RDRRC Pilot and Feasibility grant RFA goes into effect Feb 1

Funding for Pilot and Feasibility Studies Related to the Rheumatic Diseases February 2021

The Rheumatic Diseases Research Resource-based Center (RDRRC) at Washington University is pleased to announce the availability of research funds for its Pilot and Feasibility (P/F) program.

The overall goal of this program is to help develop innovative research programs at their earliest phases. We seek to support research projects specifically associated with the biology, pathogenesis, and/or therapy related to some aspects of rheumatic diseases, as broadly defined. Basic, translational, and clinical projects are all considered. Funds are available to support 2 P/F studies, with individual budgets up to $40,000 per year, with the option of extending the funding for a second year.


We invite applications from investigators who fall into any of the following categories (as defined by NIH):

  1. New investigators without current or past NIH research project support (R01, P01, or current R21 or R55) as a principal investigator to engage in innovative research. However, a new investigator may have had funding through a pilot NIH grant. New investigators should be clearly independent, have a faculty appointment higher than that of postdoctoral fellow or research associate, and have potential to be a productive investigator.
  2. Established investigators with no previous work in research related to the focus of the RDRRC and who are willing to test the applicability of their expertise on a problem related to rheumatic diseases.
  3. Established investigators with a proposal for testing the feasibility of a new or innovative hypothesis that is related to the research focus of the RDRRC, but represents a clear and distinct departure from the investigator’s ongoing research interest.
How to Apply Applications will be accepted in a two-stage process
  1. Interested faculty should submit their NIH Biosketch (using updated Biosketch form*) with a listing of current research support and a “Pre-proposal” consisting of no more than one page describing their concept for the P/F study. Descriptions should include a brief statement on the background for the study, how the proposal is related to the rheumatic diseases, and anticipated specific aims. Applicants should identify their investigator category as defined above. If they fit into category #2 or #3, they must provide an explanation of why the proposed research fits into that category. The deadline for Pre-Proposals is April 6, 2021.

    Send all application materials by email to Lorraine Schwartz at lschwartz@wustl.edu
  2. Following an evaluation of all submitted Pre-proposals with respect to the goals of the P/F program, the RDRRC will invite selected faculty to submit a completed “Formal Proposal.” This final application must follow the SF424/PHS398 format but the specific aims and research plan will be limited to 5 pages (not including references).

The anticipated deadline for the Formal Proposals will be May 28, 2021, including all required regulatory approvals and updated NIH forms. Formal proposals will be submitted as part of our annual Progress Report. Successful funding will commence on September 1, 2021. All funded PI’s will be required to submit timely Progress Reports and other information as needed for future RDRRC reports and renewal applications.

Specific questions? Direct them to Christine Pham, MD at cpham@wustl.edu or Deborah Lenschow, MD, PhD at dlenschow@wustl.edu

Updated NIH Biosketch form is available here.