10 PILOT GRANT PROGRAM 10.1 GOALS AND SUMMARY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS The Pilot Grant Program has been a highly valued component of the EHSRC, serving the research, career development and training missions of the Center. The Pilot Grant Program has helped advance the careers of talented junior investigators by bringing them into environmental health science (EHS) research. It has fostered innovation and nurtured novel ideas fueling further grant support and publication (Please see Appendix B). The EHSRC will devote $218,000 per year to the pilot grant program from Center funds. However at the initiative of the EHSRC, additional funds, $60,000 - $90,000 per year, will be available from the Office of the Vice President for Research (through the Biological Sciences Program) to support EHS pilot grants. Also this year a new initiative was begun with the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) Pilot Grant Program to support one $50,000 EHS-related pilot grant. The Biological Sciences Program and the ICTS Pilot Grant Program are independently administered, providing at least three independent mechanisms for funding research initiatives, especially for junior scientists, in the field of EHS. The Goals of the EHSRC Pilot Grant Program are to: ? Provide initial support for junior investigators to establish new lines of environmental health research ? Provide services of state-of-the-art facilities to pilot grant investigators to enhance their research and reduce their costs ? Facilitate exploration of innovative new directions in environmental health for established investigators ? Stimulate investigators from other disciplines to apply their expertise to environmental health research ? Foster new interdisciplinary collaborations through awarding of pilot projects to investigators who have not previously worked together The objective measures of the success of the program are: ? Grants and contracts developed as progeny of pilot grants ? Manuscripts emanating from the pilot grant support ? Students mentored and M.S. theses and Ph.D. dissertations generated through pilot grant support ? Post-doctoral fellows mentored in research and grantsmanship through the Pilot Grant Program ? New interdisciplinary collaborations established as a result of the program ? Career development and advancement for faculty in EHS The pilot grant program has been extremely successful in meeting these objectives. As shown in Table 10.1, the EHSRC has funded 122 pilot grants since it was inaugurated in 1990 (Please see Appendix B). These have been in two categories, the Research Pilots where research was carried out in the U.S. and International Pilots, where the focus was studies abroad. There have been 106 projects funded through the Research Pilot Grant Program and 16 through the International Pilot Grant Program. Table 10.1 provides data demonstrating the success rate for pilot grant submissions, a 58% success rate for Research Pilot Grant applications and 55% for International Pilot applications. In the current grant cycle (2007 - present), 24 pilot grants were funded, of which only one was an International Pilot Grant (Table E.I). Nearly all funded pilot grants were projects involving junior investigators and the majority of awards having been awarded to junior principal investigators. Since 2003 there has been only one International Pilot Grant funded. This low application/funding rate reflects a shift in the focus of our NIH-funded Center for International Rural and Environmental Health. Therefore in the next funding cycle, we will fold the International pilots into the regular funding mechanism and discontinue this grant category. Since the founding of the EHSRC, investments in the Pilot Grant Programs ($2,157,417) have produced grant progeny with a value of $47,939,311, a more than 22-fold return on investment (please see Appendix B). This success has no doubt been at least partially responsible for the newer partnerships with the Biological Sciences Program and the ICTS program.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee (EHS)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
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Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Iowa
Iowa City
United States
Zip Code
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