The goal of the Pilot and Feasibility and New Named Investigator (P&F-NNI) Program in the UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) is to foster an environment for the development and testing of new research ideas in nutrition- and obesity-related research. These new concepts may not just come from within the current NORC community, but also from investigators in the many schools throughout UAB?s campus who may bring new ideas and eventually become NORC members. Selection of projects to be funded by NORC is a two-step process. In the first step, the opportunity for funding is advertised using all possible mechanisms (on the NORC website; flyers throughout campus; in the UAB eReporter (an electronic newspaper distributed to the entire campus community); and email dissemination through Deans, Chairs, and Directors of University-wide Research Centers, including the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS; i.e., UAB?s CTSA)). NORC P&F recipients must be members of the UAB faculty (at any rank) at the time of award. Emphasis is placed on funding junior investigators, but senior investigators who have not previously been funded for nutrition- and obesity-related research are also eligible to apply. Submitted abstracts (1 page or 500 words) are reviewed by the P&F Program directors and the NORC senior leadership to identify which are most meritorious and which would utilize NORC Cores. Those who have submitted the top-rated abstracts are then invited to submit a full application. Once received, these applications are reviewed and scored extramurally (using the NIH review scoring scheme) by experts in the field. The scores and the written reviews are then considered by the P&F Program directors and the senior NORC leadership. P&F Program awardees not only receive funding, but also mentoring, administrative support, and grantsmanship advice to maximize the possibility of subsequent extramural funding of the projects. In doing so, the P&F Program directors provide oversight and monitoring to ensure that any administrative or science-related barriers are overcome. In the unlikely event that a project encounters an insurmountable difficulty, the project may be terminated. Ultimately awardees are required to present the results of their study at the NORC Scientific Seminar. In conclusion, the P&F-NNI Program is focused on enabling paradigm shifts in the field of nutrition and obesity research leading to new and more effective strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of nutrition-related disorders, most especially obesity.

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)
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University of Alabama Birmingham
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