The Pilot Project Component, which has been an integral part of the Indiana Alcohol Research Center (lARC) since its inception, will continue through years 26-30 (2012-2017).This component is a mechanism for funding promising, innovative research projects, for attracting new investigators to the alcohol research field, for developing methodologies that can be used by investigators in the lARC as well as investigators all over the worid, and for exploring areas of long-range relevance to the overall aims of the lARC. The flexibility inherent in the Pilot Project mechanishn has allowed the lARC to respond rapidly to unique scientific opportunities as they have arisen and to support research projects with good potential for evolving into extramurally funded research programs. Extramural funding for new innovative research proposals is often difficult to obtain if a proposal is not supported by preliminary results, and yet, preliminary results cannot be generated without funding. This is the classic dilemma faced by investigators who wish to move into new research areas and young investigators who are early in their careers. The pilot project mechanism alleviates this problem. During the past 24 years, the Pilot Project Component has had a demonstrable stimulatory effect on the growth of alcohol research on campus. It has served as a catalyst for the development of new research programs which, in turn, expand the training and research opportunities available to our students and fellows. The tangible evidence of the growth and success of this component includes the strong publication records of the pilot project investigators and the impressive rate of success of pilot project investigators in obtaining extramural research funding after having received lARC pilot project support. We have, and will continue to, monitor these outcomes 2-3 times a year in order to assess the effectiveness of the component. The administrative Core is responsible for managing the pilot projects, which are under the direction of Jan Froehlich with input from other members of the Steering Committee (David Crabb, David Kareken, Larry Lumeng, Sean O'Connor) and senior members of the Internal Board of Scientific Advisors (Howard Edenberg, Ting Kai Li, and Bill McBride).
Development of preliminary data through pilot projects is essential for continued research advances. The pilot project component provides resources for exploration of new ideas and attracting new investigators to alcohol research.
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