CORE C: PILOT PROJECT CORE The pilot project core serves as the "idea lab" for the program project. It supports small-scale exploratory research projects that add incremental dimensions to the program project, and that can be launched quickly in response to changing events or opportunities. Each pilot will accomplish one or more of the following aims: (1) To support exploratory research projects on topics related to the ongoing themes of the program project, but which are more innovative or experimental, or which lay the foundation for larger-scale projects under development. These pilot awards will enable researchers to add higher-risk dimensions to ongoing research, to fill gaps in our ongoing research agenda, or to obtain the preliminary results necessary to mount larger project initiatives in the economics of aging. (2) To engage highly accomplished senior scholars or highly promising junior scholars in the collaborative research activity of the program project. These pilot awards enable us to involve new researchers who may become more active in the program project over time, on topics which relate directly to the ongoing aims of the program project. (3) To respond quickly to research opportunities that arise based on policy developments or other current events, such as changes in tax policy, retirement policy, or health policy. It is valuable to be able to analyze quickly the implications of changes made. This rapid response capability assures the greatest relevance of program project research in understanding and informing policy development. (4) To explore new data resources, new research methodologies, experimental interventions, or cross-disciplinary approaches that enrich the program project effort as a whole. (5) To involve researchers from other disciplines, or individuals with practical expertise, who can provide new perspectives on program project research. These may be scholars in other social sciences, such as psychology;or in physiological sciences, such as biology or genetics;or they may be physicians, business leaders, or other experts in fields that relate to ongoing program project research.
The significance of this core falls into two basic categories: developing innovative new ideas to enrich the research agenda of the program project, and attracting imaginative new scholars to enrich the program project investigator team. The typical pilot project will contribute both.
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