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DRC Pilot grant funding has been markedly successful since our inception in 2008. We impel the career development of junior investigators who received most of these awards (70%), launch innovative projects, and entice established investigators in other areas to apply their expertise to the study of diabetes. We always have robust responses to our RFA from our investigator base every year (average 43), and have leveraged institutional support to fund numbers of grants beyond that made possible by NIH support; 48 pilots have been awarded to-date, 35 from the NIH DRC allocation, 4 from institutional funds through the Comprehensive Diabetes Center, and 9 through ARRA supplements.

All funded applications are judged to be highly meritorious by a rigorous NIH study section-style review process consisting of intramural and extramural experts with an average funding rate of 18%. The recipients take advantage of these awards by publishing manuscripts, submitting extramural research applications, and securing larger funding to continue the line of investigation initiated with the pilot award. The pilot program is a critical tool responsible for growth in membership numbers and extramural funding of our DRC.

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