CDLD Pilot Project Program

Director: Caroline Westwater, Ph.D.

The objectives of the CDLD Pilot Project Program (PPP) are to attract new and established investigators into digestive and liver disease research, promote use of CDLD cores, develop new technologies, stimulate new programmatic research grants, and ultimately build the Center’s long-term sustainability.

The CDLD will offer 3 types of awards, as outlined below, allocating a combination of institutional and COBRE funds to provide at least $100,000 annually to support 3-4 proposals/yr. Exceptionally, PPP recipients are eligible to renew their projects for one additional year of funding if they demonstrate adequate progress and the EC determines that additional support could lead to extramural funding. An annual RFA will be advertised each winter (with a spring due date) using campus- and state-wide communication systems, including SCTR, COBRE and INBRE channels. Reviews and recommendations will occur in May/June, and awards in July. While PIs must be MUSC faculty, we will ensure a state-wide solicitation process to encourage collaboration and promote CDLD growth and sustainability.

Types of Criteria for Pilot Project Categories

Early Career Pilot

  • Discovery grant for junior faculty at MUSC within 6 yrs of 1st full-time faculty appt; no prior independent grant as PI. Mentor must be an established investigator in GI/liver disease. Up to $35K/yr.

New Direction Pilot

  • High impact/high risk project in GI/liver disease and/or significant departure from PI’s normal research program. Open to MUSC faculty of any rank. Up to $35K/yr.

Collaborative Pilot

  • Projects that stimulate collaboration at MUSC and/or increase collaborations between GI/liver disease investigators at MUSC and elsewhere, especially at SC INBRE affiliates and/or other COBREs. PI must be full-time MUSC faculty; collaborators may be at any accredited research institution. Up to $35K/yr.

Standard requirements for all Pilot Projects: annual open call for applications; use of SCTR web-based pilot project platform; use of at least 1 CDLD core; rigorous peer review; EAB oversight; direct costs only; no faculty salary support.