PILOT PROGRAM ABSTRACT The Pilot Project Program is arguably the 'heart'of the Harvard-NIEHS Center. It encourages innovation and creativity, and provides a pathway for outstanding new investigators to enter environmental health research. It provides important support for new investigators to develop preliminary data to develop independent research projects and compete for independent funding for environmental health research. This program has encouraged new and creative research approaches and provide preliminary data and demonstrated feasibility for numerous career development and research project grants both from NIH and other funding sources. Pilot Project applications are solicited broadly from the Harvard academic community twice a year. Each application is reviewed for scientific merit by three experts (at least two outside the Center). The most sound applications are then ranked programmatically. All applicants are notified of funding decisions and given feedback within 6 weeks. Investigators needing resources for specific laboratory analyses may apply for Facility Access Funds with review and a decision within two days. The Center Pilot Program has been successful in attracting applications from across the spectrum of departments and disciplines in the Harvard Longwood Medical Area, and the Harvard academic community. In the first four years of the current Center grant, 29 pilot grant awards have resulted in 38 peer-reviewed publication plus 29 funded new grant awards. The Pilot Project program is a highly leveraged investment that facilitates the expansion of our Center research into critical areas of study. We continue to believe that pilot project funds are an extremely shrewd, high yield investment, which leads our Center research into important new areas of study.
PILOT PROGRAM NARRATIVE Pilot Projects provide initial support to establish new lines of research, allow exploration of innovative new directions in environmental health sciences, provide a pathway for investigators from other disciplines to apply their expertise to environmental health research, and foster opportunities to fill in gaps in the Center research portfolio. The investment in Pilot Project has a high yield in innovation, new expertise, and collaborative initiative to address emerging environmental health issues.
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