Apply for the 2021 Center on Aging Pilot Grant

RFA for Pilot Project Grants and Submission Guidelines
2021-2022 Funding Cycle

Submit an Application

Key Dates

RFA Release Date: June 2, 2021

Application Due Date: July 15, 2021, 5:00pm EST

Anticipated Award Date: August 16, 2021


The Center on Aging at the Medical University of South Carolina is pleased to announce that it will fund up to 2 pilot grants for up to $25,000 (direct costs) for a 12-month period. These awards are designed to provide short-term funding to help researchers gather preliminary data for future extramural funding in research related to improving the health and well-being of older people. Pilot Projects must focus on research related to healthy aging or aging related diseases and conditions. Application language should make this relationship clear.


The principal goal of the Pilot Project Program is to provide funding for scientifically meritorious, new and innovative projects through a competitive program with open solicitation and peer review. The program is open to junior, mid-level or senior faculty and post-doctoral fellows. Preference will be given to projects that include inter-professional teams and/or inter-disciplinary projects.


Principal Investigator should have a full-time faculty or post-doctoral appointment and a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, MD/PhD, etc) in science, research, or health related fields. The proposed studies must not overlap with or supplement currently funded projects.


If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Annie Simpson (

Required Application Documents

1. The Project Description

The Project Description should serve as a succinct (30 lines of text) and accurate description of the proposed work. State the application's broad, long-term objectives and specific aims, making reference to the relatedness of the project to the Center on Aging.

2. Budget Page and Budget Justification

  • For the budget, please use PHS 398 Form Page 4: Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period (12 months max) in MS Word Version (1 page). Use continuation pages as needed for the budget justification.
  • Save the budget and justification page as a single PDF file.
  • Budget should prioritize funding toward study needs over salary support. Pilot funds should not be used for PI or Co-I salary support but a well-justified portion may be used for technician or statistical support.

3. Proposal

Format Research Plan (Four pages maximum and must include the following sections):

  • Abstract (Max 200 Words)
  • Specific Aims Page (max 1 page)
  • Background
  • Preliminary Data
  • Research Methods/Strategies
  • A Biostatistical Justification of sample size(s) for all animal studies and aims that include human tissue samples, patients, or healthy volunteers.
    • The Biostatistical Justification should be placed at the end of the Research Strategy.
  • Predicted outcomes/potential pitfalls
  • A description of how the pilot study findings will aide in future extramural funding opportunities and grant applications.

Additional Documents (not included in page limit above):

  • NIH formatted Biosketch (
  • Experimental Time line
  • Literature cited