The Pilot and Feasibility Program (P&F) of the DRTC has funded 127 grants since its inception in 1977. In addition, this past cycle the P&F program funded 6 applications from investigators located outside the University of Chicago, both assisting their diabetes related studies, but also importantly the P&F program acts as a catalyst to bring together researchers from throughout the Chicago area. We plan to expand the program in the coming cycle to also include investigators at the Medical College of Wisconsin. The overall goal of the P&F program is to provide initial support to newly established investigators and also to bring the expertise of more established investigators from other fields into diabetes research. Proposals are sought each year from within the University of Chicago as well as from 6 other Chicago based institutions. All proposals are evaluated by an internal and external reviewer as well as by a member of the P&F Steering Committee. Priority scores and written reviews are then presented to the entire Steering Committee and funding decisions are made. A second year funding is possible for those investigators who have made significant documented progress on their proposed research. All P&F grant recipients are strongly encouraged to present their findings at the Annual Chicago Diabetes Day held at the University of Chicago. The vast majority of P&F grants recipients have remained in diabetes research, and many have received subsequent external funding from the NIH (lllustration VI). Thus, the P&F program is an integral part of promoting diabetes research throughout the greater Chicagoland area and has also greatly enhanced the visibility of the entire DRTC program at the University of Chicago.
The University of Chicago DRTC Pilot and Feasibility Program provides funding to new and established investigators to pursue novel research directions related to the understanding of the causes and complications of diabetes. The P&F Program actively works to bring diabetes researchers together as collaborators from throughout the greater Chicagoland area.
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