Detailed Description of Pilot and Feasibility Program - Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research

Overview: The Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Program of the Duke O'Brien Center for Kidney Research (DOCK) is designed to enhance the ability of investigators to explore the Center's areas of emphasis as well as to increase the number of investigators working to solve biological and patient care issues related to the complex interplay of kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. The Program supports applicants from the biomedical research community and provides support for a limited time (one to two years) to selected applicants who meet eligibility criteria.

Grant submission due date: Please check back for updates on the 2017-2018 awards.

Eligibility requirements: The Duke O'Brien Center P&F projects are intended either to provide initial support for new investigators working in the Center's areas of emphasis, to allow exploration of innovative new directions by established investigators in our thematic area or to stimulate investigators from other areas to apply their expertise to links between kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Accordingly, eligible investigators will generally fall into the 3 categories:

(1) early stage investigators without current or past NIH research support (R01, P01) as a project director/principal investigator (current or past support from other sources should be modest);
(2) established investigators with no previous work in kidney disease who wish to apply their expertise to a problem in this area; and
(3) established investigators who propose testing innovative ideas that represent clear departure from ongoing research interests.

To be eligible, investigators must also have faculty appointments and be independent researchers. The program is not designed to either provide support for postdoctoral fellows or their equivalent or to supplement the ongoing funded research of an established investigator.

Project support: P&F Projects are awarded for one year with an opportunity for a one-year renewal (total of 2 years of funding). Solicitations for these proposals are circulated prior to the submission deadline on the last business day in April. Applicants applying for a second year of funding are required to submit the request for a second year of support by the application deadline and their requests will be reviewed competitively with the new applications.

Application format: The application consists of a 4-page proposal as well as a NIH-style Biosketch and a 1-page budget. New investigators are also required to submit a letter from their mentor outlining the mentor's career development plan. The 4-page proposal should include a project title, abstract, specific aims, background and research plan, key references and proposed use of the Center's Core(s). Applicants should also include their contact information as well as indicate their eligibility category and how the proposal relates to the scientific themes of the DOCK. Renewal applications should include a description of progress, a detailed plan for the studies proposed, and justification for continuation. These applications are reviewed with the new applications during the P&F Review Meeting and are awarded based on scientific merit and demonstrated progress during the first year of the award. The 4-page grant application, a NIH style Biosketch, a 1-page budget and the mentor's letter (if required) should be submitted by end of the business day on stated deadline.

Please send application to:
Robert Spurney, MD
DOCK Pilot and Feasibility Program Director
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Review Process: After confirming eligibility, applications will be reviewed by the DOCK's Administrative Core and assigned to internal reviewers within the Duke biomedical research community as well as members of the DOCK's External Advisory Board based on scientific expertise. Projects are awarded primarily on the basis of scientific merit. Special consideration will be given to projects that maximize use of the Center's Research Cores. Additional criteria include the likelihood that the project will lead to extramural funding. For renewal projects, reviewers will also consider demonstrated progress during the first year of the award.

NIH Biosketch Form