The P/F Program aims to support the development of new digestive diseases-related research initiatives. Limited funding will be provided for: 1) testing of novel hypotheses which may have impact on digestive diseases research, and 2) obtaining preliminary data to support future applications for extramural funding. Funds will be provided for up to four 1-2 year projects (with second year funding subject to competitive renewal), and three categories of investigators will be considered: 1) unfunded young investigators (or investigators holding career development awards) seeking to obtain independent grant support, 2) established investigators in other scientific fields who wish to enter the area of GI research, and 3) investigators currently involved in digestive diseases-related research who wish to pursue a new research direction not supported by their current grants. The budget is limited to $22,000 per year, per project, with a maximum total of $88,000. Applications will be solicited from every faculty member on an annual basis (in April, with a reminder sent via e-mail one month later as a means to increase the applicant pool), and additional announcements will be made in the DDRCC newsletter, the DDRCC Home Page, the Washington University Campus Newspaper, and the publication of the Washington University Academic Women's Network (AWNings). Promising postdoctoral fellows, instructors involved in GI research, and established investigators in other fields whose area of expertise could be applied to GI-related research, will be approached directly by the director of the program. Initial review of submitted projects will be carried out by members of the Executive Committee and the Internal Scientific Advisory Board. Outside reviewers will be sought if required expertise is missing. Following revision, selected projects will be evaluated and prioritized by an External Scientific Advisory Board consisting of six senior investigators from outside Washington University. The projects will be evaluated with respect to likelihood of developing into GI-related projects that will successfully compete for extramural (e.g., NIDDK) funding. An appropriate mechanism has also been developed for review of ongoing projects and allocation of second year funding. In preparation for this application, eight P/F projects were received and evaluated by at least six internal reviewers. The projects were ranked according to their averaged scores, and the top four (by Drs. Dieckgraefe, Simon, Wilson, and Heuckeroth) were included with the application. Also included were the critiques provided by the internal reviewers. The top two projects (Drs. Dieckgraefe and Simon) have been funded with seed money provided by the Dean of the Washington University School of Medicine (Dr. William Peck). Should this application for a DDRCC be funded, Drs. Dieckgraefe and Simon will be funded for a second year (subject to a satisfactory progress report) and Drs. Wilson and Heuckeroth will be funded for the first year.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-4 (J2))
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Washington University
Saint Louis
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