Translational Pilot Studies 2016/17

What: Seed grants for pilot studies that encourage clinical-translational research

For: Up to $50,000 in direct costs

Who: full-time UB faculty or with affiliated Buffalo Translational Consortium institution

Due: Letter of Intent by 2:00 PM, Oct. 20, 2016 (Full applications are by invitation only and due Dec. 20)

Send to: 

Grant Information

The Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) looks for pilot studies that:

  • Use novel methodologies and technologies yielding generalizable solutions, which could be translated to a clinical setting; and
  • Maximize innovative, multidisciplinary clinical and translational research at UB and affiliated BTC institutions.

We focus on projects that:

  1. Allow clinical and translational researchers to generate preliminary data for submission of extramural federal and private research grant applications;
  2. Seek to improve clinical design, biostatistics, clinical research ethics, informatics, or regulatory pathways; and/or 
  3. Support the design, development, and/or validation of novel, clinically applicable devices, biomarkers, and analytical methods, and other avenues as defined by the applicant that will advance clinical and translational research.

Priority consideration goes to those applications that:

  • Address healthcare disparities in under-served or under-represented populations in the Western NY region;
  • Pair “early stage” (by NIH definition) investigators with established investigators (i.e., PIs who have a history of substantive extramural research funding), thus providing a built-in mentoring system; 
  • Promote multidisciplinary collaborations.

Research that addresses healthcare disparities can be implemented across all levels of analysis, including examples such as understanding genetic or epigenetic effects on healthcare disparities, through biological and neurobiological influences on healthcare disparities, individual differences in response to drugs that may explain differential health benefits to new or commonly used pharmacological interventions, or developing unique programs that address healthcare disparities or underrepresented populations in Western New York.

In addition, proposals that will advance ways in which creativity and innovation can be stimulated, fostered and augmented in the design and conduct of clinical-translational research will be entertained.

Funding details

The CTSA and institutional funds support these pilot studies. They are intended for one year's duration, from April/May 2017 through March/April 2018.

Budget: Maximum of $50,000 in direct costs.

Not allowed:

  • indirect costs 
  • faculty salaries/fringe
  • tuition


You must 1) be a full-time faculty member at UB or affiliated Buffalo Translational Consortium institution; and 2) agree, if called upon, to serve as a reviewer of proposals submitted for this or future rounds of pilot studies funding.

Letters of Intent

Application for Pilot Studies funding involves a two-tiered process:

  1. Submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI), and
  2. Submission of a full proposal (if invited to do so, following review of LOIs).

Submission of Letters of Intent - Two-page limit:

  • First page:
    • Provide succinct title for the proposal, and
    • list the names, degrees and institutional affiliations of all investigators involved in the project;
  • Second page:
    • provide a succinct abstract of the proposal, summarizing what the project entails;
    • a clear statement of the translational significance of the project, the expected outcomes, and the potential applications of those outcomes; and
    • how the pilot study will lead to substantive extramural funding (e.g.,. an NIH RO1, R21, or comparable grant).

Due Date: Oct. 20, 2016, no later than 2:00 PM.

Submit as a  PDF; use Arial, 11- point font, single-spaced text; 0.5-inch margins.

Email to:

Subject Line: LOI CTSA Pilot Studies Fall 2016.

All submitters will be notified in early November with a decision as to whether or not their proposals have been chosen to move forward to the second tier of application submission. Submission of full applications by invitation only.  

Application review process

Applications will be rated using the following criteria:

  1. scientific merit and innovation
  2. clinical significance and translational impact on the field
  3. potential for securing extramural funding
  4. realistic milestones and feasibility of completion within one year
  5. rationale and utilization of proposed budget
  6. [for revised proposals] compelling arguments addressing the prior critiques.

No clinical trials beyond phase IIA will be supported by this CTSA program

Application format

Project Description: Arial, 11-point font, single-spaced text; 0.5-inch margins


  1. Page 1: a) Project Title; b) Names/degrees of all project investigators and their institutional affiliations; c) Abstract (300 word max); and d) five key words relevant to the research topic
  2. Pages 2-5 (limit 4 pages max): a) Specific Aims; b) Background and Significance of the project (which should include the clinical-translational relevance and potential impact on the field); c) a brief overview of Approach (avoid minutiae of methods and jargon); and d) study timeline with specific milestones to be accomplished and role of pilot study in securing extramural funding for a larger, forward-going project. Additional information (no page limit, but be concise):
  3. References
  4. Budget - maximum allowable: $50,000 direct costs; there are no indirect costs
    • IMPORTANT: All costs needed for project must follow the Uniform Guidance Cost Principles and must be allowable, reasonable, allocable and consistent.
    • Faculty salaries/fringe and tuition are not allowable expenses on the pilot awards.
  5. A current NIH-style biosketch for each Investigator (5-page limit per biosketch). The personal statements should make clear the role of each investigator on the project.
  6. Appendix [If applicable]: A copy of the critiques from the prior review of your submitted proposal.

NOTE: Appendices, other than funding agency reviews, are not allowed and will not be reviewed if attached. 

**Assemble all documents into a single PDF

NOTE: If a similar proposal has been reviewed and scored, but not funded, by an external funding agency, you also are invited to apply, provided your proposal meets the criteria stipulated above. In such a case, you must include a copy of the reviews (complete summary statement) as an Appendix at the end of the proposal.

Application submission

Submission of full applications is by invitation only

Due Date: DEC. 20, 2016, no later than 2:00 PM

Email subject line: CTSA Pilot Studies 2017

Submit a single pdf to:

NOTE: If a similar proposal has been reviewed and scored, but not funded, by an external funding agency, you also are invited to apply, provided your proposal meets the criteria stipulated above. In such a case, you must include a copy of the reviews (complete summary statement) as an Appendix at the end of the proposal.