fields other than diabetes who bring valuable expertise to the study of diabetes, or of established diabetes investigators testing new high-impact hypotheses distinct from their usual investigation.
  4. Increase the number of independent investigators funded by NIH to conduct diabetes research.