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.

Our P&F Program has been markedly successful over the past 6 years.  We have impelled the career development of junior investigators who received most of these awards (70%), launched innovative projects, and enticed established investigators in other areas to apply their expertise to the study of diabetes.  We always have robust responses to our RFAs from our investigator base every year (an average of 43 applications), 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.

The process for applying for the DRC Pilot and Feasibility Grant is meant to mimic, in some ways, the application process for an NIH Grant.  The idea is to give experience and practice for those who haven’t written yet or who have written a few NIH proposals.  Examples of the necessary documents with pertinent UAB specific information are below.  A very thorough Resources section for all of our DRC Cores is in the example.  The UAB Office of Sponsored Programs website, Researcher’s Toolkit has information such as the Finance & Administrative rate agreement (Indirect Cost rate) and Fringe Benefit rates which change frequently.

Office of Sponsored Programs, Researcher’s Toolkit

PHS 398 forms example (doc.)

RFA for Diabetes Pilot Grant Program 2018 (PDF)

Eligibility

Eligibility

In October of every year a campus-wide request for applications (RFA) is sent to 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. Awardees have used P&F funding to develop preliminary data sufficient to pursue larger, more comprehensive funding initiatives.
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

2019 Awardees

2019 Awardees

Principal Investigator

P.I. Department

Project Title

Dollars Awarded

Gowey, Marissa, PhD Med - Pediatrics Identifying cardiometabolic biomarkers of executive dysfunction in children $50,000
Li Li, MD, PhD Psych - Behavioral Neurobiology Characterize Cardiometabolic Risks in Adolescents: Impact of Early Life Stress $50,000
Mehta, Tapan, PhD, MSEE Health Services Administration Cardiometabolic Disease Staging System to Improve Medical Management of Obesity and Diabetes in Primary Care Settings: A Feasibility Study. $50,000
Presley, Caroline, PhD Preventive Medicine Mindfullness, Emotional Distress, and Diabetes Self-management Behaviors in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. $50,000
Ramanadham, Sasanka, PhD
Hunter, Chad, PhD
Wende, Adam, PhD
Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology Linking Novel Lipid-Signaling with Transcriptional Events $50,000

2018 Awardees

2018 Awardees

Principal Investigator

P.I. Department

Project Title

Dollars Awarded

 De Miguel, Carmen, PhD

Medicine/Division of Nephrology

The roles of miR-150 and miR-145 in adipocyte lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis

 $48,000

 Nagareddy, Prabhakara R. PhD

Nutrition Sciences

Mechanisms of S100A8/A9 regulation in  diabetic neutrophils

 $48,000

 Peterson, Courtney, PhD

Nutrition Sciences

Effect of whole fruit on glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes

 $48,000

 Thirumalai, Mohanraj, PhD

Health Services Administration

An artificial intelligence assisted telehealth intervention to promote self-management in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

 $48,000

 Willig, Amanda PhD

Medicine/ Division of Infectious Diseases

Improving the quality of food assistance for people living with HIV and diabetes

 $48,000

2017 Awardees

2017 Awardees

Principal Investigator

P.I. Department

Project Title

Dollars Awarded

Banerjee, Ronadip R., PhD

Medicine - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic β-cell Metabolic Adaptation During Pregnancy

$40,000

Bhatnagar, Sushant, PhD

Medicine - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

The role of C1ql3 secreted protein in insulin secretion from pancreatic islets.

$40,000

Chen, Ching-Yi, PhD

Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics

The roles of miR-150 and miR-145 in adipocyte lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis

$20,000

2016 Awardees

2016 Awardees

Principal Investigator

P.I. Department

Project Title

Dollars Awarded

Shevde-Samant, Lalita, PhD

Pathology

Investigating the nexus of diabetes and Hedgehog signaling in triple-negative breast cancer

$25,000

Xu, Guanlan

Medicine - Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Role of miR-204 in regulating beta cell unfolded protein response and apoptosis in diabetes

$45,000

Yang, Qinglin, PhD

Nutrition Sciences

Define a novel approach preserving pancreatic beta-cells in diabetes

$45,000

Goss, Amy Miskimon, PhD, RD

Nutrition Sciences

Carbohydrate restricted diet to reverse fatty liver in adolescents with obesity

$45,000