; The Pilot Project Program will provide funding for pilot projects and bridge funding as well as mentoring for junior investigators. We will provide a mechanism for investigators to apply for funding ($50,000-$100,000/annually) once a year. Total available funds will be $200,000/year. Dr. Shohet or Dr. Boisvert will review the applications and assign them to two scientific experts for peer-review following the NIH peer review format. After initial vetting arranged and coordinated by the Pilot Project Executive Committee the External Advisory Board will review the best applications to choose those that will be funded, based on merit and cardiovascular significance. All applicants will receive a summary statement. The objective will be to enhance the applicant's ability to reach research independence and national competitiveness. Three investigators that received modest pilot project funding during the last cycle have received (or are about to receive) substantial national funding for their work. These were the ONLY three projects funded during the last cycle as "pilot projects" and all three scientists are now well on their way to stable positions in our Medical Center Our goal is that the Pilot Project-Bridging Program will stimulate and advance extramural funding of meritorious cardiovascular proposals.
Our specific aims encompass the two types of investigators we plan to support:
Specific Aim 1 : To allow new biomedical researchers to generate preliminary data for submission of grant applications related to cardiovascular pathology. We will create a rigorous and fair two step review process to select the most exciting science and the candidates most likely to succeed. We will provide mentoring to successful candidates based on the approach that worked well in the second cycle of the Cardiovascular COBRE.
Specific Aim 2 : To provide support to investigators with a formed application who require modest additional work to bring their grant to successful funding. We will support investigators with scored but unfunded R series grants of cardiovascular significance.
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