Pilot Studies NIAAA's Pilot Studies Core is intended to ?provide the Center with a flexible means to develop and explore new research activities or directions and unique scientific opportunities that have the potential to evolve into independently-funded research projects,? as well as to promote and encourage junior investigators in the field of alcohol research1. The current Pilots Core proposes a program for conducting pilot studies that would meaningfully extend the Center's research methods and agenda as well as directly enable NIH grant applications relevant to our current focus on health disparities. Our program would also address the research and career development needs of our most promising new and early stage investigators. Our application builds on 3 highly successful prior Pilots Cores from Center cycles 1995-2000, 2001-2005, and 2010-15, and this experience undergirds our proposed methods for soliciting and selecting projects and managing studies. We also draw on our experience with our longstanding (35-year) NIAAA T32 alcohol training program, which involves cultivation and oversight of research projects, and career development broadly, for post-doctoral and pre-doctoral trainees. We have identified 5 pilot studies for potential inclusion in the current round, and all are scientifically sound and well-integrated with our Center's overall program of research and focus on health disparities. Nevertheless, they are also highly innovative; multidisciplinary; broad in scope and potential impact; and highly diverse in questions, methods, and populations. We believe that this diversity of approaches and questions is critical to fostering a vibrant and innovative program of research at our Center, and that our Center is the ideal environment for these studies: Our strong grounding in epidemiology, policy, and health services, along with our rich base of disparities researchers (and statistical department), lend important support. This Core will be directed by Dr. Sarah Zemore, who is Co-Director of Training and MPI of the T32 at our Center (with Lee Ann Kaskutas) as well as Associate Director of the Center. Management will be supported by a Pilots Committee, which will include all Center Managers and prior Pilots Core Director Kaskutas.
Specific Aims are to 1) requisition, select, and monitor pilot studies that are well-integrated with the Center's program of research; that are consistent with our Center's focus on health disparities; and that have high potential to lead to independent, NIH-funded research grants and high-impact lines of research; 2) promote and encourage junior (new and early stage) investigators in their career development via supporting and guiding their research lines and providing specific career development resources; and 3) continually evaluate the pilot program and refine procedures as necessary.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
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